What is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain and overall body inflammation are at the root of any disease process, especially so in cases of pain. Inflammation is one of the main causative factors of disease. Chronic pain suffers can rarely get off pain medications until the inflammation is resolved. While inflammation is a protective mechanism, hanging around for too long after the healing process has completed will lead to scar tissue and inflammation remaining. This creates ‘congestion’ in the system which perpetuates the pain and inflammation, preventing the body from returning to a state of wellness.
How is chronic pain diagnosed?
Pain is varied in experience and can be stemming from several different etiological conditions. The whole person must be taken into consideration and evaluated to properly address the root cause as quickly and effectively as possible. Chronic pain can be sharp or shooting, dull or sharp. It can occur in the bones, nerves, or tissues. It can be in the pelvis, abdomen, back, or joints. Chronic pain can take many forms.
Folks in pain can expect to feel sore when waking up with tight muscles, headaches, popping sounds in the joints, inability to touch ones’ toes, back aches, numbness, etc. These all stem from lack of circulation and blood flow, too much scar tissue, and inflammation in and around the ‘bull’s-eye’ areas of pain. Over time, scar tissue and adhesions that have formed from longstanding inflammation become ‘glue or cement’ like in the body prohibiting proper circulation.
Fatigue, hypertension, anxiety, anger, frustration, difficulty concentrating, insomnia and depression are also commonplace among people suffering in pain. This can be worse depending on the quantities of opioid based prescription meds needed to calm pain receptors. We make every effort to address these circumstances as aggressively as the pain itself.
Please remember while medications can be effective in controlling pain they do nothing to address any underlying issues such as the inflammation that could be perpetuating your problem and keeping you from healing. Please don’t forget the worst side effect is the very high addictive and abuse potential of these meds. These factors make them extremely unfriendly for anyone to use more than a few days or weeks as a stop gap.
Natural methods such as acupressure, acupuncture, chiropractic, physical therapy, massage and other manual therapies are by far and away much more beneficial to increasing circulation to the joints and muscles keeping them supple, lubricated and flexible. They just take time, tenacity, and consistency. Please don’t give up.
Inactivity for prolonged periods drastically increases lactic acid buildup, congested circulation and blocked lymphatic fluid, all contributing to increased incidences of pain and stagnation in the body. After a catastrophic diagnosis like cancer or after a major surgery, we tend towards laxity and instead of pursuing aggressive methods to facilitate the healing process. When the pain gets really bad, we don’t get the right kind of help to keep the inflammation under control which can also keep our joints and muscles mobile and working.
The most humane thing Dr. Skip, O.M.D., can do for you in these instances is to recommend therapies and natural options to soothe inflammation, increase the circulation in your body and promote healing. Please remember never to stop any medications prescribed by your doctors. Dr. Skip is happy to coordinate care with your other providers and is trained in both Western and Eastern modalities to help guide you in all of the options available to you. Here is a short list of therapies that can be applied for Chronic Pain Wellness Clients.
- DMSO for chronic pain: Visit Dr. Stanley Jacob’s body of works on DMSO for a wealth of information from one of the pioneers in clinically using this pain relief therapy, with extraordinary results I might add. He was featured on 60 minutes many moons ago. Dr. Stanley Jacob has retired and left in his wake an amazing substance that provides so much relief with little more than skin irritation as a side effect. This product should not be ignored or underestimated. Please discuss its use with Dr. Skip before starting to make sure the correct strength and consistency is recommended for maximum effects. Many places reference this being toxic or dangerous. This simply is not true. Yes, skin irritation is likely but transient and manageable. Its use can be discussed openly with clients who are members of the Pastoral Medical Association and is available through my office.
- Sonopuncture for chronic pain: This technique (puncturing with sound via tuning forks) is very helpful to create a sense of relaxation deep within the body and mind to help facilitate a quicker healing response whilst helping with problems such as insomnia, tension, anxiety, depression and irritation. It is very gentle and painless. Unlike its sister technique ‘acupuncture’, it affords the same benefits without the needles. Sonopuncture offers Oriental Medicine pain therapy without needles. Most all recipients of this therapy are asleep or deeply relaxed within minutes of beginning the session.
- Visceral manipulation for chronic pain: can be employed to increase circulation to reduce pain and inflammation. It is very effective in instances of endometriosis, PCOS, painful periods and low back pain. This technique breaks up the scar tissue that is often responsible for chronic pain. By breaking up the scaring we truly give the body what it needs to heal and to ultimately handle inflammation.
- Moxibustion for chronic pain: a form of heat therapy is a technique in Chinese Medicine whereby botanical medicine known as mugwort is burned and used over the body to warm, increase circulation, remove/reduce stagnation, reduce pain and muscle tension by using specific acupuncture points prescribed for their individual functionality. It is very relaxing and effective.
- Magnesium Supplementation for chronic pain: This mineral, vital for almost all of our bodily processes, is integral to gaining control of pain and inflammation. It is depleted when using pharmaceuticals and while consuming a typical American diet. It soothes muscle aches and pains, especially for people suffering from fibromyalgia. Magnesium is poorly absorbed through oral routes of administration. We offer an oral supplement with 3 different forms of the most powerfully absorbed forms magnesium available. Outside of absorbing about 25-30% of what you are taking orally, using transdermal magnesium through the skin is by far and away the most effective means by which to absorb, utilize and normalize your low magnesium levels. Even those deemed ‘health’ in the general population are still estimated to be about 80% magnesium deficient. That is too high. If you are in pain, the pain alone is indicative of the deficiency. Click here to learn more about magnesium supplementation.
- Food Sensitivity Testing to discover causes of chronic pain: if you are experiencing any gastrointestinal pain, acid reflux, bloating, painful joints, headaches, constipation, difficulty concentrating, etc. then testing for food sensitivities may be for you. Food sensitivities are as severe as food allergies so do not let the name ‘sensitivity’ fool you. The fact we eat the same foods over and over about 80% of the time does foster an unhealthy environment in the immune system and gastrointestinal tract that could be the cause of your pain. Foods such as those categorized as ‘night-shade’ mushroom, onions, potatoes, peppers can contribute significantly to issues like rheumatoid arthritis. Healing the gut and boosting the immune system through this methodology can offer significant health benefits and pain relief.
Functional Blood Testing to find causes of chronic pain can be done to address inflammatory problems related to issues within the cardiovascular system. By running labs to check the levels of C-reactive protein, homocysteine, fibrinogen, etc., we can find where the problem is occurring and address accordingly. Stay hydrated, eat vegetables which are green, rest, stretch, practice gratitude and love.