Provided by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
Pain is the body’s warning system, alerting you that something is wrong. The International Association for the Study of Pain defines it as an unpleasant experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage to a person’s body. Specialized nervous system cells (neurons) that transmit pain signals are found throughout the skin and other body tissues. These cells respond to things such as injury or tissue damage. For example, when a harmful agent such as a sharp knife comes in contact with your skin, chemical signals travel from neurons in the skin through nerves in the spinal cord to your brain, where they are interpreted as pain.
Most forms of arthritis are associated with pain that can be divided into two general categories: acute pain and chronic pain. Acute pain is temporary. It can last a few seconds or longer but wanes as healing occurs. Some examples of things that cause acute pain include burns, cuts, and fractures. Chronic pain, such as that seen in people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, ranges from mild to severe and can last weeks, months, and years to a lifetime.”
It is to determine the root cause of our patients’ problems. By doing this we address the true cause of what is causing their medical conditions, versus just putting a Band-aid on the problem. This is not to say that we will not need to use medications temporarily. Some of our patients do need to take them. However, most of the time, our aim is to get people off of these medications and on to living an active healthy life. Pain-free!
How do you manage chronic pain?
We manage chronic pain by trying to actually provide a cure for the pain. They are tired of “managing” their chronic pain with NSAID or narcotic medications, various therapies, and exercises. In most cases of chronic pain, these methods really do not tackle the root cause of the problem. They are only masking the pain, and in some cases, actually making it worse. The best way to manage pain is to get rid of it. Then it becomes totally manageable.
Prolotherapy is a regenerative injection therapy which is used in the treatment of chronic painful conditions. Prolotherapy stimulates the body to repair the painful, weakened, injured area(s). Prolotherapy physicians use a very thin needle to inject at the points where the ligaments attach to the bones. The procedure is like medical “spot-welding.” Prolotherapy injections are usually given to the entire weakened area, making it more comprehensive. This area is determined by our physicians upon physical examination and medical history. For example, a patient with chronic back pain might receive anywhere from 60 to 80 injections to the entire back. When you think about welding, we all know that one weld will not hold the entire structure together. The welds are needed at every weakened point. This is why many injections are given, versus just one or two.
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The body does the majority of healing over a period of four to six weeks. We allow our patients to heal after Prolotherapy for this period of time. While the body is healing, we encourage our patients to do everything that they can to assist with this process. This includes eating a diet containing fresh foods, including vegetables, fruits, and protein. This also means avoiding processed packaged “junk food” like sugary foods, as well as artificially sweetened foods. These foods do nothing to stimulate the healing process. Many of our patients also require nutritional supplements to assist with the healing process, as well as to help alleviate the pain in a more natural way. We recommend that our Prolotherapy patients take products such as Prolo Max which is a blend of minerals, herbs, amino acids, and vitamins specifically designed to promote optimal joint strength and tissue formation. Additional products that we have found beneficial after Prolotherapy to encourage healing include therapeutic enzyme formulas such as Prolo Support Pack and/or Enzyme Max, which is an enzyme preparation that not only stimulates healing and workout recovery, but helps alleviate pain as well. Most every patient requires a general multi-vitamin because their diets are most likely not providing all of their necessary nutrients. We like to utilize SuperVits with or without iron. A high quality fish oil, such as Super Omega, will help lubricate the joints and also provide essential fatty acids necessary for healing. In our experience, Prolotherapy is half the battle and the other half is up to the patient to do as much as possible to promote a healthy lifestyle in order for Prolotherapy to work optimally.
Pain management involves getting to the root cause of the pain problem. Most of the time, musculoskeletal pain is due to weakness in the ligaments, tendons, and/or cartilage. Prolotherapy can actually regenerate damaged tissues such as these, and ultimately, alleviate the pain problem. As you can see, “Pain management” means different things in the medical arena. For patients who come to Non-Surgical Joint Pain Solutions, we hope to manage pain by eliminating it, and keep you active for life!