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Reflex Pain: What it is and How to Treat it

By Chris Pepitone, D.C.

What actually occurs when the body undergoes an injury? Whether it a burn, or tripping and rolling an ankle, the initial reaction to the injurious stimuli is pain. This occurs as nerves fire in sequence until they hit the area of the brain where pain is perceived. A reflex arc is then created which causes a contraction around the injury to protect as well as retract from whatever is creating the damage.

Once the pain is gone, the tissues relax, and complete healing can occur. When the reflex arc for contraction is strong enough and the initial pain is gone, the muscles and tissue surrounding the initial injury do not relax. This will cause further hypoxia (low oxygen) in the tissue and will increase sensitivity to that area resulting is residual pain.

Residual pain could be attributed to the initial trauma, however, it could also be a result of the lack of resolution to the body’s attempt at protecting and fixing.

If there is an irritated nerve that innervates the tissues of an injured knee, as an example, then the muscles and tissue around that knee become contracted and pain ensues. This applies to all areas of the body.

Whether or not the pain has an orthopedic cause, breaking the reflex arcs which allows for healthy relaxation of the tissues can and will expedite the healing process. And, the best part is that you can become pain free instantly.

The goal of treatment of reflex pain is to discover the major reflex(s) that create the rest of the painful areas. Once this is accomplished it is possible to find the insulting muscle, fascia, vertebra, joint, or organ that is generating the reflex pain. By treating these areas, you can break the pain patterns virtually anywhere.

Reflex pain treatment is a specialty treatment initially developed in the 1930s. It is a difficult art to master as it requires a true understanding of biomechanics, the musculoskeletal system, neurology, organ systems, and the cranial system.

Any patient regardless of the severity of pain can benefit from this style of treatment incorporated into any healing modality. For patients who are extremely hypersensitive to touch and experience severe pain which eludes most practitioners, seem to benefit greatly as reflex pain treatment is very gentle.

If you would like to know if you would be a candidate for reflex pain treatment, call us at 732.747.0083 and schedule your consultation today! You can also visit our website at


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