Goodlife Chiropractic

Back Pain, Neck Pain, Headaches... What does pain mean? Redondo Beach Chiropractor - Dr. David E. Carry Explains

Can Pain  Be Your Friend?

Redondo Beach Chiropractor Dr. David E. Carry discusses pain.

   I do not think anyone enjoys pain, but in many occasions it can be a rather useful tool.  Pain acts as a warning mechanism that lets us know that we have experienced some kind of injury or potential injury.  So don’t ignore it even if it goes away.  It could be a sign of bigger problems.

Pain Begins with Nerves

At the end of your peripheral nerves you have nociceptors, which activate whenever you have injury or the potential of injury.  The nerves have different fibers so you can detect and respond to different sensations. Some of these sensations are light touch, sharp touch, pressure, temperature, and it also detects inflammation caused by injury, disease or infection.

Now, when these nociceptors get activated they will send a signal to your spinal cord and eventually all the way to your brain. This happens within a blink of the eye.  When messages get to your brain you will be able to feel certain types of pain.


Some ways pain is felt or described:

The ways pain is felt or described can help doctor narrow down what structures are being affected and where the pain may be coming from.

Dull &achy






Hot or cold


The body can heal itself, but can’t self-correct itself.

Let’s say you were involved in a mild to moderate sports collision; you felt a little banged up and complained of neck & shoulder pain, a headache, maybe some arms pain. In most cases the pain sensations would stop once it has healed.  The reason for this is because the nociceptors would not detect any tissue damage or potential injury.  This would be considered a new or acute injury, right?

First of all, you have more nociceptors located near fine motor skilled areas, such as your fingers and toes, rather than your back.  So it would take a lot more injury or pressure to sense any pain in your back than other areas.

And Secondly, old or original injuries may show every indication of being healed because there is no pain, but this does not mean structures heal in the right place.  If you have enough injury to your joints and/or soft tissue, scar tissue will form to attempt to repair the injured site.  In most cases scar tissue cannot fully replace the missing tissue due to poor blood supply.  Scar tissue is less flexible and can keep joints in incorrect positions; which in time can aggravate old problems due to improper bio-mechanics.  Scar tissue can result from injury or without any indication of injury, like repetitive stress; holding your head in improper positions for hours on end.

Only 10% of your nerves sense pain

Nerves control every system, organ, & cell in the body.  90% of the nervous system is made up of the autonomic nervous system and the motor system.  This means that only 10% of the nerves regulate our senses, the pains we feel.  This is very, very, important! How many of you would agree that you base your health on how you feel or if you have pain you think you have a problem?  I know that I would not base my health off of just 10%.  Taking care of things before they become problems is a much better option!

This means nerves could actually be interfered with for days, months, or even years before you actually start feeling any symptoms.  Just think about when a person has a heart attack.  They did not feel their arteries blocking and are usually not aware of any problem until it’s too late.

Misaligned spinal bones can cause pain!

Spinal joints are designed to protect the spinal cord and nerves, but if misaligned, they can irritate or compress the nervous system.  The nerves supply every part of the body and if disturbed can lead to symptoms.  Symptoms are the only way to let your body know that something is wrong.

Chiropractors correct the cause to allow the body to heal correctly

Chiropractors don’t treat the symptoms; they remove the interference of the nervous system and let the body heal itself.  When you get a cut or broken bone, who heals it?  Your body does.

Chiropractic research show families who are under chiropractic care get sick less often, have less pain, miss less work, and have a better quality of life.