Did you know?

Four out of five American adults (80%) experience back pain at sometime during their lives. More than 65 million Americans suffer from back pain every year. Another 13.6 million Americans cannot do routine activities because of their pain. Back pain is one of the most prevalent medical problems in today’s society. 21.6 million Americans routinely take prescription pain pills. Four billion work days are lost annually because of pain.

Understanding Pain

Symptoms in the spine, back and neck can be a result of problems in the bony spine, ligaments connecting the spine, discs between the vertebrae, spinal cord and nerves, and muscles supporting the spine. The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) defines pain as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage. Pain is a message sent along the nerves to alert the brain that something is damaging the body. The brain responds by sending messages to the body to protect.


Acute Pain vs. Chronic Pain

Acute pain is a temporary sensation and will resolve. It is useful since it warns you of sources of harm and tells your body to rest, avoid further injury, or seek treatment to protect itself while it is healing. Fortunately for most of us this type of pain eventually improves and resolves.

Chronic pain is the pain that lasts beyond a reasonable time for an accident, injury or trauma to improve and heal. In general, pain lasting for more than 3 months can be classified as chronic pain and the pain does not serve as a useful warning. Resting or avoiding activity can actually make the chronic pain conditions worse. A vicious cycle can then develop from decreasing physical function and increasing pain. If you live with chronic pain, talk to us about new medical advances, procedures and technology aimed at improving your quality of life.

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