Tuesday, November 21, 2017 8:08

How To Deal With Chronic Pain

Posted by on Sunday, December 20, 2009, 11:50
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Although many of my patients have had success with the following program, I only use the general guidelines discussed below after reviewing a patient’s personal and medical history, performing a thorough examination and evaluating the laboratory studies to make sure that the program will be beneficial.

Please see your own physician before embarking on any treatment program for pain. We doctors treated pain patients by ourselves back then, without the help of a psychologist to handle emotional upsets, without the assistance of a skilled social worker to identify and rectify certain home problems, without dentists, chiropractors, physical therapists and others at our sides

This began to change toward the end of the 1960s as allied health professionals fought to have their voices heard. By the 1970s, many new treatments were used for chronic pain biofeedback, meditation, acupuncture, nutrition, hypnosis, electrotherapy, group therapy and  other modalities that proved their value.

The power also began to shift from the physician back to the patient, where it belonged and we learned that pain must be treated as a multifaceted problem, strongly influenced by the things that make a person who and what he or she is .

Here are eight important points that I use as a basis for building anti pain programs for many of my chronic pain patients.  They are designed to strengthen the patient mentally and physically so the body has the best possible chance to heal.

  1. Take control of your health
  2. Assemble a multi disciplined team to assist you
  3. If you’re overweight, slim down.
  4. Working with your physician, eliminate as many of your medications as you safely can
  5. Use the appropriate nutrients to strengthen natural defenses
  6. Use DLPA, as necessary, to relieve pain and lift your mood
  7. Exercise as much as possible you can always do some exercise, even while sitting in a chair
  8. Believe that you are going to get better.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the eight point.

  1. Take control of your health. We doctors have been telling people to passively wait for us to “fix” them. We were wrong. Healing is quickest and most sure when the patient takes control of his or her own health, playing an active role in the decision making and the treatment.
  2. Assemble a multi disciplined team to assist you. The chronic pain equation is complex and too difficult for a single healer to solve. There are many factors contributing to pain: the patient, the patient’s feelings and fears, the doctor’s attitude, the “germs,” the medicines and treatments, the family and more. There is rarely a single cause for chronic pain. It often takes a team of experts, including perhaps a neurologist, orthopedist, chiropractor, physical medicine specialist, physical therapist and psychologist, to solve complex pain problems. The team should be led by your personal physician, the one who knows you best and whom you trust.
  3. If you’re overweight, slim down. I have seen many patients whose pain was worsened by their obesity, and many who felt much better when they shed their excess pounds. Not only that, but eating a low fat, low cholesterol diet based on fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grams and small amounts of lean meat and nonfat dairy products means that you’ll have fewer other diseases to complicate your pain. Vegetables are sources for many vitamins, minerals and enzymes, as well as dietary fiber A diet including plenty of vegetables also lowers blood fats If you cook your vegetables, do so for as short a time as possible just until they are tender and crisp. Eat more raw than cooked vegetables, as cooking destroys many vitamins and minerals. Fruits are packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber and are appetizingly sweet. Eat them whole and fresh, rather than cooked, canned, frozen or dried two to four fruits per day are recommended.  Whole grains are rich sources of B vitamins, minerals, fiber, low fat protein and complex carbohydrates. Use whole grains as cereal or in breads and pasta The number-one ingredient in breads, cereals or pasta should be a whole grain. Legumes are dried beans and peas, such as black beans, garbanzos, Great Northern beans, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, red beans, small white beans and split peas. Legumes are high in vitamins Bi, B6 and others. They’re high minerals such as iron and copper, high in fiber, low in fat and contain up to 20 percent protein.  Protein provides the building blocks of the body’s structures, muscles, organs, tissues, even fluids. It also helps to stabilize the blood sugar. Eat two to three small servings of low-fat protein daily, such as vegetable proteins, fish and white meat of chicken or turkey. Dairy products are the most concentrated and easily absorb able source of calcium. Drink nonfat milk or buttermilk, eat plain nonfat yogurt or low-fat cheese. Two to three servings per day are recom- mended to help prevent the thinning of the bones (osteoporosis). Nuts and seeds are delicious, but are also high in fat. Use them  sparingly, just to add flavor or runch to your foods. Avoid salted,  roasted or coated nuts and seeds.  Water is a terrific weight loss aid, as it actually helps to reduce water retention. And we need lots of water to ensure proper functioning of the kidneys as well as replenishment of fluid to all of the body’s cells. Drink eight or more 8-ounce glasses of water daily.
  4. Working with your physician, eliminate as many of your medications as you safely can. Many patients have come to my office with grocery bags filled with the 20 to 30 medications they’ve been given. The inevitable side effects of drugs complicate matters, often making patients feel worse. Simply stopping the unnecessary medications has helped many patients.
  5. Use the appropriate nutrients to strengthen your natural defenses. The following is the basic supplementation plan I use for pain, modifying it to each patient’s needs.
  6. Use DLPA as necessary to relieve your pain and lift your mood. When appropriate, I start my chronic pain patients on 375 mg of DLPA, three times a day taken right after breakfast, lunch and dinner. If there is no improvement, I increase the dose to 750 mg, three times a day. It takes about a week to begin to feel the improvement.
  7. Exercise as much as possible. Exercise helps to keep the muscles strong, “lubricate” the joints, burn off calories and help you feel good about yourself. Whenever possible, and without hurting yourself, get out there and exercise. Even if you can only walk around the block, keep active. Almost everyone can do some form of exercise.
  8. Believe that you are going to get better. Several years ago, doe toes at the University of Tennessee Center For Health Science measured the endorphin levels in 32 patients who were suffering from chronic pain. Then they gave the patients a placebo, a “sugar pill” that had no medicinal effect, although they told the volunteers that this was a medicine that would help relieve their pain.

Sometime later, 14 of the 32 reported feeling better. That’s not unusual, because the “placebo effect” works 30 to 40 percent of the time. What was unusual, however, was that when the doctors retested
those 14, they found that their endorphin levels had gone up. It was the endorphins, not the placebos, that relieved the patients’ pain. But what made the endorphins rise? Not the placebo, but the patients’ be- lief Just by thinking they would get better, they changed their bio- chemistry (increased their endorphins) and healed themselves.  This study, and others like it, prove that what we believe plays an important role in our health. That’s why it’s important to believe that you can and will get better. Strong belief is a very powerful medicine.

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