Chronic Pain and Chiropractic

The month of August is a period to focus our awareness on a condition that affects
individuals, their families and society in general.  Chronic pain is considered to be the most costly health
problem in the United States. Increased medical expenses, lost income, lost productivity, compensation
payments, and legal charges are some of the negative economic consequences of chronic pain. Along with
financial ramifications, chronic pain impacts one’s emotional state and relationships.

Pain is an unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pain has both physical and emotional components. The physical part of pain results from nerve stimulation. Pain may be contained to a discrete area, as in an injury, or it can be more diffuse, as in disorders like fibromyalgia.  Pain is mediated by specific nerve fibers that carry the pain impulses to the brain where their conscious appreciation may be modified by many factors.
The word “pain” comes from the Latin “poena” meaning a fine, a penalty.

Chiropractic and Integrative Pain Management
Integrative pain medicine is said to be more comprehensive than traditional medicine, because it emphasizes wellness and the healing of the whole person above and beyond the treatment of any specific symptom or disease. It involves the use of safe and effective approaches that are designed to facilitate healing, empowering patients to participate in their own healing process. Integrative medicine acknowledges the complexity of health and illness by identifying numerous causes of disease and multiple interventions based on the physical, biochemical, psychological, social, and spiritual aspects of health and disease.
Chiropractic is a health care discipline which emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs and surgery. The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health.”

Because of this intimate relationship, biomechanical and structural problems in the spinal column can irritate parts of the enclosed nervous system. This irritation can result from noxious inflammatory biochemicals released during tissue injury or may result from direct mechanical pressure. In either case, the functioning of the nervous system is negatively influenced as is the functioning of the cells, tissues and organs which are supplied by the affected nerve(s).
In short, because the body’s innate recuperative powers are affected by and integrated through the nervous system, correcting spinal abnormalities which irritate the nervous system can lead to a number of favorable results in patients suffering from various, seemingly non-spinal health conditions.

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