RE­VEAL THE CUL­PRIT

Alternative Medicine - - News - BY YA-LING LIOU, DC

Chronic pain is as mys­te­ri­ous as it is com­mon. Th­ese tips will help you find the cul­prit be­hind the achy crime tak­ing place in your body.

In the United States, ev­ery­day aches and pains plague nearly one fifth of adults. When th­ese burn­ing pains or stab­bing pinches seem­ingly come from out of the blue, they are your body’s way of telling you that you need to pay more at­ten­tion.

to free your­self from ev­ery­day pains, start iden­ti­fy­ing the cul­prits through learn­ing to read the clues. Once you’ve ruled out any se­ri­ous un­der­ly­ing causes through blood tests, MRIs, or X-rays, do your own de­tec­tive work to trace the pain back to its trig­ger point. In­ves­ti­gate whether the cause is me­chan­i­cal, chem­i­cal, emo­tional—or some com­bi­na­tion of the three.

Pain that you’ve never ex­pe­ri­enced be­fore can be men­ac­ing. The fear and stress from the un­known can ag­gra­vate your pain. Fol­low th­ese five steps to help con­trol your pain:

1. ASK YOUR­SELF: “WHAT AM I DO­ING WHEN I NO­TICE THE PAIN BOTH­ER­ING ME THE MOST?”

No, this doesn’t mean you’re do­ing some­thing wrong nec­es­sar­ily. So much of com­mon daily life is,

by na­ture, struc­turally, chem­i­cally, and emo­tion­ally un­bal­anc­ing. It’s im­pos­si­ble to pre­emp­tively an­tic­i­pate ev­ery pain trig­ger.

But if you can iden­tify ac­tiv­i­ties or sit­u­a­tions that make your pain worse, then you can take com­fort in the re­al­iza­tion that you are very much in con­trol of your pain. This means you can be sure that there’s a way for you to re­solve it. Know­ing what makes your pain worse will give you a place to start trou­bleshoot­ing how to make it bet­ter. That’s some­thing you can work with!

2. BABY YOUR­SELF. DO NOT “SUCK IT UP, BUT­TER­CUP.”

Take note of any spe­cific po­si­tion or ac­tion that may be as­so­ci­ated with your pain. This is a sure sign that you’re deal­ing pri­mar­ily with a me­chan­i­cal trig­ger. Once you iden­tify the struc­tural dy­nam­ics that make your pain worse, it’s im­por­tant to give your­self per­mis­sion to tem­po­rar­ily avoid them un­til your body heals or you find a way to rea­son­ably mod­ify those sit­u­a­tions.

Avoid­ing pain has a real neu­ro­bio­chem­i­cal pay­off. Oth­er­wise, by pow­er­ing through it, you can teach your brain to get good at be­ing in pain. This is where chronic pain starts—when you try to ig­nore it.

3. TRACK WHAT TIME OF DAY YOU FEEL THE WORST.

For ex­am­ple, if you wake up with more pain than you went to sleep with, then you might be deal­ing with a build-up of in­flam­ma­tory flu­ids through the rel­a­tive in­ac­tiv­ity of the night. This means that no mat­ter how long the pain has been both­er­ing you, you will ben­e­fit from ad­dress­ing the in­flam­ma­tion. Go get the ice pack.

4. CON­SIDER ANY RE­CENT CHANGES IN YOUR DI­GES­TIVE SYS­TEM.

You might be sur­prised how of­ten I find out that the per­son lying on my treat­ment ta­ble for help with lower or mid-back pain is also strug­gling with one or more of a va­ri­ety of in­testi­nal up­sets, like heart­burn, di­ar­rhea, con­sti­pa­tion, or bloat­ing. Th­ese con­di­tions point to ev­i­dence that

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