Back Pain is a Pain in the...
Almost all adults I’ve come in contact with (including myself) have experienced back pain in one form or another.
Typically, the process to heal back pain and especially chronic back pain is to see a doctor, have an MRI, and go through a treatment process that usually includes rehabilitation therapy, massages, injections, or multiple surgeries to treat the tissue damage (sometimes labeled as degenerative discs, herniated discs, bone spurs, etc.).
Sometimes this process works, but most of the time there is still some level of pain that is either never corrected, or creeps back up over time.
The typical process is made to treat the back as the site of the pain, but what if the site of the pain isn’t the back?
An essay published by Author Cathryn Jakobsen Ramin considers a new working hypothesis that explains that unidentifiable, chronic back pain is not always tissue damage. Instead, new research shows the source of the pain may be the central nervous system and specifically, the brain.
A study of spinal imaging of patients with and without chronic back pain concluded that there was no difference in the physical look of the back including tissues and bones. All of the typical “issues” cited as needing surgeries, injections and more are seen in everyone. If the backs look the same, then where should we be looking to find the pain and resolve it? The brain.
It is found that people with chronic pain actually process pain differently in the brain. Those with five or more years of pain lost 5-11% more grey matter density than those without chronic pain. Specifically, the grey matter is lost in the parts of the brain that dictate coping mechanisms causing a more pessimistic outlook when it comes to ability to recover and respond to treatments.
Although it may seem like changing the mechanism of your brain is impossible, it’s not. Just as the pain affected the brain and changed the matter over time, with patience and a little proprioceptive deep tendon reflexology (P-DTR), we can reverse those affects and return the brain and the back to the proper, pain-free state.
P-DTR works to stimulate the central nervous system by testing signal receptors with the goal of interrupting the signals. As the brain sends the signal that there is pain to a certain site in the back, we want to interrupt that signal and weaken it, ultimately to the point of no pain.
Unlike rehabilitation, injections, and especially surgeries, P-DTR is not pain management, it is pain elimination through the disruption of brain signals and as we now know, the brain is the source of chronic pain.