Treatment of chronic pain is not one size fits all. It requires a collaborative, integrated team to treat this very complex condition. In naturopathic medicine, the following can be done:
- Nutritional/dietary support – Using an anti-inflammatory diet with anti-inflammatory and pain reducing supplements
- Pharmaceutical intervention – most commonly patients will come in already on pain medication (e.g. gabapentin, muscle relaxants, NSAIDs). Naturopathic physicians have access to prescriptive rights and can compound medications in a specific dosage that can have minimal side effects and be just as effective. A prime example is low dose naltrexone. Naltrexone has been used for decades in other conditions, however more recently a specific low dosage of this pharmaceutical has been proven to reduce neuroinflammation and pain in patients suffering from autoimmune pain disorders (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis) and complex pain syndromes (e.g. fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome)
- Neural therapy – this therapy is the injection of an anesthetic (either procaine or lidocaine) into trigger points, muscles, or scar tissue that are causing pain. The anesthetic will “reset” the nerve by improving their threshold for pain. Over time, the nerve will be less reactive to pain stimulus leading to long term relief of pain. Time-honoured Chinese and medical acupuncture are very operational ways of treating chronic pain! Numerous causes counting lower back pain, slipped disk, frozen shoulder, pressure headaches, migraines, taut muscles, plantar fasciitis, inflammation, carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, and several neuralgias, can be treated in this manner.
Optimal health collective strives to provide the optimal treatment plan for every individual case, we attempt to find the root cause and ideal treatments for individuals in chronic pain.
Pinpointing the source of chronic pain can be problematic, this is why an integrative team is your best bet for assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of your pain. Pain is a complex disorder; one size does not fit all. An ideal treatment plan should be a 3 -4-pronged approach to ensure all facets of pain are being addressed. Your pain team should include:
- Naturopathic physician
- Massage therapist