Did you know that not all pain is created equal? Most of us think of pain as a single entity: when you smash your thumb with a hammer, you have pain. When you chip a tooth, you have pain. When you bang your funny bone, you have pain. When you freeze your tongue, you have pain. When your cells become cancerous, you have pain. When you undergo chemotherapy to fight the cancer, you have pain.
These are all scenarios of pain, but all are very different. Different types of body tissue are sending pain signals to the brain via different types of nerves, caused by a wide variety of stimuli and trauma, requiring an even wider variety of responses and healing processes. Yet all are classified under the same heading of "pain".
Part of the problem is that the English language only has one word for pain. Many different ideas get lumped together under that single word. Here is one way to start breaking down the idea of "pain" into different categories: fast pain and slow pain.
Fast pain is felt by your body almost immediately after the cause begins, and signals to your brain that something foreign to the body is quickly destroying your cells. This type of pain is caused by being stuck with a pin, cut, burned, or even shocked with electricity. The purpose of this fast pain is to encourage you to immediately remove yourself from the painful stimulus, whether it be a knife, a hot stove, or a live electrical outlet. This pain travels quickly to the brain, in order to encourage you to react quickly. This type of pain is often described as "sharp" pain.
Slow pain doesn't travel nearly as quickly to your brain, but slowly builds in intensity over time. Slow pain is almost always associated with a slower and more inisidious form of cell destruction: not a quick destruction as being stabbed with a pin, but a slow destruction as when cells slowly cease to function properly. Slow pain is usually caused by a constant or chronic stimulus. This type of pain is normally described as an "ache" or "dull pain". Slow pain actually travels to your brain through a whole different set of nerves than fast pain.
Slow pain and fast pain actually travel to your brain through different sets of nerves, and describe very different problems in the body. For example, if you sprain your ankle, you're more likely to experience "sharp" pain. However, if you have a pebble in your shoe that is constantly compressing your foot over time and creates an open sore, you'll be more likely to experience "dull" pain.
The difference in the types of pain can be very valuable for a doctor when diagnosing your condition. Always be sure to tell your Peoria chiropractor how your pain feels, because the type of pain you feel may be key to discovering exactly what is wrong.
Nobody likes it. Everybody fights it. Wouldn't it be nice to live without it?
There is a fairly rare condition called "congenital insensitivity to pain" in which a person quite literally never feels pain. In these individuals, their nerves may not transmit the pain, or their brains may not interpret the pain signals correctly. Doesn't that sound like a wonderful world? A world where none of your actions or activities will be hindered because of that piercing physical sensation we call pain?
Unfortunately, it turns out that congenital insensitivity to pain is a terrible and horrifying disease. Ask Roberto. Ask Gabby. Ask Ashlyn. The reason is very simple: pain is a signal that something is not right in your body. It signals you to stop doing whatever is hurting your body. It signals you to refuel your body when necessary. It signals you when tissues are being destroyed.
If you had no pain, you wouldn't know to remove your hand from the hot stove. This could cause a life-threatening burn.
If you had no pain, you wouldn't know that you had just broken your ankle while playing basketball. And you might continue to play, causing further injury and soft tissue damage.
If you had no pain, you wouldn't know where the apple stopped and your fingers began. This could cause serious hand damage when slicing fruit and vegetables.
If you had no pain, you would never shift your body from one uncomfortable position to a more comfortable position. This could cause chronic ligament damage.
If you had no pain, you would never know when your stomach acid is splashing on the lower lining of your esophagus. This could cause chronic esophagitis and lead to life-threatening complications.
If you had no pain, you would never know that your appendix is bursting. This could also be life-threatening.
The examples are nearly endless. Pain is our first defense, our early-warning system against destruction and death. Why then do we Americans spend about $20 billion a year on pain medications? It's almost as though we think the pain is the problem: "If only I didn't have pain, then I could do [insert activity here]."
But the pain is not the problem... In fact, pain is the stimulus that is supposed to help us find the solution. The solution is not to turn off the pain. The solution is to hunt and find the cause of the problem. We are supposed to wonder what is causing the pain. We are supposed to be curious about the source of the tissue damage. We are supposed to remove ourselves from danger. But the more we turn off the pain signals, the more danger we invite.
Living with pain is a very difficult thing, and sometimes pain medication is the only solution. In most cases, however, the pain is useful, because it spurs us on to find help.
Most people who first come to Johnson Family Chiropractic come because they have listened to their pain. Patients tend to stay at Johnson Family Chiropractic because they appreciate the health-giving support that we provide. If your pain is telling you to do something about it, then consider calling your local Peoria chiropractor to see if Johnson Family Chiropractic is right for you.
This title might not be the best question. A better question might be: "Can ANYTHING help fibromyalgia?"
Fibromyalgia (and its cousin Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) can be very difficult to cure because its cause is still unknown. Please read the Johnson Family Chiropractic Fibromyalgia page for more information.
