Chronic pain can impact your life and prevent you from doing the things you love. To get relief from chronic pain, visit Dr. David Chen, DC, in South Pasadena, California, for upper cervical chiropractic care. Dr. Chen has advanced training in the assessment and correction of cervical spine issues that can contribute to chronic pain. To learn more about upper cervical chiropractic care, call or schedule a visit online today. Dr. Chen is proud to provide care for the greater Los Angeles area.
Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts three months or longer or doesn’t stop within an expected timeframe. It can also come and go over time and may flare up during times of stress or after a traumatic event.
When you experience chronic pain, the pain receptors in your brain don’t function properly. Pain receptors can become hypersensitive, or they can signal your brain to produce excess inflammatory chemicals that prevent your body from healing normally. This can create a vicious cycle that makes it difficult to recover on your own without intervention. Common areas that can experience chronic pain include:
Two major causes of chronic pain are spine trauma and whiplash injuries. These types of problems can create dysfunction in your spine as well as inflammation and pain. This dysfunction can present as either stiffness or instability and may fluctuate between the two depending on your posture, sleeping position, and daily activities.
To diagnose chronic pain and its underlying causes, Dr. Chen completes a physical exam and a thorough review of your medical history. He first asks about your symptoms, and then he begins a physical exam by checking your flexibility, range of motion, muscle strength, and nerve function.
If Dr. Chen suspects that your pain is related to a neck problem, he includes advanced orthopedic testing — and possibly X-rays or an MRI — to assess the vertebrae and soft tissue structures in your neck. These tests help determine if the movement or function of your first two cervical vertebrae are involved in your condition.
If your neck is not the source of your pain, Dr. Chen can provide referrals to other chronic pain specialists.
Dr. Chen uses the Blair upper cervical chiropractic technique to correct misalignments of the first two cervical vertebrae. This can have a widespread effect on your body since these two vertebrae are located below your brainstem and house your spinal cord and cervical nerves.
With gentle adjustments, Dr. Chen can restore motion to these vertebrae, which can reduce irritation of the brainstem and spinal cord. If these two areas are irritated, this irritation could be contributing to your chronic pain, especially if your pain is in your neck, shoulders, or spine.
To learn more about treating chronic pain, book an appointment online or over the phone with Dr. David Chen, DC today.