5 Doctors’ Secrets to Better Treatment for Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain.  

You’re carrying this pain everywhere you go. It follows you at work, at home, even into bed.  It's making your life small and extinguishing your joy.  It sabotages your relationships, and your plans for the future.  

You’re up late at night.  

Surfing the web.  Trying to make sense of why your body is turning against you.  Wondering which “experts” you can trust.  Looking for the next thing to “stop your pain.”

A Few Secrets.

I don’t know why they’re secrets.  After you read them, they will be obvious.  But few people talk about them.  They won’t sell billions of dollars worth of pain medications.  They won’t make anyone rich.  Except you.  

This article is going to reveal five Doctor’s Secrets to Better Treatment forChronic Pain.  

I promise.  

#5 Pain is a SIGN

Chronic Pain is SIGN of something deeper.  

A file alarm is a SIGN... of a nearby fire.  A “Check Engine” light on your car dashboard is a SIGN... of a problem under the hood.

Pain is telling  us something is NOT RIGHT.   

This is very important to understand.  You see, chronic pain is almost always a sign that something in our body is not FUNCTIONING the way it should.  It is pointing to something else in our body, or in our life, that is not right.  

Ok, the fire alarm is loud.  Obnoxiously loud!  It hurts my ears to hear the skrieking of the fire alarm in my house.  But in the presence of a FIRE, it serves a very important PURPOSE.  It SIGNALS me to notice a much bigger problem… the fire!   

The “CHECK ENGINE” light.   

In college, I had a zippy white Mazda hatchback.  I loved it.  I drove it everywhere, even after I spilled 5 gallons of water in the back seat, and it never smelled right after.  But I digress.    

One day the “CHECK ENGINE” light came on.  I ignored it.  7 months passed.  I still ignored it ( I was busy).  Finally, one day, it made a really load banging noise.  A loud, metal banging noise.  Over and over.  Eventually you could hear my coming down the street.  I took it to the mechanic (finally).  He told me something about not enough oil, and pistons...and a new engine.  The “CHECK ENGINE” light was telling me something.  

So what is YOUR PAIN signaling to you?  What is not FUNCTIONING in your body the way it should?  

#4 Pain Medications only MASK the Pain.  

Ever heard of Tylenol?  Motrin? Advil?

What about Neurontin?  Tromadol?  Triptans?   

Billions of dollars are spent on pain drugs every year.  Many more drugs are in the pipeline, awaiting FDA approval.  We are fortunate to have pain medications for TEMPORARY relief, or for severe issues that have no present solution.  But what about the other millions of cases?  

What about YOU?  

Remember my white Mazda hatchback?  What if I was really proactive back then?  What if actually went to the mechanic earlier?  What if I told him about my “CHECK ENGINE” light problem?  What if he patiently listened to me complain, and then proceeded to take out a ring of BLUE MASKING TAPE from his greasy pocket.   What if  he COVERED-UP my “CHECK ENGINE” light with his blue masking tape?  

What if he just COVERED IT UP?  

I wouldn’t have to look at that anoying “CHECK ENGINE” light anymore.  It wouldn’t distract me on my drive to work in the mornings.  I wouldn’t even have to know it was there.  

What if he just COVERED IT UP?  

What is our doctor doing when he prescribes another pain medication?  What is the medication doing?  Is it fixing our problem?  Or is it an expensive version of blue masking tape?  (and more dangerous?).

#3 Pain equals a loss of FUNCTION

So chronic pain is a SIGN of something deeper.  Pain medications only COVER UP the SIGN, but ignore the problem.  

So what is the PROBLEM?  

The problem is always a loss of FUNCTION.  My white Mazda wasn’t functioning right.  It turned out it was leaking some oil.  And I guess oil is pretty important.  Without it, metal things rub against each other, and get really hot.  Eventually they can’t move right, and they break.  My engine eventually broke.  


Why are my joints inflammed?  Why do I have migraines?  Why does my pain keep coming back?  Why is it getting worse?

