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Treatment Must Go Beyond Lessening Pain, and Find the Root

We have all experienced an achy shoulder at some point in our life. Or numbness and tingling down the arm. If you are active, you might have experienced tendinitis in your elbow. If you sit in front of a computer at work all day everyday, you might be struggling with carpal tunnel syndrome. 

In early stage pain syndromes, extra strength Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen, or even opioids, may be prescribed to lessen the pain. If the pain persists, a nerve block injection may be administered. In more extreme circumstances, a procedure called radiofrequency ablation is used to deaden the nerve fibers that carry pain signals from the symptomatic area back up to the brain. 

The problem with these treatments is that they only treat the pain. 

That is not to say treating the pain and reducing the symptoms isn’t desirable. No one wants to be in pain at anytime in their life. 

But, the pain is quite literally your body’s way of crying to you for help, that there has been an underlying issue somewhere else in your body for a while, and now it is high time to do something about it. 

Almost every nerve in the human body passes through the base of the skull and through the C1 vertebra. After that, the nerves exit the spinal column at every level to become an information superhighway of signals and messages to and from the brain and the body. 

If there is pressure or tension on the nerves at any level from the base of the skull to the tips of the fingers and toes, and that pressure or tension is never addressed, pain and symptoms will enter your life whether you invited them or not. 

I’ll use the garden hose in your backyard as an example. If you turn the hose on, water will come out. If you step on that hose, the water stops. The hose is still on, but you have applied a blockage to the flow of water with your foot. 

The nervous system is no different. It is always “on,” communicating at levels we human beings simply can’t comprehend, whether we are conscious or not. 

If there are spinal misalignments in the neck, the tissues surrounding the spine will become inflamed, increasing the pressure or tension on the nerves. Just like your foot on that hose. 

If it’s not a spinal misalignment, it could be a first rib misalignment. This contributes to pressure on a network of nerves called the brachial plexus. This group of nerves passes over the first rib and down the arm and hand. Pressure on these nerves doesn’t stop the communication from your brain to your shoulder, arm, and hand—it blocks it, either partially or completely.

Research has proven that the old thought of simply “sucking it up” through the pain is detrimental to our health. The human body does not like to be ignored. Restoration of proper alignment to the vertebrae and/or first rib can go a long way in reducing your shoulder, arm, or hand pain.

This article originally appeared in the October 1, 2019 edition of the Maricopa Monitor.

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