Posts Tagged: pain

Surrey Pain & Wellness Chiropractic – Wellness Series Part 3 of 3

Is wellness physical health?  Quality of life?  Freedom from pain?

Health and wellness is all of these things.  Doctors and scientists have studied the lifestyles and genetics of people from different periods in history, from different cultures and environments to help understand health and longevity. This month the Surrey Pain & Wellness Chiropractic blog is focusing on wellness – welcome to part three of this three part series, a focus on freedom from pain.

 

Freedom from Pain

Pain.  No one needs to describe what it feels like – we can all identify with it, whether it’s the intense sensation of a scrape, burn or injury or something much more serious.

Even if you don’t know the cause of your pain, pain tells us that something in our body isn’t right.  So do you visit the doctor? The chiropractor?  Physiotherapist or massage therapist?  Take medication? Vitamins?  All or none of the above?

When pain becomes chronic – generally lasting at least three months, it becomes something else entirely.    The physical and emotional core is stressed, fatigued and their day-to-day living is affected.  Chronic pain can undermines a person’s well-being,  productivity and even of the essence of who they are, as the focus of each day is on how to eradicate the pain and trying all of the above remedies, and many others.

Chronic pain is complex in that it can differ tremendously – even between individuals  who suffer from the exact same injury or disease.   This can be because of a co-existing condition or injury or many other environmental or psychological factors that must be factored into how an individual perceives and experiences pain.

Diagnosing Chronic Pain

There is no way to measure how pain varies between individuals, but first and foremost, health care providers must take the patient’s description and feedback into account.   This is probably more important than what the medical books suggest a patient could or should be feeling for any condition.

A full physical examination can provide more insight into the cause of chronic pain.  However, more detailed and technical examinations will likely be made and may include x-ray, MRI, EEG, blood tests, etc.

Managing & Treating Chronic Pain

The goal of pain management is to improve the day-to-day function and quality of life for the patient, and as mentioned that varies from person to person.

Whatever treatment regime is it is important to remember that chronic pain is treatable, and may require a combination of many approaches, such as physical activity, relaxation, nutrition and access to health care.  Different health care providers will also recommend different approaches or courses of treatment.  While it is important for patients who suffer from chronic pain to explore a range of different health care providers, it is always best to be up front with each as to what kinds of treatments, medications etc. have been used in the past.  Each patient should document this not only to share with other health care providers, but as a reference for themselves and a tool for making decisions on what is working and what is not.

Though chronic pain is an individual and personal health issue – it is also a major issue for public health, as well as  family, friends, employers and health care providers who are affected and need to give ongoing support for those who suffer from the physical as well as the emotional impact of chronic pain.

Chiropractic treatments can be useful in reducing  many kinds of pain, and may be most effective with chronic pain, since  pain  impacts the structure and function of the body – how you move, your posture and the quality of sleep you have.  Even organic disease causes reactions in the body’s skeletal and muscular functioning that can increase the level of pain in the body overall.

Surrey Pain & Wellness Chiropractic Clinic welcomes feedback and insight for those who have suffered with chronic pain, whether or not chiropractic is a part of your current or ongoing recovery from chronic pain.

If you currently suffer from chronic pain or know someone who does, refer them to Surrey Pain & Wellness Clinic for a consultation – our goal is to let the healing begin.  604.507.9929.

 

 

Self-Assessment of Back Pain | Surrey Pain & Wellness | Chiropractors

Is it a dull ache or intense pain?  Pain with movement or at rest?  Do you rush to the doctor or can you stay home and relax?

Often the cause of your back pain is obvious, and pain will occur within 24 hours of some irregular movement or motion such as:

  • Lifting a heavy object
  • Lifting from an awkward position
  • Falling, or rapid twists, jerks or motions (as in a motor vehicle accident)

If you have injured yourself in a motor vehicle or work place accident, it is best to seek medical advice immediately.

However, if you develop back pain after a simple strain or stumble, it may not be necessary to rush to the doctor immediately.  An x-ray examination in such cases would likely not be ordered unless pain persists for several weeks or if a more serious injury or condition is suspected.

If your back pain seems to have occurred “out of nowhere” or you have minor pain you attribute to a simple strain, there are some preliminary assessments that may be helpful in helping you to decide what the problem is and what type of treatment would be most helpful.

If bending over or getting out of bed in the morning, getting up from a chair after a long period of sitting are the primary concern, and there has been no severe trauma, rest will usually ease the pain within a few days.

Pain that occurs when the sciatic nerve is stretched less than 60 degrees when doing the SLR test is a sign that a spinal nerve is pinched

Straight Leg Test for Sciatic Nerve Pain

Pinched spinal nerves may occur at any level in the spinal column, from the neck to the buttocks. If the pinched nerve causes pain to radiate down one leg, it may actually interfere with forward movement of the leg.  To test for sciatic nerve involvement, lie on your back with straight legs.  Have someone lift the affected leg as far as possible with a hand cupped under the ankle and your leg completely relaxed.  If there is a pinched nerve in the lower spine, you will probably begin to feel pain with less than 60 degrees of straight leg raising.  The most common cause is a herniated disc.

Severe pain accompanied by numbness or tingling in the affected thigh or leg can be a sign that a nerve is undergoing damage which, if uncorrected will result in weakness and loss of sensation in the muscles and skin supplied by the affected nerve.

There are three simple tests to help determine whether you have a pinched or damaged nerve and where the problem might be located:

Heel walk: Try walking on your heels, keeping the forepart of both feet OFF the floor.  If you are unable to keep one of your feet from dropping flat to the floor, you might have nerve damage caused by an L4 or L5 herniated disc.

Toe walk: Try walking on your toes, keeping the heels of both feet off the floor.  If the heel of one foot falls to the floor and you are unable to walk on your toes, you may have nerve damage due to an L5 disc herniation.  If you discover weakness in your foot or leg, you should see a doctor.

Squat Test: Hold onto a bedpost or railing and squat halfway down, first favouring one leg and then the other.  If one of your thighs are weak, you may have nerve damage from a disc herniation in the upper back.

The knee reflex can be tested by tapping just blow the kneecap with the edge of a thin book.  Weakness of a thigh muscle or absence of a knee reflex indicate you SHOULD get to a doctor.

Back pain caused by a kidney stone is usually severe.   Unlike a mechanical-type problem, where movement causes pain, the pain caused by a kidney stone will usually keep you from attempting movement of any kind.   Kidney pain usually radiates into the groin and the inside of the thigh on the side of the stone is often accompanied by nausea and a cold sweat.  If you suspect you may have a kidney stone, contact your doctor to find out whether you should go to the office or to a hospital emergency room.