Have you ever asked your doctor this question?  

“WHY” is taboo.  

Doctors want to tell you “WHAT” you have.  We want to give your problem fancy latin and greek names.  Like “arthritis” (arthro= joint, -itis= inflammation), or “fibromyalgia” (fibro=fibrous, “myo=muscle, -algia= pain), or “cervicogenic headache” (cervico=neck, -genic=comes from).   

Doctors don’t want to tell you WHY you have the problem.  But they’ll usually give you a name for it.  


I don’t know.  But it is not helping you.  

2. Correct the UNDERLYING cause of your pain

If something is not FUNCTIONING in your body, your job is to find out WHY.

Our job (at Vital Head & Spinal Care) is to START with the most important source of FUNCTION in your body.  Your BRAIN

Does your company function poorly? Look to the CEO.  Does the LA Philharmonic sound terrible? Blame the conductor.   Are the Lakers losing too many games this season? You can be sure everyone will be asking the coach for answers.

The first place to look to understand your body FUNCTION is your BRAIN.  Your brain runs your show.  

You brain (and spinal cord) is called the MASTER SYSTEM, because ALL FUNCTIONS depend on it to work.   


We start by finding out how well your BRAIN is communicating with your BODY through the VITAL CONNECTION between your head and neck.  

When this vital connection is not aligned, it will affect the flow of nerves and fluid, in and out of the brain.  

MUSCLES don’t move right, JOINTS become stressed, PAIN SENSORS fire abnormally,  and the body gets progressively STRAINED and DAMAGED.  

The PAIN will NOT go away until the SOURCE of the pain is corrected. Treating the source is the best treatment for chronic pain.

1. The Journey from PAIN to FUNCTION is a process, not an event.  

We tend to like instant oatmeal, speed dating, and express check-outs.  We live in an instant culture, and have learned to expect quick fixes, in all areas of our life.  

This is why pain medications are so popular.  They give the ILLUSION of a QUICK FIX.  

So does the blue masking tape on my dashboard.  

Yet after thousands of patients, I understand that there is no quick fix back to FUNCTION.  It requires a thorough knowledge of the problem.  I also requires a healthy exploration into the WHYs behind the pain and loss of function.  

When I was looking for college advice in 1998, while at U.C. San Diego, a mentor wisely told me, “Giancarlo, Major in the majors.”

The BRAIN (and Nerve System) is the MAJOR place to START.   

  1. Start with understanding WHY the body isn’t FUNCTIONING.

  2. Identify whether the Brain & Body communication is disrupted, AND is contributing to the loss of FUNCTION.

  3. Identify other major factors affecting FUNCTION.  These factors can be Biochemical (requiring herbs, supplements, IV nutrients, etc) or Emotional/Psychological (requiring counseling, therapy, emotional clearing, support, etc).  Co-manage with the appropriate practitioners when necessary.  

The journey from PAIN back to FUNCTION should be ORGANIZED, PRIORITIZED, and COORDINATED.

Pain is a sign.  Pain meds only mask it.  Pain equals a loss of function. Correct the underlying cause your pain.

The journey may not be quick, but it WILL be worth it.  


If you’re ready to start your journey from pain to function, and would like our help, the path is simple.  

The process: CONSULT, EXAM, 8 Week PLAN

Schedule a free CONSULT with one of our doctors and we’ll help you identify the major factors underlying your pain.  If you’re a candidate, you receive a complete EXAM for $250.  Then we’ll discuss your 8 week PLAN to get you on the road to function.  


We can’t help everyone, though we’ve helped over a thousand men and women like you recover their function, and regain their lives.  Our promise is that if our care is not an appropriate solution for you, we’ll be happy to provide referrals to practitioners who might be better suited.  

I look forward to helping you on this journey back to function.  It is why I get up in the morning.  It is so much fun.  

We’ll see you soon!

Giancarlo Licata, D.C.

NUCCA craniocervical chiropractor

Clinic Director, Vital Head & Spinal Care

Member, Pasadena Integrative Community