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Your pain isn’t the problem.  

If I was to stand on your foot you would feel pain (lump that I am). The pain isn't the problem, it's a symptom that there is a problem. The problem would be that I'm standing on your foot.

Pain is a sign of pressure (as in the example above) or damage (if you cut yourself, or break a bone, it hurts). Any pain that you feel is your body’s way of telling you that there is some pressure, or damage, or a combination of both. To address your pain you can do a number of things. You can visit your GP who might prescribe pain killers, anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxants and, with any luck, your pain will disappear as soon as the medication takes effect. If your desire is to feel less pain then this is the quickest answer, however it does nothing to address the pressure or damage that’s causing the pain. Alternatively you could see a chiropractor.

Chiropractic is about fine-tuning your body to work better, addressing distortions in your body which put pressure on the nerves and other tissues and which interfere with your body’s ability to heal.

Sometimes I can adjust someone once or twice and have a profound effect on the level of pain they are experiencing. Typically this is where that person’s pain is due exclusively, or primarily, to pressure (if I stand on your foot it will hurt, but the pain can go instantly if I remove the pressure by removing my foot). If change doesn't occur this quickly it suggests the presence of pressure and damage which will take time to heal.

Healing is the process whereby you create new cells to replace old cells that are worn out or damaged. The different tissues of the body heal at different rates relative to the blood supply to the tissue (blood carries nutrients which are the building blocks for new cells and oxygen which is the fuel used to turn the nutrients into new cells). Skin and muscle tissue repair quickly because of their plentiful blood supply; ligaments and tendons take a lot longer due to their poor blood supply. When a person takes longer to respond to chiropractic care it reflects that they’ve probably damaged ligaments and tendons rather than their pain being due to either muscle damage or simply adverse pressure.

Each time that I adjust you I’m fine-tuning your body to work better, creating an environment whereby it can be more effective and efficient at, among other things, healing. Typically I expect to start to see objective changes (changes in how your body works) and subjective changes (changes in how you feel) within the first month. The rate at which change is seen (how much and how fast) depends upon:

What’s going on within you

(what adverse pressure exists and how much is there; what tissue is damaged and how much damage is there), 

Whether or not you are doing anything to aggravate the source of your symptoms, and how healthy a lifestyle you already have

(this includes elements such as diet; posture; water intake; exercise variety and quantity),

How well your body is already working

(affecting your body’s ability to heal itself), and 

Appointment frequency
(frequent appointments have a cumulative effect)

Pain isn’t nice. It can be debilitating, energy-sapping, and can greatly affect your quality of life (what you do and how you do it). Because you tell us these things and more we understand that your pain is causing you 'a' problem, but it isn’t 'the' problem and chiropractic’s focus is always to help you deal with that.

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