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Why Your Still in Pain

Why Am I in…PAIN?
By Dr. Lee Weiner

Living with pain can be a daunting or crippling experience. I this article. I will discuss the pain types, the reasons for your pain and what to do about it.

Pain can be of two types; acute or chronic. Acute pain can come from a sudden injury, like a car accident, lifting a heavy box, or playing sports. With acute pain we typically know what the exact cause was. Acute pain will usually resolve in one to three weeks, depending on the injury. Pain and injury from a car accident can last several months in some cases. Chronic pain is pain that the patient has been living with for several months or years and it just never goes away. It typically gets worse over time leading to disability.

Acute Pain

Pain is your warning sign that something is not right. In an acute injury, you typically will strain a muscle or sprain any other soft tissue including a ligament or any other tissue surrounding a joint. In this case there is damage to the soft tissues (anything but bone) of the body. Pain arises when there is damage to the tissues of the body. Pain receptors alert the brain that there has been some damage done and you will feel the pain. In the area of damage, there can be redness, heat, pain, swelling and loss of function. These are known as the cardinal signs of swelling. Pain will be one of the first signs to show up. If a patient strains their neck for example, you can feel the heat and swelling and the patient will have difficulty turning their head. With the injury comes a loss of function prohibiting the patient from turning their head. This is your body’s way of preventing you from using the area so you can heal.

So, in summary, acute pain has a direct cause, will result in heat, swelling and a loss of function. Pain can last from a few days to a few weeks. Treatment for acute pain patients include chiropractic adjustments, laser therapy, and light massage to heal the injured tissues. Home therapy includes ice and rest. Ice is used with acute injuries. Utilizing laser therapy is essential to acute injuries and can typically speed up the healing process by fifty percent.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain affects millions of Americans. Many Americans over 40 live with some sort of pain every day. Chronic pain is the main reason why Americans visit their doctor. Chronic pain often leads to frustration on the patient’s part, because they try so many therapies to no avail and often give up hope. In this section, we will discuss the reason for your chronic pain and what to do about it.

Unlike, acute pain, chronic pain does not have one specific cause that the patient can remember. They often state they do not know what they did and it just showed up one day and never left. They figured and hoped it would just go away. Above we stated that pain is your body’s warning sign that something is not right. Unlike acute pain, pain in a chronic situation will be the last thing to show up!!! After many years, the body will just give up and say”I just can’t take it anymore” and it will let you know.

So why does it happen like this. As we get older our body is subjected to many different and constant traumas. These are called microtraumas. Unlike a sports injury or car accident, microtraumas occur to us on a daily basis without us realizing it. Over time, these traumas, coming from doing the same job every day, sitting at a desk, add up and eventually catch up to us.

Let’s go over some examples. A typical patient is 50 year old female who sits at a desk for 6-8 hours per day types, answers the phone and she has done this for the past 20 years. In addition, she is 25 pounds overweight, had two children, and had a car accident when she was 25. The daily trauma of sitting in the same position, keeping the phone between her ear and shoulder and the repetitive stress on the hands wrist and finger from typing, moving the mouse back and forth will lead to low back pain, neck pain and hand and wrist pain. Over time, these daily traumas eventually put stress on the joints, affect the posture and break down the body. Doing the same thing over and over again for years is what breaks down the body leading to joint damage and misalignment of the joints. As the joints break down, there will be damage to tissues of the joint and surrounding the joint.

Remember, pain comes from tissue damage. Now the patient will start to experience pain. As the area breaks down, the signals the nerves to spams the muscles, leading to chronic muscle spasms and trigger points(knots).
So this patient will have neck pain into the shoulders, spams of the neck and upper back muscles, headaches, pain into the arm. And unfortunately she still has to go back to work the next day and do it all over again!

Another example is a 40 year old male contractor who was very active and athletic his whole life and now he cannot figure out why he has so much pain. In high school he played football and basketball, and now his job put a lot of stress on his body. This patient will have low back and neck pain almost hurt all over.

All traumas on our body will eventually catch up to us. Pain in a chronic situation will be the last thing that will show up. The body has been breaking down for years and there is enough damage to signal the pain response. Or the patient will come to the office and state that they just bent down to pick up the newspaper and that was it. It was at that point that the body had enough and picking up the newspaper was the last straw! So, sometimes, there will be a small incident that puts the body over the edge.

So how Does the Body break down?

Constant repetitive motion from doing the same job every day causes overuse to the joints and muscles. The joint break down(arthritis) causing pain and a s a result the muscles will spams. When patients come to the office they typically will have joint and muscle pain. If this has gone on long enough, the patient may start to develop nerve pain that can lead to tingling, burning, numbness or weakness in the arms and legs. So the cause of you pain is coming from the joints and muscles.

I’ve tried physical therapy, shots, and I’ve seen the Orthopedic! How can the Chiropractor help?

Remember, the cause of your problems stems from the joints. Even if there is severe spams in the muscles, these muscle are going into spasm because they were told to do so by your nerves in response to joint misalignment. When joints misalign, there will be less mobility of the joints and they will either shorten or elongate muscles! Traditional therapy will not address the joint structure, which in most cases is the underlying cause. Patients often go to the chiropractor as a last resort, but will typically be very satisfied with the results and wish they went to the chiropractor sooner.

Chiropractic care addresses the joint structure of the body. Chiropractors are trained to analyze the joints looking for misalignment, loss of joint mobility, and how posture affects the joints. By giving an adjustment to the joint, the joint increases its mobility and improves the alignment. This will signal the brain to reduce the spams. Over time, when given enough adjustment the body will hold this new position and the patient will feel much better. Time and patience are required by the patient to get better. The problem did not develop overnight and it will not go away overnight either.

Early in their chiropractic care the patient will start to feel better, have more range of motion and will typically sleep better. The pain will stick around for a while because as we stated before there is tissue damage. Damaged soft tissues take time to heal after many years of injury or overuse. Just picture a professional baseball who pulls their hamstring quickly running down to first base. This muscle (soft tissues) injury can last a few weeks to a few months. This athlete is young and is in the top 1% of the world as far as fitness goes. So, tissues take time to heal! So if you have a chronic problem, you can see how it may take time to heal.

A great way to address soft tissue damage and increase healing time is with laser therapy. We are proud to offer this advanced therapy utilized by over 40 professional sports teams. We are one a few offices on Long Island that have this class of laser.


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