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What is pain?  We know pain is subjective.  We know pain follows a nervous system pathway and goes to the meso-limbic (emotional) part of our brain.

Pain is your body telling you something is not right.  But, sometimes people are ‘sick’ and they are without pain.  So what is up with that?

There is still plenty of research going on when it comes to pain and symptoms.  We really can not pin-point anything definitively.

So how many ways can we research pain or symptoms?  We can look at neurology, we can look at biology, we can look at evolution.  Literally, we can study many different ways to answer one question.  Is any one person right?  Probably not.  I truly believe it is multi-factorial.  Pain and symptoms – it takes a multi-approach to solve this problem.

New research that came out May 25, 2016 in Science News online states, “Symptoms of illness are not inevitably tied to an underlying disease – rather, many organisms, including humans, adapt their symptom expression to suit their needs.  That’s the finding of Arizona State University’s Leonid Tiokhin, whose research appears in the Quarterly Review of Biology.”

Okay, so more food for thought?  Symptoms of illness can be an adaptation of expression.  I actually agree with this.  Especially since I am now studying addictions and compulsive behaviours.  Pain and symptoms are so complicated because, really, we as humans are a complex system.

We can literally think what we like.  We have the capacity to imagine and visualize.  So if we can change symptom expression to alter others’ behaviour to serve us in a beneficial way – for example, receive extra aid and/or social support, or prevent unwanted interactions with people, would we do it?  Probably yes.

As a chiropractor focused on the well-being of the human frame.  I see changes in pain, symptoms and especially mood everyday in my practice.  It is all inter-related.  The reason being…adaptation!

We will expand on adaptation in the next blog.