There’s nothing worse than not achieving pain relief for a nagging problem or injury.
It’s upsetting, demoralizing, and gets even more uncomfortable when you try and push through.
The whole experience is debilitating, and over time it wears on you.
In fact, we find that the actual pain sensation isn’t what bothers people the most. It’s the psychology and mindset that begins developing that tends to be the worst part.
If you’re dealing with pain on a regular basis, you’ll probably resonate with this…
Waking up in the morning, getting the first shot of pain, and automatically knowing you’re about to deal with 14-18 hours of pain and discomfort…
It’s flat out discouraging.
Not only that, it leads to irritability, and in some cases depression.
After all, you didn’t ask for the pain, and now you can’t seem to figure out how to avoid it.
Here’s the thing…
Most people want to just get out of pain. They don’t care how it happens, they’re simply tired of dealing with the discomfort and the emotions that go along with it.
However, the solutions for short-term pain relief are just that…short-term.
The options vary from over-the-counter medications, to prescription drugs, braces, taping, numerous therapies, and/or modalities.
What we find is pain is almost never the REAL PROBLEM.
It’s typically what we would consider COLLATERAL DAMAGE.
Let us give you an example…
Pretend you bought a house recently. About 3-months into owning the property, you begin noticing that the floor is sloping, and there are cracks that seem to be growing in the walls.
You call someone to come see what’s going on…
After assessing the issues, the contractor concludes that the foundation of your house is failing.
In this example, the sloping floors and cracks in the wall are what we consider collateral damage.
They’re definitely problems, but they’re happening as a result of a deeper issue, one that we call the core problem.
The core problem is the faulty foundation.
No matter how many times you cover up the cracks in the wall, they will keep coming back…until you decide to fix the problematic structure, which the rest of your house rests upon.
This same scenario plays out in your body.
Pain is an example of collateral damage that is being caused by an underlying core problem.
It’s obviously a problem for you…but it’s not the causative factor. There’s something else going on deeper inside your body that’s leading to you feeling the pain.
As I mentioned earlier, there are hundreds of different quick-fix approaches for pain…
However, if you truly want to correct the underlying issue, and make sure the pain never returns, you will have to remove the core problem.
When it comes to pain, there are 5 potential core problems that could be contributing to your issue…
and sometimes more than one core problem is involved.
So, let’s talk about each, and what you can do to remove the problem.
Everyone knows they need to eat well. But most don’t realize how crucial this component is to overall pain levels.
Consuming artificial/processed foods lead to inflammation in the body. The swelling is what causes pain and discomfort.
You don’t have to fall down or have an accident to experience pain. Eating junk food can also cause discomfort. Furthermore, eating junk food keeps your body from healing as quickly as it should.
The better the nutrients you give your body, the better it will run, and the more likely you will have pain relief.
In the grocery store, stay away from packaged foods. Try to eat foods that were alive at one time.
When walking around the store, attempt to stay on the outside where the likelihood for finding real food is much higher, versus moving in toward the inner aisles of the store, where the ‘bad things’ live.
This is the most commonly missed core problem. Millions of people are unaware of the vital role their nervous system plays in their experience of pain, and overall health.
Your Nervous System controls everything in your body…
From your heart beating, to your stomach secreting hydrochloric acid, to your muscles firing. It’s all operated by your nervous system.
So, what does this have to do with pain?
Well, let’s start here…
Your spine protects your nervous system.
And through different abnormal situations (eating junk food, sitting in a chair, bad posture, negative work environment, etc.) the spine can actually shift due to the extra stress applied to it.
When the spine shifts, much like the foundation of a house, you will notice collateral damage elsewhere in the body.
This occurs because the shifting of the spine causes pressure and stress on the nervous system.
Ultimately, this leads to abnormal function and symptoms, such as pain in your body.
For some people, like you, it may be pain and discomfort that they experience. For others, it may be low-energy, imbalance in hormones, or difficulty sleeping.
If you think that your Nervous System may be playing a role in your pain, we’d suggest finding someone who specializes in analyzing the structure and function of your spine and nervous system.
This is a gray area. Because movement can lead to pain (not all exercise was created equal), but lack of movement can also lead to pain, and arthritis.
If you’re already in pain, one of the most beneficial things you can do is move the joint above and below your injury. The movement promotes blood flow, and healing to the injured area.
We suggest taking the joints through their specific range of motion about 200 repetitions, in each direction.
Don’t push past the point of pain! Go to the point of pain, stop, and repeat.
The discomfort should lessen over time, and pain relief will begin to happen.
Most take their sleep for granted. However, it’s the only time your body can relax, and heal the damaged tissues.
If you’re not allowing for that time, your body will never be able to heal completely, and it may also take much longer to complete the job.
Furthermore, if you’re not sleeping adequately, it will lead to inflammation, which as we explained earlier, will lead to increased pain levels.
The average American sleeps 5.5 hours. They should be getting between 7-9 hours, without interruption.
If you’re on the short-end of sleep duration, make sure you get to bed at a better time to allow for proper healing, and less inflammation/pain.
We’ve already touched on the psychology involved with pain. Mindset can also play a huge role in pain levels.
Negative emotions trigger what is called the stress response. This reaction causes stress hormones (Cortisol, Epinephrine, etc.) to be released into the bloodstream.
Among other things, these hormones cause muscles to tighten, and increase inflammation in the body. Both reactions lead to increased tightness, pain, and discomfort.
To avoid increasing your pain levels, find a fulfilling hobby, or exercise that you can do without triggering your pain.
Make time for it daily. This will help you decompress and relieve the negative emotions that often accompany pain.
No case involving pain is the exact same as another. However, ensuring you’re getting each of these core requirements will allow you body the best environment to heal the underlying problem.
If you have questions, feel free to reach out, and we’ll do our best to assist you.
-Dr. Matt Pennetti