Chronic low grade inflammation is one of the most common and most under addressed causes of chronic pain.
Inflammation is the first stage of the healing process after injury but is only suppose to last 48-72 hours. This is not the type of inflammation I’m talking about. Chronic low grade inflammation is an inflammatory response that continues for an extended period of time.
Causes of Chronic Inflammation
- Mechanical Stress (repetitive injuries, poor postures, etc)
- Decreased Exercise
- Leaky Gut
- Omega 6 : Omega 3 FA imbalance
Consuming a diet high in omega 6 FA (grains, sugars, etc) is probably the biggest culprit. A healthy diet should consist of 1 omega 6 FA for every 1 omega 3 FA. The average person consuming a western diet comsumes 20-40 omega 6 FA for very 1 omega 3 FA. Omega 6 FAs are very pro-inflammatory while omega 3 FAs are anti-inflammatory.
Chronic inflammation causes fibrosis which is a processes involving the thickening and scaring of connective tissue. Fibrosis causes a build up adhesions in connective tissues and decreases movement in the joints and lack of joint mobility causes pain.
You have receptors on all of your joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, discs, etc. When joints and tissues are healthy and moving properly they send a positive signal to the brain call proprioception. Proprioception decreases both stress production and pain signals in the body (to keep it very simple). When joints and tissues are injured, damaged or do not move they send a different signal nociception. Nociception triggers the stress response in the body and when this signal gets to the part of the brain for conscious awareness (prefrontal cortex) it causes pain. Chiropractic adjustments reduce spine and joint pain by breaking-up adhesions in joints, decreasing nociception and increasing proprioception.
Properly consumption of omega 3 FA through supplementation is a must for most (all) people. The average adult should consume 3000-3500mg of EPA:DHA daily. This can vary for body size and diet. Children should should consume about 1500 mg of EPA:DHA.
At Square ONE we offer a simple finger prick test that allows one to properly measure his/her levels of EPA:DHA so one can determine the proper levels of supplementation required.