Generally, most health professionals talk about 2 types of pain, but personally (actually) there are 3 types of pain…
1) Nerve pain
2) Tissue pain
3) Emotional pain
Most pain is caused due to physical reasons. Back pain conditions that can cause this may be a bulging or herniated disc, facet joint locking condition etc. But the pain is either nerve or tissue based pain.
For example, if the disc is bulging or herniated the nerve gets pressed on / pinched, thus irritated and you develop sciatica (nerve pain), although there is also pain coming from the disc itself (tissue pain).
But for example if the Piriformis muscle in the buttock area becomes tight it can press on the sciatic nerve that runs behind this muscle (nerve pain).
Either way in most cases these conditions are caused by muscle imbalances.
Nerve pain is experienced as sharp, burning, tingling, pins & needles and even numbness feeling.
But in the case of tissue pain, the originating structures could be ligament, muscle, tendon and any other connective tissues. This is most likely caused by muscle imbalances, as the imbalances will cause the spine to be pulled out of its natural alignment thus causing excess stresses to be placed on various structures of the spine, but injury can also be the cause.
Like any other joint in our bodies, you can strain a ligament in the spine for example, following lifting too heavy.
But most commonly the tissues around the spine become affected due to overuse day to day. Performing certain activities repetitively in our work or sport, that places excess or wrong stress on those tissues, leading to break down of those tissues affected.
The most common structure affected is the muscle though. A ‘trigger point’ or ‘tight knot’ will develop in the muscle.
Maybe you can recall when you had tightness in your neck and you moved your fingers through your neck muscles to find some relief, feeling some funny tight or knotted areas. And when you moved over them it caused some weird crepitation noises… those are trigger points.
This knotting in part of the muscle, will cause temporarily reduced blood flow, thus build-up of toxins and with it reduced oxygen to the muscle. This leads to tightness and pain in the muscle.
Further in this book I will go more into depth about trigger points. But one thing important to mention is that these trigger points can also cause the pain to be felt in other body areas, known as ‘referred pain’.
Like a trigger point in the Gluteus Medius muscle (part of the buttock muscle) can mimic sciatica pain (pain running down back of the leg as far down as the foot.
These trigger point do not always have a physical origin and this is where I personally like to talk about the third category of pain, ‘emotional pain’.
Most health professionals experienced in dealing with back pain in the correct manner, will not deal with emotional pain, or ‘the mind’.
I am talking about stress in our daily lives for many different reasons and unfortunately most of us have too much of this on a daily basis in this modern society we live in.
Stress negatively influences our brain, thus neuro-muscular activity and the circulation in our bodies. Some people have so much stress that they can start to breath very shallow, as they don’t breathe from their mid riff (normal expansion of rib cage when breathing normally, using the correct breathing muscles), but start to use the so called ‘help breathing muscles’ more.
When this happens you start breathing more by lifting the shoulders. Some like to call this ‘freezing’ as part of the upper body is being held stiff.
In turn there will be reduced oxygen coming into the bloodstream, thus more chance for the build-up / worsening of toxins and thus the development of ‘knots’ in the muscles.
But on the other hand it can also be caused by repressed emotions, as a result of something that happened in our past. You may think you have dealt with the emotions from a past experience, but actually the brain has stored it somewhere so you have forgotten about it or at least no longer think about it as a protection mechanism.
Unfortunately, this can cause ongoing changes in our neuro-muscular chemistry. These changes in turn cause incorrect signals to be send to our brain. For example, when a tissue should no longer send any pain signals to the brain, but continues to do so.
Resulting in chronic pain…
Another important aspect in relation to the development of trigger points is our diet. When we eat a balanced diet, there is a good chance our body gets all the important minerals for optimum functioning.
The muscles need enough magnesium and calcium to function properly and in a pain free manner. Calcium and magnesium need to be balanced correctly as they depend on each other for optimum absorption. But potassium and some other trace minerals are also needed for this.
So if you lack any of these important minerals than it increases the chances of the build-up of toxins, thus trigger points in your muscles.
If you have a busy lifestyle and eating a well-balanced diet may be hard, then there are supplements you can take as studies have proven this to be effective.
On the other hand, scientific research also strongly links optimum muscle function with omega 3 and 6. So eating enough fish is important, or again good supplementation can help here too.
Also drinking enough water is as important. Without enough fluid in your blood stream toxins cannot be washed out effectively thus more chance for ‘trigger points’ to develop.
As you maybe now can understand there are different types of pain. Therefore, it is important to understand the origin of your pain as most pain, coming from back pain conditions like, bulging disc, ligament strain, sciatica etc. can all be experienced by many people in the same way.
It may be experienced as a sharp pain or stabbing pain, but the reason of the development of the pain can differ.
Maybe you already know the cause behind the development of your type of pain. Maybe you don’t, so without knowing what type of pain you have, how can you be expected to heal your back pain and / or sciatica effectively?
For Those Suffering From Chronic Back Pain
If you have been struggling with back pain for a while even after you tried everything, it is well possible that your 'pain switch' is stuck in the OFF position. This is due to the lack of proteolytic enzymes in the body.
And if you are fed up with playing prescription roulette with your health, the 12 safest and most effective natural pain relievers are a powerful and fast way to get lasting pain relief.
Hopefully this info will get you started on your journey to living life pain free again.