Pain Management

Edmonton Naturopathic Pain Management Clinic - Natural TerrainOne of the most common reasons people seek medical advice is for the alleviation of chronic pain and a structured pain management solution. This pain includes joint, spinal, muscular, neural and tissue pain. Any form of trauma to the body including physical damage, infection or toxicity leads to inflammation which is the body’s attempt to protect and heal itself. The purpose of inflammation is to prevent infection by eliminating foreign bodies, such as bacteria and viruses, and removing damaged tissue. Occasionally inflammation becomes uncontrolled or the body responds in excess, therefore, the primary approach for pain management is the reduction of inflammation. This approach does not treat the initial cause of the inflammation, just masks the symptoms.

Your pain is not the same as anyone else’s so why is your pain treated in the same way as everyone else’s?

At Natural Terrain we treat the underlying cause of your pain and develop a pain management solution specifically for you. We looks at your whole body and identify the root cause of your pain. Pain management and your unique treatment plan will involve the reduction of inflammation and also heal what caused the inflammation in the first place. Some of the most common modalities of treatment that Natural Terrain employ’s are:

Injection Therapies: This form of therapy involves the injection of various substances (such as homeopathics, ozone, procaine and dextrose) into areas of pain. This promotes a localized response that activates the immune system and other body systems to repair and rebuild areas that are damaged. This is the most common treatment used in pain management at Natural Terrain and we see it completely change patients’ lives. There are numerous injection therapies that can be performed as part of a pain management program such as: prolotherapy, neural therapy, prolozone therapy, PRP therapy, and many others.

Ozone therapy: Ozone stimulates and activates the natural healing capabilities of the body. It enhances and stimulates the immune system, stimulates the release of growth factors to heal damaged tissue and acts on pain receptors to reduce chronic pain.

Homeopathy: Homeopathics are usually used in conjunction with other treatments because they are safe to use and drastically speed up a patient’s healing. The most common homeopathic used in pain management is Arnica, it is also the most commonly prescribed homeopathic medicine. It is used to reduce inflammation, pain and bruising. Ruta which is used for ligament injury and Rhus tox for joint pain. Homeopathic creams such as Traumeel, which contains a complex blend of homeopathics, may also be prescribed. In addition, homeopathic injections such as Zeel or Traumeel may also be administered as part of your unique pain management plan.

Diet/ supplementation: Diet modification is an important aspect in helping to ease chronic pain and has its place in a pain management plan. By finding out what food’s cause inflammation in an individual’s body (this is unique to each individual) and consuming foods that reduce inflammation, such as; flax, foods low in refined carbohydrates and foods low in animal fats, an individual can drastically lessen the inflammation in their body. Some of the most important foods that are consumed to reduce inflammation are proteolytic enzymes, curcumin, bromelain, and fish oils. Additionally, a healthy diet can help patients lose weight, which reduces joint pain and strain on the entire musculoskeletal system. Lastly, an improved diet can help an individual in the detoxification of their body which is covered more in depth in the environmental medicine section.

Environmental medicine: Toxins in the body can build up in the lymphatic, musculoskeletal and fascia of the body causing inflammation. In addition, toxins can cause blockages preventing the body from being able to heal itself. By getting rid of toxins, the level of inflammation in the body will be decreased, and the body can heal itself.

Many patients suffer from an overgrowth of Candida. The symptoms associated with Candida overgrowth are very similar to those felt by individuals who suffer from chronic pain. That is because as candida grows they release acetaldehyde, uric acid, ammonia and other toxins. These toxins cause inflammation in the body and it is believed that many individuals who suffer from chronic pain may also suffer from candida overgrowth. Therefore, if it is found that an individual has a candida overgrowth then treating this overgrowth is a priority. Usually treatment of a Candida overgrowth results in a drastic alleviation of pain symptoms!

Botanicals: There are many botanicals that have been shown to be efficacious when treating pain and inflammation. For instance: devil’s claw, willow bark and Boswellia serrata. Pharmaceuticals only pinpoint one step in a biochemical cascade that can lead to malfunctions in other biochemical processes. However; botanicals act in multifaceted ways that are safe and prevent this from happening. However, they should only be used when prescribed by a medical professional as they can be harmful when used in conjunction with other medications/ therapies or in wrong dosages.

Physical medicine: Physical therapies can also be essential to treating pain. The most common therapies Dr. Mason-Wood employs are hydrotherapy, Bowen and manipulation therapy. Both of these treatments work by the same principles: restoring the body’s optimal environment and increasing blood flow to the area of injury will allow the body to heal itself.

Traditional Chinese Medicine: The Chinese have been successfully treating pain for thousands of years. In traditional Chinese medicine pain is usually associated with a blockage of the Chi. There are many reasons for a blockage ranging from a cold to trauma and disease. There are Chinese herbal formulations that may be recommended to reduce pain and inflammation, but the most common TCM treatment used to treat pain is acupuncture. Acupuncture stimulates the body’s chi and removes the blockage which reduces inflammation and allows the body to heal itself. A study done by the National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine showed that pain and impairment caused by osteoarthritis was significantly reduced when acupuncture is used (1).

How does conventional medicine handle pain?

The most common treatments used in conventional medicine to reduce pain are anti-inflammatories. Anti-inflammatories work by stopping the body’s natural inflammatory response mechanism. While helpful in the short term it has been shown that overuse of anti-inflammatories can cause to kidney and liver problems and also leads to joint and cartilage degeneration (2)! In fact, one anti-inflammatory, known as Vioxx, was pulled from the market in 2004 after it was implicated in causing up to 139,000 deaths (3). Additionally, there are other problems with anti-inflammatories including addiction and the fact that they don’t treat what is causing the inflammation. The natural approach to pain management seeks to optimize the body so that the body can restore its own function and is a much broader/ gentler approach.

The most common pain complaints we see at Natural Terrain are from:

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