Pain! No one likes to be in pain, or see someone suffering from pain, but pain is your body’s way of letting you know that something is wrong. The purpose of pain is primarily protective and to serve as a warning that tissues are being damaged and causes the sufferer to remove or withdraw from the source. Pain can significantly interfere with a person’s quality of life and general functioning.
Pain motivates a person to protect the damaged body part while it heals. There are many options for dealing with pain – masking it, managing it or preventing it. Seeking medical advice to act upon your pain correctly is critical. Alleviating pain with medication is a short term fix and may be appropriate, particularly in the early going. It can reduce inflammation and swelling in order to help you move past the pain and start your rehabilitation. However, if taking pain medication is the only thing you are doing, you may not be dealing with an underlying cause of pain, most probably leading to greater problems and possibly to long term side effects if, in particular, they are used for extended periods of time without medical supervision.
Our goal of pain management at Natural Medicine and Rehabilitation (NMR) is to identify the mechanical and functional cause of your pain, not only symptom relief. Treatment plans are designed to decrease pain, accelerate healing, improve mobility, strength and function, and teach skills needed to prevent problems in the future.
NMR utilizes time tested medical and alternative modalities to treat acute and chronic pain. Chiropractic and Physical Therapy are natural ways to help your body recover from pain, not only to feel better, but to actually be better and stronger. Joint, muscle and spinal problems demand stability, motion, strength and conditioning if one is to restore function and prevent similar or worse problems in the future. In addition, acupuncture, offered at NMR, can provide drug free pain relief. The needling of acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release pain-relieving chemicals and hormones in the muscles, spinal cord and brain. These chemicals are the body’s natural painkillers.
At NMR we realize that for some patients, the therapeutic approaches to pain management mentioned above may not be enough, resulting in a very limited ability to rehabilitate a person to full movement, strength and function, which are the ultimate goals. Managing pain with our holistic approach will provide you with long term pain management, by determining the cause of the pain and also examining the person as a whole to see if there are other health issues that may be adding to the problem.
Each patient represents a unique, complex, and interwoven set of interactions that create the terrain for health or disease. In our functional medicine approach, we assess core clinical imbalances, fundamental physiological processes, environmental inputs, and genetic predispositions in a highly individualized patient care model. Examples of core clinical imbalances include blood sugar dysregulation, digestive system imbalances, chronic un-tempered stress responses, inactive lifestyle, toxic burden, sleep problems, poor diet and insufficient nutrient status or immune hypersensitivities to regularly chosen foods. These are some of the most common drivers of disease and dysfunction and they are, among others. This model of patient care requires extensive investigation utilizing diagnostic tools such as blood work and imaging, physical examination, health history, toxic exposure assessment, ability to manage stress, sleep patterns, and genetic predispositions.
Ideally we would like to prevent pain from ever happening to us. Unfortunately there is no guarantee on what life has in store for us. There are a multitude of reasons why some people suffer from arthritis, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis or cancer. But with NMR’s ‘whole view’ perspective of the patient, you will best be able to manage your pain, optimize function, get strong again and age healthfully.
Dr. Sferra is the founder and Clinic Director of Natural Medicine & Rehabilitation. He is Board Certified in Chiropractic Medicine and Chiropractic Neurology, a Certified Clinical Nutritionist and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist certified by the National Strength & Conditioning Association. Dr. Sferra is the recipient of the “2005 Spirit of Somerset” award for his outstanding contribution to Health and Wellness in the community.