Second Opinion Magazine
Pain Management Options
By Sue Peck PhD, GNP-BC, APNP FAAO, APT, CHTP/I
We all find ourselves somewhere on that 1-to-10-scale of pain at some point in our lives. Some of us have chronic pain with varying degrees on that scale that we deal with on a regular basis. But we do just that: deal with it. Whether chronic or not, pain is a serious issue that effects many of us.
Pain has many causes ranging from injury, surgery, cancer, infection, arthritis, emotional issues or trauma, fibromyalgia, headaches, and many other causes. Based on the cause, treatments can be found to at least better manage the pain, if not treat it and eliminate it.
The first choice usually taken by most of us, and also prescribed by the medical system, is a pain medication (NSAIDs, acetaminophen, antidepressants, steroids and/or narcotics). Many have side effects though, ranging from sleepiness and dizziness to internal bleeding and blood clots. It is important to understand the side effects of each medication before taking them, and to take them as prescribed.
Sometimes medication is needed, even narcotics, but there are many non-drug options available to use as well. These options don’t carry the side effect profile of medications. They can be used first and alone, or combined with medications to improve pain management.
Cold/heat application in alternating time periods. Cold reduces swelling in the area of pain. Heat increases circulation to the area and improves oxygen and nutrient delivery. It also removes toxins.
Guided imagery or hypnosis helps to change the image in your mind’s eye about what is going on. Coaching with imagery can help you create a vision of the injury or illness being resolved, healed, comfortable, and fully functioning.
Healing Touch is a relaxing, nurturing energy therapy using gentle, heart-centered touch to assist in balancing physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. Healing Touch enhances the body’s natural ability to heal through the human energy centers and energy field/biofield .
Ozone therapy helps the body clear toxins by facilitating the production of hydrogen peroxide. There is an extensive international database (www.aaot.us, click on “Literature”) on ozone showing successful treatment of joint pain, wound healing, chronic headache relief, chronic infections, cancer treatment and many other conditions.
Nutritional therapy can help relieve pain. Sometimes when the body is working so hard to heal, we aren’t able to eat what is needed to support that healing work. Supplements and/or IV therapies can be used to boost the body’s fuel supply. Correcting nutrient deficiencies through our food or with supplements helps the body heal, and decreases pain.
Massage therapy can release knots and kinks. Massage creates the relaxation response to break the pain-tension-anxiety cycle. If muscles are in a knot or spasm, they can pull bones out of alignment, contributing to pain.
Chiropractic care helps to realign the structures of the bones and nervous system. When the structures are assisted back into proper alignment, nerves are released and no longer pinched or compressed, helping to relieve the pain. Combining massage with chiropractic care is usually more effective than either one alone. The muscle or knot is released with massage, and the bones are freed up to be realigned.
Traditional Chinese Medicine techniques, including acupuncture, open the energy meridians. If energy can’t flow because it is blocked by an injury or illness, pain and other symptoms occur. Opening the meridians can be very helpful to relieve pain.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy allows people to better understand the cause of the pain and what they can do about it. Meditation and Biofeedback teach you control over muscle tension, temperature, heart rate and more.
The above therapies that are provided in my office can be discussed in more detail when you make an appointment. Referrals can be made for massage, chiropractic care, traditional Chinese medicine, and counseling. Please call 715-895-8571 for an appointment.