The truth about chronic pain

    submitted by Dr. James Farley, DC, MS, BA, BS, BCIM, FAAM, FAIS 

    There’s three different models with pain.

    There’s the allopathic model that usually has to deal with drugs. Then there’s the integrative model which may include Chiropractic, acu-puncture, it could be some massage therapy, it could be some other alternative or integrative type approach. Then there’s the neuro-biomedical approach, which is looking at how things work and why the body may produce pain.

    What we do is break down how the body and the brain works so we can try to figure out what’s not working and what may be the underlying root functional causes creating your pain. What I’ve found is that many times with pain there’s going to be multiple contributing factors.

    It’s not as easy as saying, “oh, you have arthritis in your knee.” Or saying, “oh, you have a rotator cuff problem.” Those are very oversimplified orthopedic approaches to pain. I’ve found that they don’t work for a lot of people. 

    The first thing I’d like to go over with you is understanding that your musculoskeletal system, which is really the neuromuscular skeletal system, is run by the brain. If our brain is breaking down, we can get autonomic dysfunction. 

    This is how the neuromuscular skeletal imbalance is created. I walk and I move, and I wear things out.

    There’s a joint that looks nice, the ridges along the joint are nice, the space is nice, and that’s a healthy joint.

    When the joint starts to break down, the joint didn’t cause it. The joint breakdown, the arthritis, the spring, and possible stenosis if we’re talking about the spine, is in effect of absolutely the brain breaking down, which creates musculoskeletal and then other factors specific to you. 

    Not only does the brain influence the musculoskeletal system, but the brain is how we perceive pain. When the brain is breaking down, your pain is almost guaranteed.

    As we get the brain working better, we can see many things will change inside the person and chronic pain goes down rapidly in a lot of different people, in a lot of different places when we approach it from looking at the brain as one of the chief areas. 

    If we can identify those underlying root functional causes along with looking at the brain, we may be able to fix this problem. 

    Contact Dr. Farley’s office at 973-539-3311, fax 973-540-0069, and visit

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