Integrative Pain Doctors Seek Lasting Relief By Treating Root Cause(s)
Back pain is one of the leading causes of disability in America. The single most common cause of acute back pain is a torn ligament or muscle. However, if back pain goes untreated, it can contribute to an overall instability. An integrative pain doctor takes a broad approach, seeking to treat the pain, pursuing the root cause(s) for lasting relief.
Back Pain A Multifactorial Complexity
Back pain can be caused by several things and rarely is there one root cause. When an individual has back pain, psychological characteristics may be related, as well as work and social environment factors. Furthermore, comorbid factors for multiple medical problems, including obesity, smoking, lack of exercise, and lifestyle choices are other back pain risk factors.
One of the most significant causes of back pain is lumbar instability, which refers to abnormal movement between one vertebra and another. The pain from this issue usually is attributed to movement such as flexion or extension causing the vertebrae to slide forward and backward or rotate abnormally. This irritates the nerve that has become tethered to the disc, vertebra, facet joint margin and ligaments in the foramen, causing back pain. Some traditional back pain treatments do not always work, as such treatments fail to liberate the tethered nerve root and pain may persist.
Integrative Pain Management
New innovative approaches to including regenerative therapies coupled with osteopathic manipulation; the mobilizing of tissues and bones to re-align the musculoskeletal system, and physical therapy, are showing great promise. Other effective integrative treatments for acute and chronic pain include
Regenerative, Non-Rx Procedures
Non-surgical injection therapies and regenerative treatments include trigger point injections (TPI), prolotherapy, and stem cell therapy. TPI's deliver local anesthetic and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication to the affected muscle or joint. TPI reminds the muscles how to relax and offer pain relief and healing. Prolotherapy involves injecting a solution containing dextrose (sugar) and platelets, which induces healing and remodeling responses in local tissue. While some patients respond to one injection, others may require up to three to obtain long-term relief. A study published in SPINE (2004) found that repeated prolotherapy, when combined with exercise, resulted in a 50% pain reduction within one year.
Used widely in Chinese medicine, acupuncture is a technique in which specific points in the body are stimulated. The National Institutes of Health supported studies suggest that acupuncture may help ease chronic back pain.
Nutritional support is important when treating back pain. Patients may undergo a specially tailored intravenous infusion (IV) of vitamins, homeopathic solutions, and minerals to help relieve symptoms. If you or a loved one is experiencing back pain, even if it has only been apparent for a few days, consider contacting an integrative medical professional. Credentialed doctors trained in both conventional and alternative healing techniques may offer the best methods, treating a patient holistically from head to toe.