The most common pains seen in any doctor’s office are: headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, low back pain and knee pain. Often the patient does not know what caused their complaint. They are suffering from one of the hidden causes of pain.

What do most people say brought about their pain? …”I just woke up with it.” “ I slept wrong.” Or “I just reached down to pick something up.”

In other words, they did nothing very different. Nothing dramatic or traumatic enough happened to cause their pain, and yet they have pain.  Why? Because they had not really been both healthy and stable. Which means that all these different types of pain have one thing in common: the person had a problem for a long time before they ever felt their pain.

Because, if you are healthy and stable, it does not hurt to sleep. Or to  get out of bed, or to reach, bend or pick something up. It means that you had a problem going on but it did not come to your attention because it did not give you pain, at first. So what can this “hidden cause of pain” be? And more importantly, how can you find it and fix it before you get hurt, hopefully before either drugs or surgery are needed?

Pain can come on out of the blue

In our 36 years in practice, we have heard how our patient’s headache, neck pain, back  or leg pains began. “I was doing nothing different.” Or “It just started hurting”.

People can go from seemingly normal to sudden neck or back pain without an obvious reason. Sometimes they had a problem going on but it did not get their attention because there was no outright pain. But it is likely that there was a sense of stiffness or tightness that they just accepted as ‘normal’. It was only when the ‘normal’ stiffness became an outright pain that prompted a call for help.

Sometimes the pain will be felt in their back or neck and also in their leg or arm. This mimics the pain pattern of a pinched nerve or slipped disc. But these well known terms are not the most common reason behind most common pains.

The Most Common “Hidden Cause” Of Pain

The most common reason people have pain is a combination of things that few people are aware of:  muscle imbalance, deconditioning, and joints that are a little stuck.

 If you have pain, if you are to get better, and then to make sure the pain won’t keep coming back, you need to learn if you have a hidden cause of pain and then take some action steps.

Learning more about these “Hidden Causes” of pain

 Muscle imbalances:

            These are very common because most sports, most jobs, and most work out programs tend to emphasize the flexor muscle groups (on the front) of our bodies. The simplest example that is easy to see is your biceps (the muscle on the front of your upper arm that pops up when you ‘make a muscle”.) Your biceps muscle is usually bigger and harder than your triceps muscle (on the back of your upper arm).

Muscle imbalance happens in many key areas of the body. It causes poor posture. It creates not only poor posture but muscle trigger points that can cause severe pain.

Trigger points can even refer pain down arms or legs mimicking a disc or pinched nerve type pain. They can also “sleep” in the muscle, that is not be causing any pain, until one day some innocent thing sets them off and you wake up one morning with bad pain, or you just bend over or reach and experience sudden pain. This is even more likely if you are deconditioned.

Deconditioned muscles:

Deconditioning means a lack of endurance and stability for all your muscles. This applies to many people who believe they are “normal” but are either over weight or their activities surpass their capacity for sustained and stable daily tasks. Muscles can become deconditioned from lack of proper use. But muscles also become deconditioned if joints are they are supposed to be moving are stuck for very long.

 Stuck Joints:

Joints that are “a little stuck” means that one or several bones in your body do not move in a smooth and coordinated fashion. Joints that lack normal movement may not even give you pain or stiffness right away. They are a very common hidden cause of pain. Research has shown that if you took a normal joint and did not move it for several days, that it would not only become stiff it would also start to degenerate and it’s cartilage break down. This is why chiropractors suggest regular adjustments to keep your joints moving optimally before you have pain.

Another gradual and often silent problem that a stuck spinal joint can cause is lessening of nerve flow from the body to the brain and from the brain to the body. Our nervous system is the body’s communication system. A stuck spinal joint puts static in this system. I liken it to when you plug an iron or piece of equipment in and the lights go dim. The light is still getting electricity, but not as much. A stuck spinal joint can lead over time, to an organ, like your stomach, or heart, or lungs or some other part, not working as well as it should. So not only are you in danger of a sudden muscle pain, but you are also in danger of your health slowly degenerating.

Finding and Fixing the Hidden Causes of pain

 First: we ask a bunch of questions to find out about your lifestyle and pains. This gives us clues as to where to look for the problem.

Second: We look at you and  at your posture. We look at what is balanced or not. Next we check you for muscle tightness or tenderness or weakness.

Third: We check you for stuck joints.


  • we tell you what we found
  • we explain what it all means and how it causes your pains
  • then we work up a treatment plan that sets out what we the doctors need to do to help you, and what you the owner of the painful body need to do to help yourself
  • we teach you the exercises that you need to balance your imbalanced, deconditioned muscles. Good exercises different from what you have done in the past.
  • we work to free up your stuck joints to keep you healthy as you can be

So: if you would like help getting over some of the most common aches and pains, or if you would like to avoid them and find out if you have any of the “hidden causes” .. Simply call us to set up an exam at 978-535-5-6155. We would be glad to help.