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Pain: A Signal, Not a Norm

By Grove Higgins, D.C.

Pain is an alarm, a signal from our bodies indicating something is amiss. It's a protective mechanism designed to alert us to injury or disease and urge us to take action. While experiencing pain following an injury or during an illness may be expected, it is crucial to understand that pain is never "normal."

This distinction holds true for everyone, especially for children, who should never be in regular or chronic pain. But as adults, many of us have grown to accept pain as usual and, despite or best parental instincts, put this on our children. But pain is never normal!

Pain Is NEVER Normal!

Understanding Pain

Pain demands attention, mainly when it's not linked to a clear cause or persists for an extended period. A study published in the Journal of Pain Research emphasizes that chronic pain—pain lasting beyond the average healing time of about three months—can significantly impact quality of life and functioning (1). This underlines the importance of not dismissing ongoing pain as 'just part of life.'

Don't put your suffering off
Pain is NEVER Normal

The Most Common Causes of Non-Acute Pain

Non-acute pain lingers beyond the acute healing phase and can stem from various sources. Here are some of the most common causes:

  1. Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs): These injuries occur from repeated physical motions leading to stress and strain on the body. Carpal tunnel and shoulder pain with headaches are very common.

  2. Chronic Conditions: Arthritis, fibromyalgia, and inflammatory bowel diseases can cause persistent pain.

  3. Posture and Alignment Issues: Poor posture and misalignment in the body's structure can lead to chronic pain, particularly in the back and neck.

  4. Stress and Emotional Factors: Psychological factors, including stress and anxiety, can manifest as physical pain in various parts of the body.

  5. Undiagnosed Injuries: Sometimes, injuries may not heal properly or go unnoticed, leading to persistent pain.

All of the above causes of pain have treatable causes, and most can be entirely fixed. Stop living in pain!

Treat the cause, not just the pain. Seek providers who dig deeper.

Evaluating Pain

It is essential to seek evaluation for unexplainable pain that lasts more than a few weeks. A paper in the American Family Physician suggests that early intervention for chronic pain can prevent the progression to more severe conditions. Therefore, a healthcare professional should see any persistent pain to determine its cause and appropriate treatment (2). At least to rule out red flags and help identify potential causes. Most of which are fixable.

Seeking Help

If you or someone you know is experiencing persistent or unexplained pain, it's crucial to ask for help. In our clinic, we understand the complexities surrounding pain. We are dedicated to helping our patients find relief and better understand their bodies. We offer a brief complimentary consultation for patients with questions about their pain to guide them on what steps to take next.

Pain is a message, not a state of being. While we may expect to experience pain at various points in our lives, it is never a condition to accept as usual. By paying attention to what our bodies tell us and seeking the appropriate care, we can address the underlying causes of pain and move towards a healthier, more comfortable life.

Products Dr. Higgins to help you get (and stay) pain-free:


  1. Pandelani, F. F., Nyalunga, S. L. N., Mogotsi, M. M., & Mkhatshwa, V. B. (2023). Chronic pain: its impact on the quality of life and gender. Frontiers in pain research (Lausanne, Switzerland), 4, 1253460.

  2. Mills, S., Torrance, N., & Smith, B. H. (2016). Identification and Management of Chronic Pain in Primary Care: a Review. Current psychiatry reports, 18(2), 22.


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