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chronic pain

Pain.  It’s a terrible thing!  It comes for many reasons, and stays around sometimes for way too long. Studies say that one in ten Americans live with chronic pain at some point in their life.  I would tend to say that ratio is higher if you include emotional pain on a chronic level.  Emotional pain and trauma can cause feelings of anxiety, fear and hopelessness in an individual which can interfere with one’s own healing process.

Sometimes when we visit our healthcare practitioner, they say ‘ there is nothing that can be done’ which is absolutely wrong, and should be replaced with the words ‘I’m not sure how I can help you, but there may be someone or something who can.’

If you think you suffer from chronic pain, there are a few things that you can consider:

1) Is it a musculoskeletal issue?  If so, have you tried going to a sports medicine doctor?  Sports medicine doctors are specialized practitioners who work on the musculoskeletal system.  It doesn’t mean that we need to be an athlete to go there, and in Ontario you do not need a doctors note or a referral.

2) Are you on multiple medications? Sometimes combining medications causes pain.  This is due to a reaction that happens in the body which can cause the liver to secrete various acids into the muscular system. (and other more complicated cellular changes)  The point is, that you should have your medications checked.

3) Check your diet.  Some people react strongly to certain foods.  Night shades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, etc) react badly in some peoples systems and are actually mildly toxic to some.  Dairy products, wheat, some proteins, certain fruits and vegetables can be very hard on some peoples system.  Also the alkaline/acid balance of your diet may be unbalanced.

4) Simple exercises.  Every day… two minutes of stretching the muscles and joints can make all of the difference.  And guess what?  The exercises that you hate are probably the ones that you need.  Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. If you have questions or concerns always check with a qualified health care provider.

If you have looked at all of these possibilities, then you may want to look deeper.  is there an underlying problem in your body that it is fighting?  Your doctor can perform tests, and you can also see a natural health practitioner to check if they identify problems in your diet or lifestyle that could be more balanced. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners identify problems in the body systems differently than western medical practitioners.  Sometimes a TCM practitioner or acupuncture can easily and quickly identify a problem.

 

Why does pain remain after an injury has already healed? When injury happens, the body goes into a protective mode and isolates the area of injury.  Some of us have a natural tendency to behave as such and pack our pain away, work around it and find our best way to ignore it.  Unfortunately, pain is there for a reason and will remain there until we identify the problem and resolve it.  This is why it is important to deal with pain and injuries as quickly as possible.  The longer pain has persisted, the longer resolution will take.  We must be very patient with ourselves.

One of my teachers told me that we need one month of healing for every year a condition has existed in the body.  In my experience, this is a pretty good model for chronic pain.  So, forgive yourself and give yourself permission for the healing.

 

Chronic pain is an illness that receives little sympathy.  Humans by nature are attached to labels, so we tend to address problems by giving them a name.  This is frustrating, because it leads to a lot of misdiagnosis and and even more people walking around who seem fine on the outside.  They do not have a limp or an assistive device, and they appear normal.  We have to learn to be empathetic to all.  We never know what one person is going through.

In short?  There may be a solution for your pain.  Don’t give up, the power of thought is very strong.  Always believe, and ask for what you need… in the meantime be proactive about your health.  It is your body, you have to live in it for the rest of your life!!!

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