Living with chronic pain is physically, emotionally and financially taxing. Often, chronic pain sufferers are left with a lot of unanswered questions regarding their current physical state. Why is this injury seemingly not improving for months or even years post injury? Has something been missed on initial diagnosis?

While there is still so much we do not know about the complexity of the human body, we do know that chronic pain is very different from acute pain. Providing our clients with knowledge is one of the best ways to help ease some of the concerns that come with a chronic pain diagnosis.

Recently, we met as a team to discuss our approach to assisting our clients with chronic pain.

This discussion, as well as our desire to help our clients learn more about their own bodies, has spurred us to share this easy-to-read article by Todd Hargrove: “A Systems Perspective on Chronic Pain.”

Hargrove uses simple analogies to discuss the interaction of our various subsystems, and how the neurological, endocrine, and immune systems are collective players in our perception of pain.

“The basic idea is that chronic pain is often driven by dysregulation of a “supersystem” that coordinates defensive responses to injury” and not by tissue damage (which is the major catalyst in the acute pain experience). Essentially an “injury might perturb the pain alarm system to such a degree that baseline pain sensitivity levels don’t return to normal, even after the injury has healed.”

Hargrove encourages readers and practitioners to target chronic pain on a global level by focusing on diet, improving sleep patterns, incorporating exercise and/or stress reduction technique. This perspective may not give us a magic formula for curing your chronic pain, but it will provide you some insight into the complexity of chronic pain, as well as help you understand the value of taking care of the body as whole!

Are you struggling with chronic pain? We can help. Reach out and let's get you started on the path to a pain-free life.

- Gina Sutter, RMT

Energize Health South

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