by Gabriel Ariciu, DC
Ok, it is not the anxiety post I promised. It is coming though, I promise! Something occurred to me today that I should put a simple explanation of why what we do hurts. There ifs, ans, or buts about it, our treatments hurt. We are often asked “why does it have to hurt? or is there another way? or I came to get out of pain and you are putting me in more pain!” So this post will attempt to answer those questions. I sometimes don’t explain too much unless asked. As much as I enjoy talking about this stuff most people don’t like to sit around and theorize, I know most people are weird. Ok, all joking aside, people want to get out of pain and back to their life. So here goes nothing.
First, the injuries themselves are complex. I will not get into the neurology of what is going on. I want this to be as simple as possible, I know have a close friend laughing right now, saying “how can you ever be that simple?” Well anyways injuries are complex and multifaceted. Injuries fall into a few categories: single event or accident, accumulation of “small” injuries over time leading to a big one (more in a moment), or repetitive poor movement including sedentary lifestyle. So what are “small” injuries? These are injuries that happen unbeknownst to us. We are complex beings leading complex lifestyles with numerous variables. Often there is no pain or it is slight and fleeting. The body compensates and we move right along with our day. These usual heal over time, but sometimes they don’t for various reasons. Some of these reasons include poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, or poor movement patterns. They can accumulate over time leading to a bigger injury, the straw that breaks the camel’s back scenario.
All of these types of injuries are common. That is why we like to see our clients periodically to make sure they are doing well. Life happens and these injuries occur. Regular checkups help prevent these from occurring or lessens the frequency also proper movement, exercise, and diet. But life happens and sometimes there is nothing you could do about it.
So injuries. Why does it hurt so bad and why does it have to hurt to get fixed? First one is simple. You injured the tissue. Tissue damage leads to inflammation, both lead to pain. Pain is the body’s signal telling you to be careful, something is wrong. The small injuries I spoke of earlier are trigger points or fascial adhesions. They are inflamed and angry. That is why they hurt. Associated with these points are inhibited muscles or what I call weak usually in the office. The brain is trying to protect the area of injury. So it tries to isolate the injury and compensate for it. These are the muscles I am testing. When I find a trigger point or fascial adhesion I will rub them out which is painful, like I said these spots are inflamed and angry. Rubbing these points reconfigures them, helps the brain normalize the area and heal it. The muscles go back to normal and body readjusts. So whether the injury happened all at once like spraining your ankle or you don’t know what caused it, it is essentially follows the same principles.
As the doctor I am trying to sort it all out and help the body heal. The pain just comes with it and it is necessary. That is how the body works and it is a marvelous thing. I have tried other ways of approaching it but by far this is the most effective way I have found. I am always concerned with efficiency and effectiveness. I think most people appreciate this. Would you like to wait 4-6 weeks doing other treatments or deal with some discomfort now for often quicker results? We lead busy lives and I want to be able to help people get back to it as quick as possible. No one likes pain, it sucks. But 1 hour of pain is better than weeks of pain, missed work, and so on and so forth. Of course, I am not promising that I can help everyone, that is not what I am saying at all. Neither am I saying that everyone gets better in 1 hour, thought I wish that could be the case. Just wanting to explain why the pain is necessary. The body and the brain seem to respond to the rubbing stimuli very well, it just happens to be painful. If you want to learn more about the why check out my article on Fascia
Well I hope this helps!