Most of my patients come to me for help with chronic pain. Sometimes I’m the first doctor they have seen, but more often they have been to their medical doctor for help, and sometimes I’m their last hope. When you are in the thick of it pain makes it is hard to think clearly, to objectively analyze the situation. You just want to be rid of it. You don’t care about philosophical questions such as, “do I treat the symptom or the cause?” I argue it is better to ask the question and make a thoughtful decision as this decision may determine much of your future.
The symptom is pain. Simple right?...Wrong. Pain is so incredibly complex that books are written about it, conferences held, degrees awarded, and specialists devote careers to the study of it. But the treatment of the symptoms of pain generally comes down to chemistry; anti-inflammatories, pain killers, opioids, injections. Maybe these help. Maybe they don’t. If they do reduce symptom might they mask the underlying cause and make it worse in the long run? Something to think about. And what is this underlying cause I speak of?
Essentially, it’s scar tissue. It works like this. Trauma and gravity cause stress on the joints of the spine. Stress causes inflammation of the joints. Inflammation causes scar tissue. Scar tissue causes loss of joint mobility which causes more inflammation (infinite cycle). Inflammation and scar tissue cause nerve stress, pain, and cartilage degeneration, thereby making it a permanent condition (arthritis/disc degeneration/disc herniation). And it goes on from there to other articles for me to write. But, essentially, the cause is scar tissue.
Remember that inflammation/scar tissue is a major player in many chronic diseases: Arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries which causes heart attacks and strokes), endometriosis (pelvic inflammatory disease), cirrhosis (liver disease), COPD (emphysema), are just a few examples of diseases of inflammation/scar tissue. And so is vertebral subluxation of the spine.
So if you have spine-related pain then the cause is most likely scar tissue. From there it’s just a matter of logic. Treat the cause with adjustments to the specific affected joints until they are maximally corrected or otherwise proven too damaged to correct. Then go from there.