In this series of articles I am going to discuss various aspects of pain from why we feel pain, through what pain is to how pain can even be viewed as a positive thing.
As a chiropractor 99% of the time a person who first presents to our clinic is in some form of pain.
As with all things, discussing pain is a series of questions the first of which tend to be what most people focus on:
- How does the pain feel?
- What caused the pain?
- When did the pain begin?
- Where is the pain?
- What aggravates the pain?
- What helps the pain?
- Who have you seen about the pain?
- What can’t you do because of the pain?
And so the list of who what when and how goes ever onwards. Very seldom do people stop to ask WHY!
Now the above questions are very important however they are secondary to the WHY.
When discussing any given subject the logic of ‘ask better questions receive better answers’ is always true especially in the case of pain.
So let’s turn this around and ask the WHYS of pain:
- Why do you think you are in pain?
- Why are you still in pain?
- Why has this pain not gone away like any other pain you have had before?
- Why does the pain get better or worse at certain times or with certain activities?
- Why is this pain occurring now?
- Why is the pain where it is?
As you can see when asking why you open up a whole can of other questions and answers opposed to the closed answer of how what when and who.
A good example of this is see below:
Patient A: My lower back is really painful, all I did was pick up a pencil off the floor 3 weeks ago and I got this sudden sharp pain in my back which went into my buttocks and right leg.
Chiropractor: Why do you think you are in pain from picking up a pencil?
Patient A: I don’t know, I had lifted lots of things before and had been fine/ I think I have pulled a muscle.
Chiropractor: If you have picked up pencils all your life without injury/ you have sprained muscles periodically over the past 30 years and never had to see a chiropractor why do you think this time the pain has occurred sand not gone away?
Patient A: I don’t know, this is what I would like to find out from the consultation today.
Now the patient and the chiropractor are both able to examine, discuss and find the true cause of the pain instead of just treating the presenting symptoms.
Why is this important to you?
If you think back through your life to all the times you have been in pain since childhood, scraped knees, paper cuts, bruises, black eyes, sprained ankles, sore muscles; these injuries are no longer painful and the body healed itself in around 2-7 days or so with no help needed (except from the obligatory ‘you’ll live’ from a parent).
So why is your current condition different? Why is this pain not going away after 1 week or 2weeks?
The very simplistic answer is that there is a barrier to your body’s ability to heal itself whether it is physical, emotional, chemical, nutritional, environmental or structural.
By consulting the clinic and first asking WHY instead of WHO WHAT WHEN and HOW the focus shifts from merely treating your pain to actually finding the root course of the pain, removing any barriers to healing and assisting the body to do its job as it has done thousands of times before throughout your life.
The next article:
In the next article I will discuss why we feel pain and what pain is.