Pain – The Good, the Bad and the Chronic

Posted by on Apr 2, 2013 in Featured, Health | Comments Off on Pain – The Good, the Bad and the Chronic

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Tell me if this sounds familiar or if you can relate:

Peter is having a down day. His back is aching really badly, more than normal. There’s no will to get up from bed. Before she left their apartment for work, Peter’s wife Jackie gave him the daily pep talk, “Oh, come on, I know you can do this!” When Peter looked away, she told him it’s all in his head, and to “just deal with it.” As Jackie closes the door behind her, Peter angrily throws the pillow in her direction. Peter took his last pain-killer last night. He can barely hold the thought to get a refill at the pharmacy. It just hurts too much.

As a chiropractor in downtown Toronto that works with people who suffer from chronic pain I hear personal stories like this all of the time. People who suffer from chronic pain may look fine – they don’t necessarily have an obvious injury like a broken arm or leg but their pain is very real and constant through every moment of their day.


Do you know someone who suffers from chronic pain or know someone who does?

Unlike acute pain, chronic pain can last for months or even years. Chronic pain can stem from an obvious incident such as a motor vehicle collision, infection or arthritis, but not always. Chronic pain can affect all aspects of life, causing strain on families and relationships and make home and work responsibilities a challenge. People suffering from chronic pain often deal with anger, frustration, depression, mental fog and social isolation. Some venture into drug abuse and even contemplate suicide.


Transformation - SupermanWhat’s the positive side of pain?

Pain can be an incredibly useful signal that we are living out of balance. For example, consider an office worker who cradles the phone in his shoulder for hours and feels pain in the very same area at the end of the day. Here, the body is speaking up about the misalignment.

Where in life do you experience pain? If there was something out of balance, what would it be? How would you address it? For a short-lived aches and pain, dealing with the imbalance could be simple. “Stop doing whatever you were doing” is an obvious answer and works really well for the office worker example above. Stop putting your body out of alignment and the signals will stop too – genius! It’s a simple example of how a healthy lifestyle choice can dramatically affect pain.

For the chronic pain sufferer, life is not so simple. Rather than an unhealthy lifestyle being the source of pain, it’s often the other way around. Chronic pain itself can be the primary source of an unhealthy lifestyle. Find this hard to accept, even contradictory? Just like Peter’s wife Jackie, most people are in disbelief or are simply unaware that chronic pain is widespread. Nearly 1 in 5 Canadians suffer from chronic pain according to a recent survey (click for link).


For individuals, families, workplaces and communities dealing with chronic pain who is making a difference?

The Toronto Chapter of the Chronic Pain Association ( has created a place where people with chronic pain can gain better understanding of their treatment and management options. It’s a place where caregivers, families, friends, employers and co-workers can access resources and education for chronic pain. It’s where people find hope and meaning to their life.

Chronic pain is a very real health challenge for Canadians. It directly impacts the quality of life of individuals and their families and has ripple effects on the workplace and our healthcare system. The Chronic Pain Association is an important hub and resource for people living with chronic pain. Through the education and support of people and communities affected by chronic pain, they make possible freedom and empowerment to take on the world. What would it be like if chronic pain education and support was active in your community?



With each visit to Dr. Leo, you are making a difference to chronic pain. Until May 31, 2013, Dr. Leo is donating 10% of his proceeds to CPAC. To schedule visit with Dr. Leo please call 416-923-4325.

For more information about CPAC please visit Support Group Meetings are held the first Tuesday of each month at 7:30pm at 270 Wellington St. West.



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