The key to treating fibromyalgia is personal, empathetic, individual health care. One-on-one care is especially important since no one therapy has been proven more effective than any other therapy for the treatment of fibromyalgia. This means that a therapy that may work wonders for one person may not help another. Fibromyalgia demands flexibility in treatment.
Believe it or not, the best research-supported therapy for fibromyalgia relief is exercise! Although exercise may sound painful at first for a person with sore muscles and joints, clinical studies of low-impact exercise (like an exercise bicycle) have been shown to help nearly a third of fibromyalgia patients.
Since proper motion seems to be essential in the joints of fibromyalgia patients (and, indeed, with everybody), the low-force chiropractic adjustment is an excellent way to restore proper motion to spinal and extremity joints. The Activator instrument is the most popular low-force adjusting instrument in the world, and for good reason. The soft
rubber tip provides as gentle a chiropractic experience as possible.
We are as eager as you are to find a solution or cure for everyone with fibromyalgia! Until a cure is found, the personalized care you'll find at Johnson Family Chiropractic may be your best path to health. Contact your Peoria chiropractor today!
Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine curves and contorts in abnormal directions. Most people's first impressions of scoliosis comes from scoliosis screening tests in grade school. You are told to bend over while a doctor examines the curvature of your back, and then you're told whether you are likely to have scoliosis. But does scoliosis affect you?
Scoliosis can be a serious condition for three main reasons: the spinal cord can get tugged, stretched, or twisted, causing problems in the nervous system; the heart and lungs, which are encased in the ribs, can become deformed or malformed due to the pressures put on them; and pain and physical deformity can develop in severe cases.
If your scoliosis has not progressed beyond the conservative management range (generally regarded as scoliotic curves less than 40 degrees), you may benefit from chiropractic care. If you have already reached the age of skeletal maturity (which varies, but generally occurs prior to age 18), it is even possible that through chiropractic management your curves will lessen in severity. But even if you are already skeletally mature, you may find relief from your pain through chiropractic care.
I have treated multiple patients with scoliosis, and each have reported decreased pain and increased ability to remain active in their chosen hobbies. I am always encouraged to see these patients feeling better, knowing that without chiropractic care they would still be in pain. Since the gentle and safe Activator Methods technique is used at Johnson Family Chiropractic, each patient knows that their treatments will not cause additional pain.
Chiropractic can be effective for scoliosis for several reasons. The additional motion that the chiropractic adjustment provides to the spinal joints allows the spine to be flexible instead of tightening up in a abnormal position. Tight muscles which pull the bones out of position are relaxed. And there are several other complex theories of why chiropractic may help scoliosis. Several groundbreaking research studies on scoliosis have now shown that chiropractic can be effective in treating or helping to treat scoliosis.
If you are curious to learn more about chiropractic and scoliosis, feel free to contact a chiropractor in Peoria to set up a consultation or examination.
Plantar fasciitis affects athletes and non-athletes alike. It is the inflammation of the fibrous bands at the bottom of the foot, and causes pain any time that inflamed band is further stretched or moved. The pain of plantar fasciitis is particularly fierce during your first step in the morning: your foot has rested and contracted all night long, then is suddenly and forcibly spread against the floor, irritating the inflamed fascia.Anyone may acquire plantar fasciitis, though it tends to be seen in active men and women between the ages of 40-70. In most people, this condition will take some time to resolve, simply because it is impossible to completely rest the bottom of the foot while healing. It is also possible that this condition will go away on its own: but if it doesn't, chiropractic care may have a non-invasive solution for your heel pain.
Plantar fasciitis can be caused by foot rotation or foot bone misalignment. If this is the cause, the gentle and quick Activator Methods chiropractic adjustment may just be what you need in order to properly reestablish the relationship of bones, muscles, and fascia of the foot.
At Johnson Family Chiropractic of Peoria, we have also seen several cases of plantar fasciitis resolve with the help of additional therapies. Cold laser therapy has been used in each of these cases. Since the plantar fascia does not have an abundant blood supply to bring nutrients to the inflamed tissue, the light of the cold laser can supply energy directly to the healing cells which speeds up the recovery time. Underwater ultrasound therapy has also been shown to be effective in many cases.
You may also require orthotics, taping, or stretching. There are some specific exercises and movements that you can do to ensure that your foot remains strong during your healing from this condition. Ask Dr. Johnson about these specific movements and rehabilitation, or contact us today to schedule a consultation with a friendly Peoria chiropractor.
Unless otherwise attributed, all content is written by Kyle Johnson, DC, of Johnson Family Chiropractic of Peoria.
All images used are under Creative Commons license.
Although every effort has been made to provide an accurate description of our chiropractic care and its benefits, the information given on this website and blog is not intended to be, nor should it be interpreted as, medical advice for any condition.
If you have any questions regarding your condition, you should seek the help of Dr. Johnson in person, so that he may properly assess your condition.
This blog is provided by Johnson Family Chiropractic of Peoria, PC, proudly located in Peoria, IL.