Pain is a vexing condition. But when it’s sudden and sharp, it has the added element of an unpleasant surprise. While the source may seem mystifying, as Dr. Ya-Ling Liou explains in her book, Every Body’s Guide to Everyday Pain, pain is often the end result of a whole range of stressors. You twist this way, or move that way, and suddenly you’re in agony, but it’s been building all the time.
Dr. Ya-Ling Liou’s useful guide maps out the nature and causes of pain clearly and with empathy: two decades of helping patients has been parlayed into a practical and reassuring approach. Knowing your body is key, says this long-time practitioner of chiropractic medicine, as all manner of imbalances, from mechanical and chemical to emotional, can contribute to discomfort. She offers a helpful perspective on the nature of inflammation, clarifying that it’s not the “aid vehicles,” as she calls our cellular relief-and-repair response, that the body has problems with, but how to circulate them out fast enough for a new crew to show up. That’s why the simple method of applying ice and heat works: the hot/cold intervals trigger the blood vessels to contact and expand, and that, in turn, improves circulation and flow. [Read more…]