Is Pain Limiting Your Life?
Written by Molly Heimbecker PA-C, RD
Pain, whether acute or chronic, reduces your quality of life, influences your mood and relationships, and limits what you can do physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Did you know that emotional pain triggers can activate the same parts of the brain as the physical pains of injury? Emotional pains can increase physical pain symptoms. It can be a vicious cycle until the root of what is causing the pain is uncovered and resolved. Taking a holistic approach to pain allows you to go beyond management to mastery.
Acute pain is typically short-lived and lasts a short amount of time. Chronic pain is persistent pain lasting for more than 3 months.
Some causes of acute pain can include:
- Minor cuts/injuries
- Slips and falls.
- Strains and sprains
Some causes of more chronic pain can include:
- Post-Surgical pain
- Food sensitivities
- Arthritis and joint conditions
- Muscle pain from fibromyalgia, chronic infections, autoimmune diseases, and others
- Structural abnormalities and degeneration
- Systemic inflammation
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Stress or trauma
- Heavy environmental toxin load including heavy metals, pesticides/herbicides.
- Hormone imbalance
- Medication side effects
Different from conventional medicine, functional/integrative medicine aims to determine the root cause of your pain to alleviate it at its source rather than medications or surgeries that just mask the symptom offering only a temporary fix. At Real Health Medical together with your Practitioner and the RHM team, we can help identify the root cause of your pain by means of many different evaluation methods and lab testing.
Looking for Drug-Free Solutions to Help with Pain?
The Equiscope is a microcurrent electrotherapeutic technology proven to rapidly eliminate pain and reduce inflammation in every area of the body. It opens cellular communication to improve the body’s energy production of ATP (energy for cells). It can help with joint/ligament/soft tissue injuries, acute strains/sprains, muscular pain, burns, broken bones, chronic back/degenerative pain, arthritis, neuropathy, sciatica, and more! Many patients feel improvement after just one session!
This cold laser therapy works by delivering visible red and near-infrared light laser energy to tissue. Photons of laser light are able to heal damaged cells, by stimulating the mitochondria (the powerhouse of our cells) to boost the production of Adenosine TriPhosphate (ATP). The production of ATP increases cell energy and revitalizes cells when in the inactive form from a state connected with illness to a stable, thriving healthy state!
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a treatment providing 100% oxygen at a pressure greater than that at sea level. This can help with chronic pain by means of reducing swelling while flooding the tissues with oxygen. The higher pressure in the chamber increases the amount of oxygen in the blood which is then delivered to our body’s tissues.
Regenerative injections – Stem Cells, Prolozone, PRP, Peptides
Prolozone: a combination of homeopathy and oxygen delivered via injection to trigger damaged tissues, joints, ligaments, and tendons to regenerate and heal.
PRP: Platelet-rich plasma injections are your own platelets spun down in a centrifuge to contain the most healing compounds. This therapy uses your own cell’s growth factors and healing components to stimulate the immune system to promote healing and reduce inflammation.
Stem Cells: Concentrated parts of a cell that differentiate into different forms to help the body heal by stimulating new cellular growth. These cells promote the ability of your body to heal, reduce inflammation and improve pain.
Peptides: Peptides occur naturally in the body and are small protein fragments that combine to form short chains of amino acids. They have been shown to promote repair and healing. These can be taken orally in capsule form or by means of injection. Some examples are BPC 157, TB-4, Sermorelin, and more.
Ask your provider for more details about each therapy and which may be helpful for you!
Supplements that May Be of Benefit to Pain
Turmeric (Curcuma Longa): The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin helps to reduce overall inflammation and acts as an antioxidant helping reduce oxidative damage that chronic pain can cause. Look for a product containing Piperine (black pepper) for the best absorption.
SPMs: Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators are derived from fatty acids. Upon tissue injury/damage these polyunsaturated fatty acids are released and converted to specialized mediators to help support the body’s immune response during the resolution phase of acute inflammation.
PEA (Palmitoylethanolamide): PEA is found naturally in foods such as egg yolks in small amounts. It can bind to certain gene receptors on cells that are responsible for pain control. Note: PEA takes a few weeks to build up in our bodies so it can take 2-4 weeks to notice a benefit.
Additionally, there are medications that can be helpful at the root cause level. Ask your Practitioner today to discuss these!
Nutrition & Wellness Tips for Chronic Pain
- Evaluate food allergies and sensitivities. Consider working with our AAET (Advanced Allergy Elimination Technique) practitioners at Real Health Medical!
- Avoid seed oils and inflammatory foods. This includes processed items and foods containing seed oils. Seed oils are the most common fats found in packaged foods and on restaurant menus and include corn, cottonseed, grapeseed, safflower, sunflower, and soy oil to name a few. These oils are highly inflammatory and unstable in the human body. These toxic fats turn off or deactivate anti-inflammatory prostaglandins and turn on pro-inflammatory ones. When consumed, they generate a large number of free radicals that damage our cells. Start with eliminating gluten and dairy these can be a large driver of inflammation for many!
- Aim for whole foods – if it has a label, it is not whole food!
- Focus on organic fruits/veggies/groceries, grass-fed/finished beef, pastured chicken/eggs, and wild-caught seafood. Bone broths are another anti-inflammatory food that can easily become a staple. Omega 3 fatty acids found in cold water fish, walnuts, chia, and flax seeds promote anti-inflammatory prostaglandins and help lower overall inflammation.
- Focus on quality sleep and daily whole-body exercise! Consider monitoring sleep patterns with devices such as the Oura ring or WHOOP strap. Keep your body moving – stick with a type of exercise you enjoy, and it will never feel like a ‘chore’ to exercise.
Interested in a Customized Approach?
Chronic pain does not have to be your daily reality. Medications aren’t the only option.
Reach out to your Practitioner or Coordinator if you’d like to learn more about the above therapies and/or supplements to create a personalized protocol to begin mastering your pain today!