Causes of Chronic Pain – An Integrative Approach

woman in agony holding stomach and back to illustrate chronic pain
Medically Reviewed
August 28, 2023

You may have ongoing pain yourself – or you may well know someone who seems to constantly suffer pain. It’s not surprising. Chronic pain is among the most common and challenging of health concerns. It affects millions worldwide. But what are the causes of chronic pain? What triggers this long-lasting and unpleasant experience that significantly impacts your quality of life?

If you suffer from chronic pain, these are some questions you may often ask yourself or your doctor. And the answers are probably not as simple as you wish.

That’s because the causes of chronic pain vary and may stem from lifestyle choices, diet, genetics, and other underlying health conditions that require deeper investigation.

Today, we’ll talk about the causes from a whole-body point of view. But let’s start by understanding pain.

What is Pain and How Does the Brain Respond?

If you feel pain in your leg, for example, you may think that you hurt yourself during an activity and that the source of your pain is inside your leg.

But that’s not entirely true. The pain sensation travels a long way within your body.

That’s because, inside your skin, muscles, joints, and internal organs, there’s a network of nerve cells called nociceptors. These nerve receptors are sensitive to any stimulus that causes tissue damage.

So – when you damage your leg tissue, the nociceptors get in action and convert the physical stimulus into electrical signals or nerve impulses. These travel to your brain through your spinal cord. And that’s when you become consciously aware of the pain!

Your brain interprets the sensation, location, intensity, and quality of that pain. And this explains why pain is subjective and varies from person to person.

Your brain and spinal cord process information and sensations and send instructions to the rest of your body to react in a certain way.

For example, under normal and healthy conditions, you feel the pain message your brain sends and then take action to prevent further damage.

This type of warning pain is called acute pain – when the sensation arises from injuries, surgery, or illness – and is often gone when the underlying causes heal.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Let’s move on to chronic pain.

What is Chronic Pain?

For some people, this alarm system in the brain is dysfunctional, meaning it keeps going off even after the threat is gone. This can cause you to experience pain for extended periods, at higher intensity, and sometimes without clear reasons.

This is chronic pain.

“Chronic” because it’s persistent and may last for weeks, months, or even years – far beyond its original protective purpose and the healing time you expected. It may actually become a long-term condition, compromising your daily activities and overall quality of life.

It’s a complex situation to find yourself in, and one that doctors acknowledge as difficult.

Firstly, chronic pain may indicate a dysfunction in your nervous system, leading to a heightened sensitivity to pain.

And secondly, it can affect you emotionally and psychologically because of the ongoing discomfort and the difficulty you experience in finding effective treatments.

Thirdly, it may limit your ability to perform daily activities, work, socialize, and even sleep properly – and this in turn can lead to an element of depression, anxiety, and frustration.

Moreover, the pain may affect you differently: one specific spot, or all over your body; more intensely at night, or worse during the day.

However, at Nava Health, we will always look at root causes of your chronic pain from an integrative perspective and give you the best chance of recovery.

So don’t give up. Let’s look at possible causes in more detail.

What Are the Causes of Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain may start with a health issue, such as a lingering symptom from an injury or accident, or it can come on gradually for no explicit reason.

That’s why understanding what causes and triggers your chronic pain is essential for finding the most effective techniques for managing it well.

However, discovering the causes of chronic pain is not that simple. They are not always easily identifiable – but the most common causes include the following conditions:

  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Back problems
  • Nerve damage
  • Cancer
  • Irritable bowel
  • Infections
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Injuries
  • Surgeries, and more

However, from our integrative perspective – which we call the Nava Method we find most health conditions that trigger chronic pain have their own root causes in hormone imbalances or dysfunctions within the body.

A diagnosis therefore requires a thorough investigation of your medical history, lifestyle, genetics, and diet to uncover the root causes of any dysfunction in your nervous system that may be triggering your chronic pain.

After discovering your chronic pain triggers, you need to work closely with a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals to develop a personalized and integrative and functional pain management plan that addresses both the physical and emotional aspects of your pain.

The Integrative Approach to the Causes of Chronic Pain

Effective chronic pain management is not a one-size-fits-all approach but rather a comprehensive and integrative one that treats your body as a whole.

This integrative approach to chronic pain management recognizes that chronic pain is a complex issue (as we said above) and that it can impact many aspects of your life.

For this reason, a functional management approach to the causes of your pain will combine different strategies to address the physical, emotional, psychological, and social aspects.

Managing chronic pain in this way includes the use of different medical treatments, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • medications
  • physical therapy
  • acupuncture
  • relaxation techniques
  • psychological interventions
  • nerve blocks
  • lifestyle adjustments
  • Equiscope therapy

There may be other targeted and individualized treatments to meet your specific needs and goals. But if you actively participate in your own care, the integrative approach will improve your pain management outcomes and your quality of life.

Which is the most important thing!

Ready to Solve the Root Causes of Your Chronic Pain?

At Nava Health, we believe that nobody should live in pain. And that it’s never too late to live a healthier and happier life.

Our patient-centered, preventive, and integrative approach to healthcare means we investigate the root causes of your health issues to create a personalized health plan to manage your chronic pain.

If you’re ready to transform your life by discovering the causes of your chronic pain and addressing them with the help of our multidisciplinary team, schedule your consultation today!

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Causes of Chronic Pain – An Integrative Approach
The causes of chronic pain are personal to your unique body! Target them with the help of our patient-centered, integrative approach.