Five Signs of Chronic Pain You Shouldn’t Ignore

A naturopathic physician’s prescription on for recognizing the signs of potential long-term pain

Credit: bitzcelt

Ignoring acute pain like this may lead to longer-term torment

Your current habits could be causing chronic pain. Here’s how to recognize the signals before they get worse

Dr. Jilla Kahrobaei, a naturopathic physician in Vancouver’s Bowen Therapy Clinic, sees a lot of chronic pain. While some of it is the result of conditions like arthritis, some arises from what Dr. Kahrobaei sees as longer-term patterns.

Here, her top five signs that chronic pain may be in your future — and how to fix them.

Recognize the Potential Triggers of Chronic Pain

  1. Holding onto emotions. Dr. Kahrobaei characterizes this as a “suck it up attitude.” As she explains: “‘Deal with it, get over it.’ That’s what we’re mostly taught to do to survive whatever situation we’re in. It’s good for the short term, but for the long term, that’s when there’s a problem.”
  2. Acute short-term pain. “Deal with it right away,” advises the doctor, who uses Bowen Therapy (a form of gentle body manipulation) to treat patients in pain. “Don’t let it get worse.”
  3. Digestive problems. “Because everything is connected to the digestive system, pay attention to offending foods that make you have digestive issues like diarrhea, constipation, or stomach upset.” The doctor recommends you take those symptoms to a naturopath who will have the time to investigate the underlying cause.
  4. Unexplained symptoms. This applies to patients who have “been to their doctor, everyone’s saying nothing’s wrong, their labwork is fine, go home, it’s just stress. That’s usually what happens. On paper nothing looks wrong, but the symptoms persist.”
  5. Insomnia. A clear sign that you’re under chronic long-term stress. “When you don’t sleep you’re going to end up having pain. Your body has no time to reorganize, regenerate. A lot of healing goes on during sleep, and when that’s not going on everything gets worse.”