Why Conventional Medicine Can’t Treat Chronic Pain
Chronic Pain is not a medical problem; it’s in a class all its own.
Pain is not a medical problem; it is in a class all its own. Every case is different, the level of severity, the duration, the symptoms while requiring experts to devote their lives to understand and treat it. Pain is closer to depression or anxiety than it is cancer or heart disease. Chronic pain is very hard to treat due to its subjectivity, lack of diagnosable parameters, and the brain’s ability to focus and intensify the pain, which is why we are failing. We must change how pain is treated. Moving from alleviating symptoms to addressing the root cause, but first, that requires better understanding on both ends of the spectrum, from practitioner to patient.
Keep it simple stupid.
Let’s face it; we humans are a bit arrogant. Through our arrogance and ego, we believe we can outsmart millions of years of natural evolution with a few hundred years of experience. We have an answer for everything. Does your back hurt? Here’s a new pill that didn’t exist five years ago. That didn’t work? Okay, here’s a shot directly into your back. Still not better? Okay, let’s slice you open and cut some stuff out of the way. That didn’t work!? Lets try another surgery….we must stop this madness. Getting surgery for most pain is like getting a lobotomy for depression, there are more practical options.
We are trying to fit the round peg of pain into the square hole of medicine. No matter how hard we jam it in, it’s not working, while shattering a lot of peoples lives in the process.
Think of the doctor’s office as a fast-food restaurant. Your pain is the issue you’re trying to treat, and the cashier is the doctor ready to match your pain to an item on the menu. Are you feeling that XL NSAID Combo or a Slice and Dice with a side salad? The doctor’s office has become customer service. We come in with a problem we want fixed and the doctor tries to fit a menu item with our issue. Infections and diseases work this way, pain does not. The doctor is going to listen to your symptoms, match a treatment option and then move on to the next customer, leaving you with a little white bag and alot of questions.
What if that conversation with our physician instead of leading to a treatment option it started with a movement and posture screen? What if in that initial visit they find that your QL muscles are locked up and your Psoas is weak, likely causing your low back and/or hip pain. This is usually the case in physical therapy if you are one of the lucky ones who are prescribed it, instead of chiropractic adjustments. The problem here is that PT appointments have horrendous follow through and completion rates. They are incredibly inconvenient, and 70% of people prescribed PT do not complete their full course of care.
The road less traveled.
Movement be thy medicine, no one can move you, but you.
“Illness is looked as physiology gone wrong, I assert here that in most cases, our physiology is responding exactly as it should to they types of movement we have been inputting” -Katy Bowman
The body adapts, and if you force your body to change too quickly it will compensate, compensation leads to imbalances, which leads to dysfunction and ultimately pain. We are forcing our bodies to adapt to a sedentary lifestyle and they are fighting back with pain and even death! As the World Health Organization now considers sedentary lifestyle as the 4th leading cause of death worldwide.
We are sitting more, moving less, and our bodies are trying to adapt. Our padded shoes shorten our heel chords, sitting weakens our hip flexors and glutes, while our heads are falling forward ogling blue screens. No different than the dorsal fin of a once wild orca placed in captivity, our bodies are letting the things needed for normal human survival go, and it is causing us pain.
How do we remedy this? By strengthening the weakening muscles through correct use. Notice how that doesn’t mention shots, acupuncture, a gimmicky product or a supplement. No, you need to do one thing, USE the muscles that are weak to strengthen yourself back into alignment. You are literally too weak to hold yourself in a good position, fix it, and the pain will diminish.
Why am I hearing about this on the website of a goofy Instagram Page?
Common Sense Isn’t So Common Anymore
Experts, egos, establishments. Whatever the reason, there is a severe disconnect between what is needed to solve chronic pain and what is practiced. We need a systemic and functional approach that works with the entire body from the ground up. As Plato stated: the part can’t be well unless the whole is well. Your shoulder is going to hurt until you fix the rib cage position which is dictated by the position of the pelvis. If you wake up every morning expecting back pain, well that’s what you’re going to receive. Your body can’t heal without the mind, and the mind cant overcome pain unless progress is made at some point.
We are not the first, nor the last to raise awareness for this issue, but we certainly are the most entertaining!
The body is a system, yet medicine still focuses on isolation; treating symptoms instead of addressing the root causes of the problem. If you are developing hip pain, your hip isn’t going bad; it should last you 100 years. You’re moving so poorly you’re tossing a wrench in the gear and you’re going to have to work to dislodge to get that well-oiled machinery moving again.
If all you have is a hammer, everything is a nail.
A hip surgeon says surgery is the cure. A massage therapist says massage will fix your hip. While usually, neither of them are focused on restoring proper biomechanics back to your hip in the first place because they are too focused on their specialty. Chronic Pain Cycle Infographic
There is an epidemic of chronic pain for a reason; it has no definitive cure. Going to your physician to be cured is like going to a fast-food restaurant in the hopes of a healthy meal, good luck. If you want to rid your body of chronic pains and aches, you’re going to have to do some work. You’re going to have to get the groceries, understand the recipe, make a mess and clean it up, fixing your body is no different than fixing that meal. Its a lot of work, but we all know a meal we’ve cooked ourselves just tastes better knowing we put in the work….unless you really messed up the recipe, and if so tomorrow’s another day!
Movement Not Medicine
Pain won’t be cured by medicine, think about it, we only hear words like relief, treatment, or management. They overpromise and under deliver. The only thing you should put your time and resources into is you, not some adjustment or procedure.
Muscular pain, nerve pain, chronic pain, whatever label you choose, understanding that these are just symptoms of a root problem. All medicine is equipped to do is alleviate these symptoms. In order to eliminate the symptoms, you must fix the root problem. So what will it be? Are you going to go down the fast-food medicine and surgery route, or are you going to pull a recipe offline and hit the grocery store?
The choice is yours!
Get with the program and begin the process of learning how to strengthen your body into alignment today!
About the Author
David Schroer is a certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist. At the age of 21 a serious car accident left him with 3 disc herniations along with crippling pain and sciatica. After 5 years, exhausting all funds and options he embarked on a journey to heal his body via movement and strengthening. Together with MoveU, their mission is to spread the message that you have the power to Fix Yo Shit!