This article focuses on physical problems that need physical treatment and the dangers of treating them incorrectly.
Chemicals, drugs, injections, pills, and even diet are all part of what’s considered a chemical approach. Generally speaking, when you put something in your mouth or your body, you hope that the substance has the desired effect. Your nervous system sends signals in between each nerve and that’s a chemical process. Sometimes, a chemical solution can modulate or reduce symptoms. When you ingest a medication for pain management, it breaks down in your stomach, goes through your intestines, into your bloodstream, and finally gets to your backache, neckache or headache.
Hopefully, you feel a little better.
The problem is, eventually, that chemical gets broken down and wears off. Over-the-counter and prescribed medications are time-limited. Whether it’s every four to eight hours or six to twelve hours, managing your pain with a chemical that lasts less than a day has an extremely limited value. If you take pain medicine, you haven’t improved your health. You haven’t improved your capacity.
Multiple studies have shown have that pain medicine actually makes you worse
Most pain in the musculoskeletal system (muscles, tendons, nerves, ligaments and discs) is a symptom being produced because there is a physical problem. A physical source of overload that’s happening somewhere. Musculoskeletal overload is caused by poor posture, stooping, lifting, carrying loads, or multiple repetitions of the same movement patterns. After a while muscles become overused, which creates tension, pain and inflammation. When you identify physical deficit and apply a physical treatment to restore physical function, you’re healthier.
Your body works best when you use it the correct amount and allow it to recover, which is why we sleep. If you exercise semi-regularly, your body needs those load recovery cycles. If you do too much or push too hard and don’t take the time to recover, that will create problems that require treatment. For example, if you overuse a muscle and it stays contracted, that causes fibrosis in the muscle, so the muscle is not healthy anymore. No matter how much you rest at this point, it’s not going to recover. Treatment at Brady Back Institute breaks down fibrosis and restores the normal range of motion and strength of muscle. That’s a really good thing because it treats the problem, the source of the pain.
Trying to remedy what is ultimately a physical problem with a “chemical solution” doesn’t work because it’s not a solution. Certainly, it is less expensive to go to the drugstore and grab some pain medicine. It seems easy enough and people are conditioned to think it’s a solution. For those suffering from chronic pain, they know better than anyone that it isn’t. Whether eaten or injected, the point of putting a chemical (pain medicine) in your body, is to try to affect your pain system. The medicine shuts off the signals your nerves are trying to send. Although it can make you feel better, it doesn’t solve the problem. That’s based on this fundamental concept that pain is your body’s warning system.
You can sit in the weirdest postures for as long as your brain tells it to and your body will stay put. The only protective mechanisms your body has is to send signals saying, ‘Wait a minute, I don’t want to do this because you’re ruining me’, that’s where the pain comes in. If your smoke detector goes off, you don’t pull the batteries out. You put out the fire. Pain is your body’s alarm telling you that something is wrong. If you take pain medicine and turn the pain off without solving the problem, you will do more of the thing that’s harming you, circumventing the whole purpose of having pain.
Any chemical treatment when you have a physical problem is just blocking that signal. Although that may be more comfortable, it allows you to continue to do the thing that your body’s trying to warn you not to do. That’s what puts you in big trouble. If your body’s telling you it hurts to sit in a normal posture for more than 10 minutes that means sitting is overloading a damaged tissue in your body. Your body’s trying to say, ‘get up and move!’ To truly eliminate that pain, you need to do what your body is saying or seek treatment so that you can get healthy enough to sit for longer. That is the physical problem requires physical treatment.
We’ve all been there: a big day or week or month planned and it seems easier to take some medication and push through the pain that’s been bothering you for awhile. What you might not realize is the damage that’s actually being done to the body by blocking the pain that’s telling you there’s something wrong. There isn’t a medication or a chemical out there that reduces or treats fibrosis or disc degeneration or nerve entrapment. However, there is a physical, comprehensive treatment here at Brady Back Institute. We treat these problems and more and are happy to get you on the right track to a pain-free and healthy body.
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Content by Dr. William Brady, edited by Pearl Carter
If you have a physical problem and you’ve applied chemical treatment, the physical problem will often get worse. Why? Two reasons:
- You’re not treating the problem, so nothing is healing. The reason why people have chronic pain is that instead of having a small injury that needs rest to recover and repair, like the sprained ankle example: if you’re young and you sprained your ankle and you take it easy for a couple of weeks, you’re better.
- You’re often loading it more because you’re not receiving the pain signals telling you not to. In a long-term context, that might be sitting in a poor posture for decades. That might be a repetitive motion or exercising too much, as opposed to too little, etc.