Physical Pain is the unpleasant sensory experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage. We rate pain as “acute” if it has persisted for less than 3 months, and “chronic” if the pain has been present for more than 3 months.
Pain is the main reason for visiting a physician in the United States. It is a major symptom in many medical conditions. It is the body’s red warning light that something is wrong. Therefore, when pain is present you need to stop and ask yourself,
”What is my body trying to tell me?
Is it something simple like - "Did I over eat or over do it"? "Did I sleep wrong"?
Or is it something more complicated and serious? That’s why all pain should be
taken seriously and check out by your doctor.
How Common is Pain?
Pain is the main reason for emergency room visits in more than 50% of cases and
is the reason for 30% of family practice visits. For the chiropractor, it makes up
more than 80% of their practice. Over the last 3 or 4 decades, the public thinks of
the chiropractor as the primary specialist in neck and back pain. Today, chiropractic
leads the wellness movement in promoting prevention, proper diet and exercise.
How Quickly Will I Get Out of Pain?
In many cases a chiropractic patient will feel better after the first visit. For other’s it may take 3 or 4 treatments to get relief. The general rule of thumb is that the longer you had a problem and delayed treatment, the longer it will take to heal and undo the damage.
How Do Most Pains Start?
In the typical chiropractic office, the onset of pain can vary. Here is a list of some of the more common causes that we have seen:
- Twisting, bending, lifting, coughing, etc.
- Repetitive strains or over-use.
- Sleeping incorrectly and/or a poor quality bed.
- Improperly fitted desks and work area
- Spinal bone, disk and joint degeneration and arthritis
- Referred visceral pain (gallbladder, kidney, etc)
- Idiopathic or unknown reason
What is the Chiropractic Treatment for Pain?
Once the patient history and examination is completed, the chiropractor has to determine whether or not your case or condition can be helped with chiropractic care or some other approach. Our policy is to only accept you as a patient if we think there is a reasonable chance that we can help you.
If we think that we can help you for your pain, then treatment may include:
- Physical Therapy – ice/heat, ultrasound, electric stimulation, traction,
massage, exercises, etc.
- Spinal Adjustments – various techniques such as: manual hands-on adjusting; low force techniques like Activator or SOT blocks.
- Laser/Microcurrent Non-Needle Acupuncture
- Stress Management Techniques
- Herbal or Nutritional Supplements
When Do I Use Ice or Heat For My Pain?
Generally speaking – if it is recent acute neck, back or extremity pain that just started a day or two ago after some type of trauma or strain, and swelling and tenderness is present, in most cases you would want to apply ice over the area for 10 - 20 minutes. Never put ice directly on the skin. Always use a thin barrier like a paper towel or damp cloth to prevent frostbite. And no longer than 20 minutes. After 20 minutes your body will compensate and try to warm up the area with fresh warm blood, while the goal is to push blood and fluids away from the damage area to reduce the swelling.
If it is a chronic neck, back or extremity pain or it has lasted for more than 2 or 3 days and the painful area feels firm with spasm and less tender than an acute pain, then the rule of thumb is to use moist heat. Moist heat can be used more often, and as long as the area stays moist so as not to dry up the underlying tissues.