Acute pain; Studies show realistic expectations and the right type of care lead to relief
by William D. Charschan, DC,CCSP Author Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain.
What is a realistic expectation for pain relief when you find yourself in severe pain. Should the pain go away immediately? Do you need drugs? Can it be helped conservatively by someone without medication. Are you willing to wait a few days until the treatment being performed offers the relief you need or do you think it is just a pain that is bad now? Do your expectations require a reboot?
Patient A had a lower back problem years ago which he believed went away. Years later it returned as a herniated disc in his mid back that left him on disability, desperate to find a way to make it go away.
Patient B in her 20’s had a problem in her foot, had surgery for the main problem, agreed to a secondary surgery and after several months of questionable therapy, now had severe mid back pain upon returning from a European vacation. Was there a connection to the damaged foot and her shoulder pain.? She was desperate and scared but wanted someone to just get her out of pain.
Patient C had lower back problems years ago, believed that his lower back was just a problem twice a year which in his mind is normal and a few weeks ago, he could no longer turn his neck. He was desperate and scared because his neck was almost unmovable.
What was the common theme in all of patient’s situations? They all had other health problems they considered normal that resulted in other painful problems. They all arrived at the office wanting instant relief for a chronic problem. Studies are showing that expectations, realistic or not are responsible for the likelihood of a good outcome (becoming pain free quickly). Read about one such study here .
Both the doctor and the patient, with the best of intentions will attempt to help you feel better, however, fear and expection may be distorting the realistic potential for the improvement of your problem. In our office, we make a point of looking at not just where you hurt but trying to understand why which is as or more important than where the pain is because it can determine whether you feel better temporarily or begin to have other painful problems from the original source of the malfunction causing the pain in the first place. An example of this is someone with chronic lower back pain that comes and goes and one day, they cannot move their neck. They may believe the neck is the problem and they may actually have pathology there because their lower back problems resulted in a disc problem in the neck. The book Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain can help you understand why this would occur and how to understand why problems such as this exist and how they are created.
Many of us lead busy lives, but a painful condition can disrupt your daily activities, leave you unable to function at school or at work and can result in many sleepless nights. The idea that it is just a pain that comes and goes is one that health care providers hear constantly, however, when patients begin to understand the mechanisms behind why they hurt, they are more likely to make a better decision on when to receive some sort of intervention for their problem and who they should trust.
Most people take their health for granted until they no longer have it. The way to start finding a healthier you is to first understand your unique body style and what makes people hurt. Cheating Mother Nature should be a required read for everyone who wants to make the most out of life. Many of the problems we have such as bad knees, hips, arthritis and other problems result from a lack of understanding of what pain means.
As a health care consumer, and most of us are now beginning to find our insurance is pushing more and more of the costs onto us, the new insured cash patients, we need to understand why we hurt so we can make a better decision on where to get help when we hurt. Most medical providers, have a cursory understanding about body mechanics, yet, these are the people most of us are referred to or who we believe have the answers to our problems. Ask anyone in their 60’s and 70’s, and they will tell you they feel worse as they age, not better in most cases. There are providers such as chiropractors who have a unique understanding of how the body works, and work with your body mechanics to improve function, rather than just throwing more money at where it works which may offer temporary relief, but in the long run, will result in damaged joints and restricted lifestyle as you age.
Look for someone who
1. Performs myofascial therapy such as Active Release Techniques, Myofascial Release, Graston or other type of instrument assisted soft tissue treatment.
2. Understands body mechanics and will work with gait related issues such as foot overpronation, a very important but hard to find skill since most chronic pain issues are from body style asymmetry problems.
3. Chiropractic manipulation – safe and effective, manipulation of the spine and extremities is vitally important when musculoskeletal patterns of distortion are present. While massage or muscle work will improve flexibility somewhat, manipulation frees joints to move which affects the way you feel. Without manipulation, restricted mobility results in problems in other joints and chronic pain.
Read Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain available through Amazon.com