Taking The Mystery Out of Chronic Pain
We have all been there, I'm sure—intractable pain that cannot be resolved with the usual alternative therapies. I am intimately familiar with mysterious pain, which is not biochemical in origin, but rather structural or mechanical, to be exact. After consulting with numerous chiropractors, osteopaths, acupuncturists, and massage therapists, I underwent a series of MRIs which showed nothing that could account for the stinging/burning/strangling/and pins and needle sensations up and down my right leg, which seemed to appear out of the blue.
I spent a eighteen months experimenting with various therapies, lasers, essential oils and even a steroid shot (I was desperate), until I finally uncovered the source of my mysterious pain issues. A lifetime of physical trauma had taken its toll. I had spent years hunching over a computer, had endured whiplashes from several minor car accidents, had sprained an ankle years ago with a hairline fracture, and had gone through post-traumatic stress from a concussion after a seemingly "benign" pain med knocked me unconscious. My body was STILL in protective mode!
At the suggestion of a friend, I visited a clinic, which specializes in non-invasive adhesion therapy for chronic pain, infertility, and small bowel obstruction.
What I Learned Was Transformational
I was taught that the body records every type of physical (and emotional) trauma even long after we have forgotten. Whenever we experience a surgery (even dental surgery), an accident, an injury, infection or inflammation, the body creates internal scars called adhesions as the first step in the healing process. Composed of tiny strands of collagen like the strands of a nylon rope, adhesions are basically internal scars.
As they form, small but powerful fibers rush in and lay down over injured tissues to help isolate the tissues that have been injured. After the body heals, these internal bonds remain within us, a permanent by-product of our earlier healing event. Soon our bodies have healed and we go about our lives. What we don't realize is that adhesions, which have been measured with a tensile strength at close to 2,000 pounds per square inch, remain in the body after healing — for a lifetime. Over time, they can form one upon another, acting like a straitjacket in the areas of the body where they formed.
Later in life, as we start to develop chronic pain, we go to the doctor and ask, "Why do I hurt here?" or "Why am I having unusual symptoms or problems?" The physician may send us for a diagnostic test—an MRI, CT scan or ultrasound. "There's nothing there," our doctor says. "Certainly there's nothing I can see. Let's send you to another specialist." So we may go from specialist to specialist, looking for answers to mystery pain or dysfunctions that the doctors cannot see. At some point, a doctor may say, "It must be in your head; maybe you should consult a psychiatrist."
The main problem is that being composed of collagen fibers, adhesions do not appear on any diagnostic test. That's right, X-rays can't see them, MRIs, ultrasounds or CAT scans!
Internal Straight Jackets
As far as medicine is concerned, adhesions can only be treated with surgery. The problem is that virtually all surgeries cause more adhesions to form, as the body heals from the adhesions laid down from the damage caused by cutting or burning live tissue.
Adhesions that formed years or decades ago from earlier surgeries or traumas are not really necessary for your body anymore, but it has no way to dissolve them. Collagen is so common in the body that adhesions do not show up on diagnostic tests and cannot be dissolved by any bodily mechanism. However, they can be pulled apart using a very site-specific therapy, like pulling apart the run in a sweater.
At this time, I am still in recovery. I now stand at my desk—no more sitting for me—and have some gentle stretches I do daily. I have located some highly trained massage therapists who specialize in myofascial release.
I am taking several supplements, which address soft tissue injury and act as natural anti-inflammatories (hello Omega 7). I take my Epsom salt baths three times per week and use a tennis ball to roll out the remaining kinks in my feet. I do NOT wear my orthotics anymore because I was told my seemingly high arches were really the result of adhesions in my soles, which were pulling my feet out of alignment.
Thankfully, I am about 75 percent better and I am so grateful that I know the cause behind my pain. I know what it is to lose hope and suffer intractable pain because I have also "been there."
by Ann Louise Gittleman For Total Health Magazine