Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pain Pain Go Away, Come Back Another Day!

As a child there is nothing more freeing and fun than to run around outside doing whatever you wanted to do with not a care in the world. Some kids ride around on their bikes and some love digging int the dirt, whatever you wanted to do it was all yours anytime, was raining! Nothing could thwart a day of fun like pouring rain and while it seemed that we had no control a loving parent or teacher might have introduced you to the only thing you could try. The wonderful song of "Rain, rain, go away, come back another day!" It made sense to us and we would gladly sacrifice a future moment just for the chance to run outside and play today.

Well, a lot of us adults today carry a similar sentiment as we did back then but more often than not it has to do with all too common aches and pains. Anyone who has ever experienced neck pain, back pain, headaches, muscle aches and the like knows all too well how it can impact your quality of life. The apparent freedom to go outside and play, to engage in your active lifestyle or even to get on the floor and play with your children seems to be stripped away. Most people take over the counter drugs and medication, if bad enough prescription strength from your family physician. Time passes, and more things taken, tried and as the person in pain you are left to reduce your normal activities of daily living and the things and experiences you enjoy to almost nothing. Along the way you might even try pleading with your maker, that conversation you might not have had since you were at the bathroom floor in college where you say "if you make me feel better then I will never (insert discretion of choice here) again!" If you have a more light hearted nature to being reduced to asking for help you might have even changed your favorite childhood rain request to an adult pain request and sang "pain, pain, go away, come back another day!"

Whether or not your pain recedes on its own, with the help of over the counter drugs, prescribed medications or even with ice or heat it seems that a majority of people get their wish. The Pain that has gone away has certainly returned another day. But why!? Simply put it is due to the fact that the cause of their problem was never addresses the first time. In my office I put it this way, "if you have a boulder on your foot we could numb you with ice or with drugs and you would stop feeling your pain. However don't you think it would be better to remove the boulder from your foot?" This oversimplified example always makes sense and then we usually get to the job of finding out what is going on to cause a person to have pain and discomfort.

More often than not what goes on with people are levels of compensation and accommodation. Meaning that the body goes into emergency mode to correct for some basic dysfunction and tries to make up for the loss of function. This is great in the short term but stinks for a strategy in the long term. Lets use another analogy. If you put 10 extra pounds of pressure in the right front tire of your car you could barely notice it and it would not have much effect at all. Not over the next 10 miles or 1,000 miles but over 10 or 20 thousand miles you start to wear down unevenly on joints and cause premature wear and tear from only a small amount of difference from side to side. Our bodies work similarly and the small amounts of compensation and accommodation from minor spills, slips, falls, poor posture, crossing the same leg over the other, standing and favoring the same side or leg constantly, carrying children and so on. They can all lead to bio-mechanical unevenness and premature wear and tear that ultimately can lead to discomfort and pain.

Without someone who is a professional to assess you properly, to look at your bio-mechanical compensations, accommodations and faulty patterns you might end up going through a vicious cycle of pain, pain relief, relief and then reoccurance. My suggestion is that the next time you feel like you aren't working right, not feeling like you should even before you have to resort to singing, find a person who specializes in the way the body actually functions, you know, like your chiropractor!

Yours in Health as always


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