Welcome readers! Dr. Bob and the rest of our team hope you’re doing well and living your life to the fullest! If you’re not, and if that may be because of pain or discomfort, we’re ready to give you two words that may change your health outlook: Referred Pain.
Referred pain is whenever you feel pain or discomfort in areas of your body that’s actually originating from a different source elsewhere in your body! Referred pain can be caused by a wide variety of things, but we like to look at it as one of the many ways our bodies communicate with us! A couple examples of referred pain can be a heart attack that triggers pain in your jaw, or an injured organ causing you pain in your back. Isn’t that fascinating?
To put it plainly, referred pain occurs because the nerves within the human body are all connected. The human nervous system is one of the most elaborate, complex aspects of our bodies, and because of it we are all able to experience the world around us in different ways. Your nerves are what help you interact and communicate with your environment, by letting you know when a pot is too hot, when the weather outside is about to turn, or if someone bumps your shoulder as you pass. So how does all of this connect to chiropractic care?
One of the main parts of the nervous system, the central nervous system, is housed by our spines! The human brain and spinal cord are known as the central nervous system and that is essentially the command center for the human body overall. From the central nervous system, your peripheral nervous system and autonomic nervous system connect and tangle throughout the body like winding rivers or roots. These nerves are so delicate and numerous that if the adult nervous system in its entirety was to be stretched out, it could reach up to 100,000 miles!
As the spine protects the spinal cord, there are spaces in between the spines’ vertebrae that allow nerves to reach out around your back. Do you remember our previous blogs and videos discussing subluxations? When a vertebrae presses or pinches down on a nerve, the result can be pain and discomfort and this is known as a subluxation! The purpose of chiropractic care is to correct and reset subluxations by adjusting the vertebrae to get off those pinched nerves.
As nerves spread throughout your body and help communicate all kinds of stimuli back to your brain, your brain communicates ‘back’ by making you feel pain or discomfort when something goes wrong. Have you ever heard about how whenever people get in car accidents they have different levels of pain or injury based on their level of awareness during the incident? It’s truly interesting; people who are aware they are about to be in an accident tend to ‘tense up’ as a response from the brain letting them know the impact is coming, but those who are unaware have no visual stimuli response and their muscles are more relaxed during the accident. The more tension that resided in the muscles before and during the accident, the higher likelihood of experiencing injury! You may not be aware of this, but your nervous system operates at an unprecedented speed. The amount of time it takes for you to see a car coming, realize it’s going to hit you, and either react or prepare for impact can all take place in portions of a second. We wanted to share this with you because not only is it an amazing feature of our bodies, but it explains so much in relation to chiropractic care and maintenance.
As amazing as it is in the many connections and structure, the human body is imperfect and requires regular care and maintenance. Chiropractic care is most effective with regular treatments to keep adjustments’ in place despite our day-to-day activities. Subluxations can occur with even the slightest movements, such as getting in or out of your car, stepping down stairs, reaching up high for something, playing a sport or exercising! The really miraculous thing about the spine and the nervous system though is that if you’re experiencing a subluxation, your nerves may communicate that pinching by ‘enabling’ pain in related parts of your body! Referred pain can be traced along specific nerve paths to specific areas of the body; some nerve paths connect directly to your ankles and feet, whereas others flow down to your wrists and fingertips for example.
Dr. Bob has knowledge about what kind of pain or discomfort displays itself through referred pain based on the different vertebrae in the spine! If you’d like to learn more about a few examples of this, we recommend you follow the link below to one of our recent Facebook videos where Dr.Bob discusses referred pain and how it connects to chiropractic care!
If you’re experiencing discomfort that you’re not able to find a solution for, it may be time to turn to chiropractic care! Dr. Bob would love to see you and help you feel well again; all you have to do is reach out to us to set up your first appointment!
We look forward to helping you heal, and we’ve got your back covered. Take care!
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