Non-Invasive, Drug-Free Pain Management
When you’re dealing with chronic pain, whether it’s coming from your head, neck or back, it can be incredibly difficult to focus on the other areas of your life. Chronic pain can prevent you from living a full and happy life, but luckily, there are so many non-invasive ways to treat and manage pain – so you can get back to living the life you love.
If you’re dealing with a chronic pain condition, it’s important to first understand more about your condition, and then to evaluate the various options for treatment. We will provide you with many non-invasive and drug-free pain management options for back, neck and head pain, which are ideal for reducing side-effects and potential risks. These more natural pain management options will return you the power in your life to feel healthy, energized and pain-free.
Common Chronic Pain Conditions
Before looking at the various ways to treat and manage pain, you must first understand more about your specific chronic pain condition. Some of the most common chronic pain conditions that impact people’s lives are back pain, neck pain, and headaches.
Back pain comprises one of the most common physical complaints among all adults, so clearly it is an issue which must be dealt with. Generally, back pain is caused by the way the bones, ligaments and muscles in the back are functioning together, and can occur in the lower, middle or upper back, or any combination. And while people of any age may experience back pain, it’s most common among people between 35 and 55 years of age.
There are many risk factors for back pain, meaning conditions which may increase the likelihood of back pain developing. Some of these include obesity, anxiety, depression, a sedentary lifestyle, age (more likely among older adults), and gender (more females than males experience back pain.) Other potential causes of back pain include poor posture, strain, structural problems, infections, and over-stretching.
Neck pain can be quite a debilitating type of chronic pain, making daily life incredibly uncomfortable. Chronic neck pain can result from a variety of different causes, including muscle strain, worn joints, nerve compression or injuries such as whiplash. One of the most common causes of neck pain is the muscle strain caused from too much time spent hunched over a steering wheel or laptop computer. Stress is also a common cause of neck pain, as we tend to clench our muscles in the jaw and neck, leading to chronic pain.
As the neck joints tend to degenerate with age, chronic neck pain is most common in older adults. But anyone who has experienced a whiplash injury, such as a car accident, may be highly likely to develop chronic neck pain after the incident.
Most people have dealt with headaches at some point in their life. Headaches can range from mildly annoying to completely debilitating, and can occur for a huge variety of reasons. Tension headaches are the most common type, which may feel like a constant pressure around some part of the head, particularly the temples. Sinus headaches may arise during a sinus infection, and cluster headaches, most common in men, often recur in cycles. And migrane headaches, one of the most severe types, may run in families and if left untreated, can leave people suffering for hours, unable to perform their regular activities.
Non-Invasive, Drug-Free Treatment Options
Now that you understand more about the chronic pain condition you’re dealing with, it’s time to get to the good part: how to deal with it! There are many ways you can deal with chronic pain naturally and without the risks and side effects of drugs or invasive procedures.
Chiropractic treatment is a powerful and effective way to treat back pain under the skillful care of an experienced chiropractor. Before beginning chiropractic treatment, you will first provide your chiropractor with a full medical history and complete a physical exam, so they can determine the best course of treatment for your chronic pain. Once the chiropractor has developed a treatment plan, they will use a variety of hands-on spinal manipulation techniques to improve joint mobility and reduce or eliminate chronic back pain. Chiropractic care is a safe and non-invasive way to return your spine and joints back to a healthy, pain-free state.
Although a chiropractor works directly with the spine, this type of treatment is highly effective for neck pain and headaches as well. Resolving any blockages or injuries in the spine can directly affect pain in the neck and head, as these areas are all integrally connected, making chiropractic care an effective treatment for all of these conditions.
Physical therapy and exercise can be very helpful in treating chronic pain of the back, neck and head. And not only can it reduce existing pain, but physical therapy can also help prevent future occurrences of chronic pain. This type of treatment will promote healing of the affected areas and restore full function and mobility while relieving the pain.
When physical therapy is used to treat chronic pain, the therapist will first evaluate whether active or passive therapy methods will be used. Some examples of active therapy are stretching and strengthening exercises, movements to relieve pain, and even low-impact cardio or conditioning exercises. Passive therapy may include applying heat or ice packs to the painful area, or using ultrasound therapy.
Physical therapy is highly specialized for each individual’s condition, and each person’s body will respond different to various treatments. Overall, this is a highly effective and safe form of treatment for chronic pain anywhere in the body, and can greatly reduce the future possibility of pain recurring.
This traditional form of Chinese medicine manages pain through the therapist inserting very thin needles into the skin at various, strategic points on the body. From a Western perspective, by stimulating various points on the spine or neck, these needles help to release endorphins, which block the message of pain from reaching the brain. Stimulating the nerves, muscles and connective tissues through acupuncture also increases blood flow and boosts the body’s innate ability to manage pain with its own natural painkillers.
Essentially, acupuncture strategically releases blockages in the nerves, muscles and tissues, and returns the body to a more relaxed and flowing state. In the traditional Eastern philosophy of acupuncture, the therapy increases the flow of chi in the body, returning the body to its natural state of balance. It can be incredibly effective either on its own, or paired with any of the other non-invasive pain management techniques.
At first glance, dry needling may look quite similar to acupuncture. Both involve inserting small needles into strategic areas of the skin in the painful area of the body. The main difference between the two is the philosophy behind the treatments. Rather than working with the Chinese concepts of chi in the body, dry needling is based on a solid knowledge of musculoskeletal medicine.
With dry needling treatment, thin needles are inserted into trigger points, which are basically just hyper-irritated muscle tissue. Once inserted, the irritated muscle fibers engage with the needle and are eventually released, leaving the patient with reduced pain in the affected area. Dry needling can be done anywhere that chronic pain is experienced, often in the back and neck. Applying dry needles to these areas can also greatly relieve chronic headaches, since these are often caused by tension in the back and neck.
Class IV Laser Treatment
Laser therapy is another highly effective method used for non-invasive pain management. While still relatively less-known that the other methods, laser therapy can have profound benefits for anyone suffering from chronic pain conditions, especially those which are severe enough that they have not responded to other pain management techniques.
Class IV laser treatment can be applied to a larger volume of tissue than class III lasers, which makes it more powerful and effective for especially chronic and severe pain. And this powerful laser is able to deeply penetrate into the tissue non-invasively, treating deep-seated pain conditions that might otherwise be unbearable. It’s so important to look into laser treatment before considering surgery or drugs to relieve pain.
Laser treatment is used not only to reduce pain, but also to reduce inflammation and even improve the healing of tissues after an injury. It’s able to very specifically target pain areas, providing relief and healing without surgery, drugs or other risky procedures. Laser therapy can treat conditions which might otherwise need surgery, yet it’s only a fraction of the cost and comes with virtually zero side effects and risks. This will undoubtedly become a much more common treatment for chronic and severe pain in the future, saving patients money and providing much more piece of mind than invasive procedures.
How Do I Select a Doctor?
One of the best ways to find a Pain Management Doctor is through referrals from friends, family, and other healthcare providers you trust. You can also utilize online search engines that will show the doctors and physicians located near you.
If you are located in Colorado, we service the cities of Broomfield, Superior, Westminster, Thornton, Lafayette, Northglenn, and Louisville. Schedule an appointment with Rock Creek Spine & Rehabilitation Center today and start your path to a pain free life!