New Pieces to the Puzzle of Chronic Pain

May 10, 2016 9:47 am

It is commonly accepted that most pain comes from physical, chemical and / or stress related problems. New research and technology have allowed us to enhance our understanding of pain and how to treat it.

One of these new thinking’s is Chiropractic Neurology, an emerging science that was pioneered by Dr. Ted Carrick DC, PhD. Dr. Carrick is a Canadian born chiropractor originally from Toronto. He is the doctor who helped Sidney Crosby, the NHL player, with his concussions. This was featured in the MacLean’s magazine article on November 14, 2011; “Rebuilding Sidney Crosby’s Brain.

Chiropractic Neurology focuses on how to optimize the brain and nerves as they control the body. It assesses each individual’s unique pattern of change in the function of their nervous system. It relies on Neuroplasticity – the growing body of evidence that nerves are “re-trainable.” Chiropractic Neurology then uses specific treatments like joint adjustments, muscle therapies, physical exercise, balance and coordination activities, eye exercises, sensory stimulation, cognitive training and nutritional recommendations.

What happens in many cases of back and neck pain is that a lack of proper motion between the vertebrae or pelvis, combined with changes in muscle tone, circulation and nerve function causes inflammation. Initially inflammation is painful, but a necessary part of healing. Often these cases resolve easily. However, over time chronic inflammation affects the body in several ways. These chemicals pass the blood-brain barrier and put the nervous system into a state of low grade constant high alert. Inflammation also makes our cells become hypersensitive which changes many normal metabolic functions. Chronic inflammation can even affect our mental and emotional states.

So what do we do?

First, get an accurate assessment of the problem. Include appropriate medical testing as well as a functional neurology and metabolic assessment.

Second, using the principles of Chiropractic Neurology and Metabolic care, design strategies to:

  1. Reduce Inflammation
  2. Restore Normal Motion
  3. Re-Boot and Re-Train the Brain
  4. Provide the Appropriate Nutrients for the Body to Build With
  5. Utilize the Best Technologies and Machines to Help the Body Heal Itself

This type of treatment approach offers a framework from which each individuals needs can be customized.

The time frames required for healing varies, depending on each person’s health status. It is helpful to remember that most of the body does regenerate itself. A muscle cell for instance lives approximately three months. This means that when we begin treatment, the old cells must turn over and the better trained new cells eventually take over and improve these patters.

Another factor in healing is our mind set; for example:

  1. Get a thorough understanding of the problem. Knowledge is power.
  2. Spend time doing simple mind-body connecting activates like just being outside, or light exercises like walking or yoga.
  3. Many simple things will help restore our circulation rhythms. Try getting to sleep and waking up at consistent times, darken your bedroom or wear an eye mask and get regular daylight exposure.
  4. Meditation techniques have been shown to be helpful.

In order to tangle the vicious cycle of chronic pain, our physical body, body chemistry and our mindset are often the big bicture to a chronic problem.

 

Dr. Sterling Armata BSc, DC

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Written by Sterling Chiropractic & Wellness