As Chiropractors, most patients begin their journey to our office for one reason: pain. Pain is no fun! Not surprisingly, the issue is very frequently pain generating from the spine and back. In fact, research population based studies have found that 80% of Americans will experience severe low back pain at least once in their life. At the same time, it's not unusual for us to find that there is more going on than back pain. For example, we once had a woman come to our office with very severe low back pain, who had a secondary complaint of acute lower right stomach discomfort. Based on our detailed differential evaluation, we immediately had her sent to the hospital. She was having appendicitis, and immediately went in for surgical removal of the appendix. Another time a regular patient came in saying "My back is killing me, I need an adjustment right away." However, upon evaluation of her pain patterns, body signals, and severity of symptoms we determined that she was in fact having a heart attack. She was transported to the E.R. and made a full recovery.
You see, pain is often complicated. Our bodies have many different types of nerve fibers that translate pain to our brain differently depending on the origin. If you have been to our office, we always ask you to describe the type of pain you are feeling. Is it sharp and shooting? Is it dull and achey? What about a burning sensation, or numbness and tingling? Perhaps your headache is just a constant ache in the back of your head, or a deep pounding ache behind your eye? Each of these descriptions lead to different sources of pain, which lead to different diagnoses, which lead to different courses of treatment.
We perform a very precise, detailed history and evaluation for each patient to find the root cause of pain. We start from the spine and work our way out, looking at the spine to determine if there is any interruption within the nervous system. Spinal misalignment can cause pressure to be placed on the nerves that innervate every muscle, joint, and organ system of the body. Our job is to determine if the pain is emanating from the spine, the muscles, the nervous system, or even an issue with the internal organs (such as the appendicitis case). In part 2 of this blog entry we will discuss in more detail each type of pain signal and what the cause is. Stay Tuned!
If you are experiencing pain, you should not have to live with it. At Staker Chiropractic Center our goal is to help you get out of pain and get you back doing the things that you love. Please come in to see us so we can speak with you, evaluate your pain, and discuss with you exactly where the pain is coming from and how we can help you resolve it.