The mystery of chronic pain

February 11, 2014 by
Filed under: Research, Spinewave Bulletin 

ted-chronic-pain-chiropracticThe spine and nervous system is not a Lego set.

Chronic pain is clinically defined as pain that persists for more than 3 months, or beyond expected healing periods. 3 months is not a long time. Have pain for more than 3 months and one is already behind the 8-ball.

Many people who look to start treating their pain have been in pain much longer than this – most often years – and have misguided expectations around the biology of healing. This is because the pain is no longer just the symptom.

Chronic pain is completely different to acute pain. Changes occur to the nervous system. If the nervous system is continuously bombarded with pain signals for months or years, the nervous system will start to modify more permanently. This makes the job of correcting the problem even greater. Changes occur at the level of the spinal cord, brain and nerve endings (receptors).

The following TED talk illustrates pictorially how different cells start to change under the influence of chronic pain and why a multifaceted approach to dealing with the problem is imperative. Click here for more concepts in chronic pain.

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