The physiology of pain can often be complicated. The bottom line is that pain is all in your head and is also based on your life experiences. Pain is also the bodies last warning system that something is wrong and often comes after months or even years of dysfunction.
So what is pain? Pain is the brains interpretation of the nerve signals being sent from the injured region of the body. There are several factors on how pain is perceived by an individual. One of the most important factors is life experience what is the worst pain ever to a child will often not phase an adult who has lived through several traumatic events. Second is the emotional state of the patient. Yes I did say the emotional state, people who are depressed or have other normal physiological factors may ether magnify painful symptoms or ignore them all together. Finally the quality of the signal is an important factor if the signal for pain that the brain must interpret is reduced or amplified by forces on the nerves themselves (chiropractic subluxations being one type), it is like using a dimmer switch on a light and the intensity of the pain may change. This is often seen when there is disc involvement or in sciatica.
As well as these three main factors on the quality of pain there are several factor that effect the location of the sensation of pain. Again location can be effected by interference with the nerve and how it transmits the signal. If there is pain in the right leg it may not be the right leg at all. In some instances pressure may be placed on the nerve as it exits the spine or even in the spine, but since the brain thinks this nerve ends at the foot it thinks you have foot pain. This is the same mechanism that causes phantom leg syndrome in amputees.
To further complicate the situation there are disease that excite the nervous system and produce the symptoms of pain in areas that may have no injury at all. Some of these conditions are fibromyalgia and RSD. Finely there is the double crush syndrome. This is often seen in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), and is when pressure is put on the nerve in two or more locations. In the case of CTS this is often the neck and wrist with some shoulder involvement. What happens is when the wrist puts pressure on the nerve there may be no symptoms but when the neck and wrist or shoulder and wrist or all three act up the hands go numb or become very painful to the point of being debilitating.
All of these factors make managing pain difficult in some case. If your pain doesn’t resolve in a reasonable amount of time you may have one or more of these factors. In these case it takes a professional with many years of experience to help track down the cause and place you on the road to recovery.
At Mahler Family Chiropractic Center we have over 10 years of experience helping people with these problems.
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We treat pain and in some cases it can be cured neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, rotator cuff pain, and more.