To help find a ‘cure’ for you pain, we require our patients to become proactive. This requires patients to take the initiative to improve their situation. Instead of letting your current circumstances be the driving force of determining your future we help patients to determine their choices and act to improve their situation instead of only reacting.
We help our patients realize that even when they feel they have limited choices or little hope there is always a direction that allows the patient to be in control of their pain and therefore their outcome. We teach our patients that they get to choose how their pain and conditions define them. Patients that currently feel helpless are allowing their circumstances and conditions to control them. For example a helpless patient may respond with “there’s nothing I can do about my pain”. We teach our patients to focus their time and energy on things they have control over. For example, our patients get to decide if they will wake up and do something productive today. They get to decide if they will interact positively with their family despite how their pain is making them feel. We help to teach our patients ways to empower their situation. That feeling of empowerment propels patients to gain more and more control of their pain. Focusing on items we do control instead of the items we can’t control help to reduce stress levels which decrease anxiety and help our patients to better cope with their pain.
We teach patients to eliminate certain phrases including: “I can’t”, “I must”, “If only”, ‘there’s nothing I can do”. We help patients break the handcuffs of negativity that surround and influence their painful condition.
We help patients look at alternative so that they can instead take a different approach and be in control, only then can you find a ‘cure’ for your pain.
This is likely the most obvious of our recommendations for finding a ‘cure’ for a patient’s pain but also one of the most unlikely to be followed. Maybe it’s our hectic lifestyle or just the fact that fast food is so cheap and convenient. Either way, patients inherently know that fast food is horrible for their general health and for pain but they just can’t avoid it.
Fast food is not only quick to be prepared, but also contain some special group of fats that are known to be extremely harmful for the whole body, including for your joints. These fats, either saturated or trans can make the joints weaker and increase inflammatory markers. Alongside with trans and saturated fats, fast food contain high levels of sugar which also increases inflammatory markers and increases pain. Fast food also contains high levels of sodium, it is the main component of all non-organic pieces in a burger and usually it is the common ingredient that brings the whole taste to your meal.
Fast food with it’s high levels of sodium, sugars, trans fats and carbohydrates combines to form what we like to call the pain bomb cocktail. This cocktail is further enhanced in Fibromyalgia patients as almost half Fibro patients suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome and leaky gut. Fast food also directly increases the likelihood of obesity and a sedentary lifestyle which in the long run will put more stress on joints and increase pain. Fast food will also increase the likeliness of heart disease and Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetic patients are at increased risk of peripheral neuropathies and chronic pain conditions.
Research an anti inflammatory diet lifestyle and you will feel significantly better within a few weeks.
To “cure” your pain, all patients need some level of an exercise routine. Obviously, many pain conditions can significantly limit the types of exercise a patient can perform but every patient can do some level activity above their sedentary status.
The gold standard exercise for chronic back pain patients is aquatic therapy. In fact most patients seem to respond to aquatic therapy as it is a way to improve range of motion, flexibility and attain some level of cardiovascular workout in a controlled environment that is less stressful to the joints than land based activities.
Low impact yoga or some form of a daily stretching routine is another excellent form of daily exercise that almost all patients should add to their daily routine. Fibromyalgia patients seem to be a particular set of patients that I have personally witness make great strides.
For wheelchair bound patients, there are now excellent chair based exercise classes. In 17 years of practice we’ve literally never found a patient that couldn’t benefit from some type of exercise routine.
A daily exercise routine, improves strength and flexibility which can help patients avoid falls. Falls are very common with pain patients and can lead to further pain and disability. Daily exercise will improve a patients mood and help them establish a positive routine to their day.
Check with your health care provide before starting an exercise routine. Afterwards, find some movement that you can stick with and perform most days of the week and get moving.
To “Cure” you pain you will need to be an active participant. This seems obvious but too many patients take a passive approach to their healing and care.
Too many times I have treated patients who don’t follow the recommendations and plans given to them and then are surprised when they haven’t made any progress. As future articles will explain, treating pain is complex. You must treat both the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual nature of one’s being to find their “Cure”. There are no shortcuts and no magic pill that will take all the pain away.
By finding this website and doing your own research, you are taking a good first step to becoming an active participant in your care. In upcoming articles we will show you ways to become further involved as an active participant including nutrition, exercise, research, meditation and many more. Join us on this journey.
Over the past several years, increasing numbers of medical studies have shown the detrimental and negative effects of cigarette use and nicotine dependence on multiple aspects of health regarding the treatment of pain. Studies have shown that cigarette smoking and all other forms of nicotine consumption worsens the results of virtually all chronic pain treatments including cortisone injections and surgery. Also, everyone is well aware of the multitude of other health risks and expenses associated with nicotine consumption.
More recently, studies have shown an association between nicotine and the promotion of inflammation levels which directly worsen pain conditions and slow healing. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, shrinking blood vessels, which impacts oxygen perfusion to tissues and slows the body’s own healing mechanisms and directly worsens pain and can led to further injury. Current research also reveals that nicotine acts as an accelerant to nerve related pain, similar to throwing gasoline on a fire.
Obviously, not all patients in pain use nicotine products, but roughly 60% do! If you want to find a “cure” for your pain you must first put down the nicotine so that you’re not impeding your own recovery.
One common thread for the majority of pain patients is difficulty sleeping. Yes, pain can keep patients from a good night sleep, but more and more studies are revealing that many pain conditions, specifically chronic pain conditions like Fibromyalgia are worsened by poor sleep patterns. Altered sleep patterns or poor sleep will impact the neurological, psychological, and physical function of the body. It has the same affect as a battery that never fully recharges.
We order sleep studies on all of our chronic pain patients. Many patients falsely believe that sleep studies are only valuable if a patient snores, but this is false. First of all, many patients have an underlying apnea condition and it has not been addressed. Sleep apnea can range from a true obstruction but can also pertain to patients that hold their breath while they sleep, so although they don’t have a classic snore they still have poor perfusion of oxygen to the organs and this can directly impact the body’s own healing mechanisms. Sleep studies can also identify what stages of sleep a patient is in the majority of the night. Most chronic pain patients and classically Fibromyalgia patients spend the majority of their night in lighter stages of sleep and never enter the deeper restorative phases. Impaired sleep can also exacerbate other chronic health conditions including hypertension and Type 2 Diabetes.
A first step toward helping to “Cure” your pain is to rule out or treat any underlying sleep disturbances.
Welcome and congratulations as you have taken the first step to becoming an active participant in finding the “Cure” 4 your pain.
“Cure” is a loose term we use as successes in the world of managing chronic and acute pain is relative to the individual. Our hope for your “Cure” is to improve your quality of life and give you insightful information to become the owner of your condition.
We will provide information and interpretation in a 4 staged multidisciplinary approach to help you find success in topics ranging from Health, Wellness, Traditional Medicine and Lifestyle Modifications.