There is no such thing as “normal” pain

I hear statements such as “I have normal headaches” or “I have normal back pain” or “I have normal knee pain” almost every day.  I want to wear a t-shirt to work that says “we don’t believe in normal pain”.  Yes, pain is a normal physiological and emotional response.  It’s a normal response to injury or irritation.  Pain tells us that something is going on with the body.  Pain is an like an indicator light on the dashboard of your car that starts flashing so that you pay attention to it.  We need to pay attention to our pain and listen to wait it is saying about the body.  With my office, as with many of my colleagues offices, you will hear us say that we do not treat pain.  This concept can get confusing so let’s look at it like this:  Just as with your car and that annoying, flashing indicator light…if you decide to reset the flashing light so that it doesn’t bother you but you ignore the problem causing the light to flash, eventually something really bad generally happens.  This concept in your body is no different.  If your body is flashing that pain indicator light and you continually “reset the flashing light” by taking over-the-counter or prescription meds that treat the pain without treating the cause of the pain, then something generally bad happens.  That “normal” back pain is later discovered to be moderate of severe arthritic changes.  That “normal” headache is later discovered to be coming from rising blood pressure, low blood sugar, diminished blood flow, vision changes, degenerative changes in the neck or a lot of other underlying issues.  Please don’t ignore your pain.  It isn’t “normal pain”.  One of the things I love about my job are these statements that I hear at least once a week from a patient.  I hear things like “When I came in here my neck was really bothering me.  I didn’t know that after two treatments, my elbow pain that I thought was just normal because of my job would all be gone.”  I hear statements like “I don’t know what’s going on with me but for the past two weeks, I don’t have that normal stomach pain anymore when I eat salad.”  I love it!  So the next time you catch yourself or a loved one say “oh that’s my normal … pain,” ask them (or yourself) why you’ve decided that pain is normal.  Then take a step to get that “normal” pain evaluated by your Doctor of Chiropractic and discover what living without “normal” pain feels like.

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