Part II: 3 Reasons Most Pain Management Fails
Phoenix Pain Management in its most conventional sense (and how I am referring to it here) refers to the management of pain using medications typically of the opioid class (oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, etc) in Phoenix. In a previous post we wrote how this form of treatment, while initially helpful, typically offers no longterm solution. We pointed to Opiate-induced Hyperalgesia as one reason why this is true. In this post we will look at 2 other reasons why pain management often fails at resolving or keeping pain under control.
Pain management: Tolerance to opiate medications
When it comes to opiate medications, opiate-induced hyperalgesia can be difficult to distinguish from tolerance or physical dependency on the medication. While they are two distinct and separate conditions, they can present in similar ways. The treatment for tolerance is to increase the dose, yet as mentioned previously this can lead to worsening of symptoms if you have opiate-induced hyperalgesia. Tolerance results from the opiate receptors becoming use to a specific dose of a medication. This process occurs over time and once tolerance occurs, the person is said to be physically dependant on the medication. The classic way to understand this phenomenon is by the withdrawal symptoms that occur from abrupt discontinuation of the medication or drug.
Physical dependency can occur even at very small doses. When this occurs in pain management, the treatment is to increase the dose of medication to break through the tolerance. As you might imagine this leads to a gradual higher and higher dose of the pain medication. Each time tolerance occurs to the regimen of pain management, phoenix residents have to increase the dose. Tolerance and dose escalation is why classic pain management fails, the dose will gradually increase over time until the dose cannot go any higher.
Even though they are used this way, opiate based medications are not meant for long term treatment. This is because they don't work well long term. The respecters adjust to the dose and tolerance occurs after each increase in dose. Holistic pain management seeks to treat the source of underlying pain and find innovate treatment therapies and medication that can be used to lessen pain and reduce tolerance. Lets look at one last reason pain management often fails.
Lack of time with your treating physician
Most drugs are designed to work with such specificity that they don't always work for everyone. Because we are all unique and have biochemical individuality, an anti-inflammatory that works for one person may not work for another person. For example Ibuprofen sometimes works better than Aleve for some people. As a result we believe it is important that your doctor take the time to not only, understand the condition causing pain, they should also a get to know you as a person. We believe this to be a crucial part of finding answers for our patients. Finding what works for the individual can take time, so you need more than 5-15 minutes with them. If we are just managing opiate based pain mediations, 5-15 minutes will do. However, we already looked at how these medications will not work over the long run anyway. By using holistic pain management, we can find new approaches to treat chronic inflammation, neuropathic pain, degenerate conditions, low back pain and much more.
Holistic Pain Management Options
While you may be receiving conventional pain management treatment right now, there are other options that you can use in conjunction or in place of your current regimen. Here are a few options to consider.
- Herbal medicine- A recent study showed turmeric and boswellia to be superior to a commonly used anti-inflammatory medication celebrex to treat osteoarthritis.
- Physical Therapy is an important part of stabalizing weak structures after the pain and inflammation have been reduced.
- Testing for inflammatory markers in your body will determine your level of inflammation. Dietary changes can be given to compensate and reduce these levels accordingly.
- Pain is multi factorial and often comes from multiple sources (instability, inflammation, poor posture, tight muscles, weak muscles, neurotransmitter imbalance, etc.). Finding the biggest impact areas for your pain can significantly reduce or eliminate your pain.
To learn more about some of these holistic pain management options from a naturopathic doctor Scottsdale like acupuncture in Phoenix, click on the book below.