Why do we have pain?
The main purposes of pain are, firstly, to tell us that there is something wrong which is harming our bodies so we can take immediate action to avoid further harm and, secondly, so that we can learn to avoid, or at least minimise, exposure to dangerous situations. These are essential for us to exist personally and thrive as a humans.
There are two main types of pain: acute and chronic and these terms are often misunderstood.
This is short term pain and allows us to take rapid action to minimise injury. For example, if you touch a hot pan, receptors (sensors) in your hand will send messages up to your central nervous system (spinal cord and brain) which decide that if you keep touching the pan will damage your hand. It will then send a message to the right muscles in your arm to contract so you pull your hand off the pan in a fraction of a second. This is known as a reflex arc and happens without you even thinking about it. If you did have to think about it, it would take too long and more damage would be done to your hand rather than just a small blister. Because speed is so important, in this case, the decision takes place in the spinal cord rather the brain because it involves shorter pathways for the messages, saving precious time, further limiting damage. If we only had this sort of fleeting pain we would probably keep repeating the same harmful activity, thus further injuring ourselves.
This is pain that goes on for a long time after the injury which caused it. Its purpose is to help us learn to avoid harmful situations and modify our future behaviour and so improve our long term survival prospects and allow us to thrive. There are people who do not experience pain and they have to make a great effort to be consciously aware of harmful actions.
Chronic pain can also be caused by ongoing posture, actions or behaviours that are not obvious injuries. Because chronic pain does not come on immediately after the cause so we do not always associate them. We will then have to make a conscious effort to figure out the cause, effect and necessary corrective action. This is often when people seek chiropractic care. At the Chiropractors in Sutton Coldfield and Solihull we look for the underlying cause.
We do not prescribe drugs or perform surgery. Our focus, amongst other things, is to analyse your posture and the way your body moves and functions (most specifically spine) and relate this to your symptoms and lifestyle before deciding on a care plan specifically for you. You must take an active part to get the optimum results. The key is to use all of your muscles and joints regularly, keep a healthy diet and think positively.