Updated: 6 days ago
By: Vance Inouye, N.M.D. (6/1/2020)
During my 20+ year tenure as a Naturopathic Medical Doctor, I have discovered that pain management is definitely a wholistic (considering the whole person) endeavor. Below, I will outline my approach to pain management.
Most of the people I seen in my clinic are normal people who are athletes in their spare time, part-time gym rats for strength and fitness, auto accident victims and baby boomers or near baby boomers who have worn out their spine or joints. The commonality amongst these individuals is the desire to avoid going under the knife and are looking for the least invasive treatment for their pain or they are looking to rebuild their joints.
Although current conventional medicine will opt for medication and/or surgery early in the treatment regimen, the approach I have discovered that works best to prolong our functional capacity as a healthy individual is a wholistic/holistic approach to pain management as there appears to be a correlation between the physical health of an individual relative to the mental health of an individual. In short, my observation is that when the body fails, the brain functions deteriorate over time. Conversely, when the brain function fails, the body eventually falters as well.
What are the components of this method of treatment? Consider the following:
I. History of injury:
- When did the accident occur?
- How long ago was this accident sustained? Was it a day ago? A couple of months ago? 5 years ago? 20 years ago?
How we treat this patient will vary relative to the age of the injury.
- How did the injury occur? What was the mechanism of injury?
- Was there structural damage to the joint? Was there any imaging performed?
- What has the person done so far to treat this injury?
Consider treatment of any joint damage
Consider treatment of any dysfunctional muscle/neurological “memory” issues (proprioceptive dysfunction)
I describe these as being “functional dysfunctions” which have no lab tests or imaging that identifies this. Only functional tests that tests how well your joint or your body works will identify this type of dysfunction.
III. Consider the person’s state of health. Any of the items listed below will impede the person’s recovery.
If the person is elderly
If the person smokes
If the person is obese
If the person is diabetic
If the person is in hypothyroid, exhibits adrenal dysfunction or any other hormonal imbalances
If the person is in poor health in general
IV. Consider the person’s diet
If the person is consuming large amounts of sugar
If the person is consuming large amounts of starches
If the person is consuming inflammation causing foods.
Some of what’s listed above may be common knowledge, however, I have found that most Naturopaths and conventional Medical Doctors fail to consider muscle/neurological “memory” issues that may be the cause of pain. I have found that there may be more of these cases where proprioceptive dysfunction is the cause of the pain than not. Simply stated, the structure often is not the cause of the pain. It may have once been the cause, but over time; adaptiveness of the body can compensate for the injury and now the neuromuscular coordination is dysfunctional.
What choices do I have besides drugs? If you want to be exclusively treated under your insurance plan, your resources may be limited. Conventional medicine will consider structural issues first; many times leading to medication and surgery. While these options are necessary at times, my belief would be to approach conservative therapies first if possible. Surgery is final. Once your joint is altered beyond your given body structure, you may never be the same.
Success rates are consistently high for the following treatments. Surgery is still an option if needed.
Some of the Treatment Options are listed below at Chambers Clinic:
Joint Rejuvenation injections: Prolotherapy, Prolozone, PRP, Stem Cell, A2M, Exosome, Amnionic Allograft
Trigger Point Injections
Functional Joint Rehabilitation with exercise
In writing this short essay, my intention was to introduce some key concepts in what I consider the modern or comprehensive approach to pain management. Should you want or need a deeper understanding of some of the terminology or treatment options that I talk about above, an internet search will provide voluminous amounts of information in all the terminology and treatments that I mention above. We also welcome phone calls to answer any questions you have regarding this article.
We are multidimensional beings. If we consider the whole person and the many causes of pain, one or even two approaches to managing pain may be shortsighted, limited and potentially short-lived. I have learned in my 20+ years in practice in Naturopathic pain management that for lasting results, a multifaceted, multisystem polytherapy approach is far more effective than a single or even a double treatment approach.
For more information please reach out to us.
Vance Inouye, N.M.D.