Pain is a curious thing. I treat people with it all the time. Many people get better with what I do. Others show no response. Some have pain no matter what they do, even months or years after an injury or even when no injury has occurred. Why is that? Here is a little bit of information on what can cause pain outside of the direct causes of acute injury.
Check out this article: Pain amplification by activation of glial cells!
One of the take home parts of this article is:
According to the author, neuroinflammatory diseases of the brain, environmental factors and even the person’s own lifestyle can lead to activation of Glial Cells. Examples from the current literature are: depression, anxiety disorders and chronic stress, multiple sclerosis or Alzheimer’s and diabetes, as well as lack of exercise and poor diet. Author: “Glial cells are an important factor in ensuring the equilibrium of a person’s neuroinflammatory system.”
Here is the research paper:
I stumbled up this blog post awhile ago. Radial nerve mobilization reduces lateral elbow pain and provides short-term relief in computer users. Often times those who come in to see me for lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) are actually having troubles with their radial nerve. Mobilizing the radial nerve is something I’ve been doing for some time, with great success, for these patients.
Here is the abstract that the post references
Radial nerve mobilization reduces lateral elbow pain and provides short-term relief in computer users.
Prospective Experimental Study.
Computer users may be at risk of lateral elbow pain. It is theorized that adverse mechanical tension can arise in the radial nerve with sustained keyboarding due to sustained static work of the elbow extensor muscles. Neural mobilization has been suggested as a potential treatment.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of neural mobilization of the radial nerve on a single occasion in terms of its ability to reduce lateral elbow pain.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS:
Forty-one computer professionals, who had experienced lateral elbow pain for a mean of 2.87 months were recruited. The participants rated the pain using a verbal, numeric rating scale (NRS). Radial nerve tension was tested using the Upper limb Tension Test (ULTT) for radial nerve in both upper extremities. The radial nerve was mobilized using a series of 8 oscillations and repeated 3 times with a one minute rest in between. The NRS and ULLT were repeated after treatment and the scores compared using a paired t-test by the first author.
The average NRS scores decreased significantly from 5.7 to 3.8.
A single session of 3 neural mobilization resulted in a reduction of pain in computer users with lateral elbow pain. A long-term randomized trial is needed to determine the effects sustained over-time.
Check out the video I linked to on mobilizing your radial nerve yourself
Though night pain is often experienced with those who have musculoskeletal problems, especially when they attempt to change position in bed, there are other problems we should consider.
One of the red flags when listening to the history of a new/old patient is pain that is worse at night even when not moving.
We need to consider cancer as well as neuropathic pain as causes for this pain.
Neuropathic pain can be the result of:
- Injury or repetitive trauma
- Metabolic and endocrine disorders: Diabetes
- Small vessel disease
- Autoimmune diseases: Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis and Guillain- Barré syndrome,
- Kidney disorders
- Cancers can infiltrate nerve fibers or exert damaging compression forces on nerve fibers.
- Infections :herpes varicellazoster (shingles), Epstein-Barr virus, West Nile virus, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex and Lyme disease.
- Heavy alcohol consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption causes a reduction in B12, folate and thiamin