You Don’t Have to Live With Chronic Pain
Are you one of the 25% of Canadians who deal with chronic pain? That is right! It is estimated that a ¼ of Canadians over the age of 15 live with chronic pain (Canadian Pain Task Force Report, 2020). Chronic pain, unlike temporary pain caused by acute stress or injury, plays a significant role in an individual’s life; it is often the guiding factor for how an individual can show up in their day to day lives. It can hold one back from doing a lot of the things they enjoy doing (or need to accomplish), such as house work, gardening, picking up their children or grandchildren, sitting or standing for extended periods of time, and even having the capacity to work an average job. Headaches can keep one from enjoying the movies they want to watch. Back pain can hold one back from the sports they enjoy. Joint pain can hold one back from being able to join their friends for a walk. The list goes on.
Pain is Normal, Until it Isn’t
Pain is a normal human experience. It is experienced by everyone at some point in their lives and pain is not inherently bad; in fact, pain serves as a protective and informative means of letting us know that something is not right. It is a warning sign that what you are doing or what is happening to you is not safe for your body. Chronic pain, however, or, pain that persists and does not go away after a little while, is no longer within these protective or informative boundaries. It is no longer a helpful tool for your brain or body, especially when it is seemingly unresponsive to the approaches you take to eradicate said pain.
Chronic Pain is Not Normal
Despite how common chronic pain is, it should not be mistaken for normal. Our bodies were not meant to be in a constant state of pain and discomfort, with stress signals firing from our brain to our body and vice-versa. In an optimal state, our bodies are meant to serve as vehicles to our desires, allowing us to accomplish that which we want or need to do; our bodies are supposed to help facilitate our dreams and goals!
What Can I Do?
Chronic pain is often seen as a life sentence but it does not have to be this way. Despite however many years an individual has lived with chronic pain and how many different rehabilitative approaches they have tried, there is often hope right around the corner! Our minds are powerful, powerful things. Pain is processed in our brains; if our brains are not aware of pain, we do not feel it. There is an intrinsic connection between the brain, our body, and experiencing or perceiving pain. The brain is also trainable, though, and we can look back at what triggered our chronic pain in the first place, what was happening for us at that time and begin to work to retrain our brains to not respond with these fiery pain signals. How do we do this? Holistically! By doing things that we already know are good for us such as moving our bodies daily, healing old emotional wounds, maintaining proper nutrition, having a positive outlook, and prioritizing our sleep. Work within the bounds of what your body can handle right now, like short walks, going to bed 30 minutes earlier, getting up from sitting every hour, etc., and readjust when your body begins to respond well to these small, but significant, changes; at this point you may be able to extend your walks, go to bed even earlier, or get up from sitting more frequently.
Last but certainly not least, get checked regularly by your chiropractor to make sure your spine and nervous system function are working optimally. Chiropractic care can facilitate better brain-body communication and healing. When your body is adjusted regularly, it is very common to see chronic headaches disappear, shoulder pain dissipate, tight muscles lengthen, joint pain alleviate, and so many more benefits.
Don’t just take it from us, though! Scientific literature strongly supports the use of chiropractic care in treating various presentations of chronic pain in individuals. Evidence, based on 21 articles of study, suggests that chiropractic care proves beneficial for migraines and cervicogenic headaches. Additionally, 41 randomized controlled trials showed evidence to support that chiropractic care improves outcomes for the treatment of both acute and chronic neck pain. Santé Chiropractic and Wellness Centre has been serving the community of east Ottawa / Orléans for over 25 years. Call or book your appointment online so we can help your body help itself!
Bryans, R., Descarreaux M., Duranleau M., et al. Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with headaches. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2011; 34(5):274-89.
Bryans, R., Descarreaux M., Duranleau M., et al. Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with neck pain. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2014: 37(1):42-63.