Getting Rid of Pain
Pain is the body’s way of saying “I need help.” Most of the time, the pain goes away on its own (such as from an injury, a stress headache, or an insect bite), but sometimes the pain is too intense to ignore, or it keeps persisting, and something needs to be done to sort it out. Except for recent injuries, it is important to treat the cause of the problem as well as the pain itself, otherwise the condition will either not heal properly or will keep coming back again.
Pain usually falls into one of two types.
- ‘External’ pain, such as a sprained ankle, or lower back pain, which involves the muscles, joints, ligaments or tendons, and
- ‘Internal’ pain, such as period pain, digestive conditions, gallstones, etc.
All external pain is caused by
- An obvious injury
- Poor alignment of the structure of the body
- Old injuries not healing correctly
- Degeneration (including arthritis)
or a combination of these. For example, lower back pain can come on suddenly or gradually, but it is almost always caused by a gradual misalignment of the ‘frame’ of the body, due to
- Poor posture
- Old injuries
- Too much of the same movement, such as turning in one direction, or exercising some muscles at the gym and not others
- Congested or irritated organs, causing the muscles over them to tighten up (this is very common with the liver)
Once the body is out of alignment, it causes a lot of strain on the joints (especially the ones in the spine), and the muscles in the area tighten up to try and keep everything stable, making the area more stiff and rigid. The tight muscles restrict the blood flow, cutting down the oxygen and nutrients into the area, and causing wastes and toxins to build up. This makes the muscles even more stressed, so they are much more likely to spasm or become damaged. If this continues for too long, the joints themselves start to deteriorate, causing arthritis or disc problems.
Because the frame of the body is a flexible structure, a distortion in one part will affect other areas as well. Imagine that you have a sore foot or ankle, and stand up with all of your weight on the other foot- you will notice that the position of your hips and your shoulders changes as your body tries to maintain your balance. Or if you stand up and gradually twist, you will likely feel strain developing in your back, one of your knees, or one of your shoulders. (We find that most knee problems are caused by a misalignment of the foot or the hips, and carpel tunnel syndrome is almost always caused by a problem in the neck or shoulder.)
If the external pain is caused by a recent accident, the treatment is fairly simple- reduce the pain, reduce the inflammation, and speed up the healing.
If the pain has been there for a while, or is not caused by an accident, then getting the alignment correct again is the key. However, it is also very important to
- check for and treat any inflammation
- loosen the tight muscles causing the distortion of the frame of the body, and keeping it distorted
- improve the blood flow in the area, to allow the muscles to relax more easily and to speed up the healing of any damaged tissues
- check for and treat any underlying causes of the misalignment, such as a congested liver
- treat any degeneration, such as arthritis
Both Acupuncture and structural alignment remedial massage may be of assistance in treating back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, and other musculoskeletal problems, and we have highly experienced therapists at our clinic. If you would like to find out if one or both of these therapies would be effective for you, please book in for a free assessment. (A combination of acupuncture and massage may be the most effective approach, and acupuncture is especially good when inflammation is involved.)
Please note that if you don’t have any pain, that doesn’t mean your alignment is good! It is very rare to find someone that doesn’t have some structural irregularity, however the problem may not be bad enough to be causing you pain just yet. So rather than stop having treatment when the pain stops, it is best to complete the course of treatment so that your alignment is properly corrected, and the condition is much less likely to keep coming back again.
Some internal pain has an obvious cause, such as endometriosis or sinus problems. However, we often encounter internal pain that doctors are unable to find a cause for. (This is particularly common when digestive problems are causing the pain.) In these cases, we provide very careful assessment and diagnosis to establish exactly what is causing the pain, what has caused the problem, and what treatments would likely be effective for it.
(Some conditions, such as shingles, are considered to be internal conditions, as they are caused by what is going on inside the body, even though the symptoms are on the outside. Arthritis and gout are best treated as internal conditions.)
Usually internal pain is caused by:
- The chemistry of the body being incorrect. This can be due to the body being too acidic, by incorrect diet, a lack of key nutrients in the blood, excess stress, or by an accumulation of toxins.
- Things not moving well in the body and getting ‘stuck’, such as gallstones, kidney stones, endometriosis, constipation, etc.
- Something causing irritation or inflammation, such as food intolerances, heartburn or reflux
- An infection (which can be bacterial, viral, fungal or yeast)
If you have an internal pain, acupuncture or naturopathy may be able to assist. Please book in for a free Comprehensive Assessment, so that we can gain a detailed understanding of your condition, and advise you on what therapies are likely to be effective for you. (Please see the offer on the right side of this page.)