Nationally, pain is the leading cause of disability and the main reason most Americans access the healthcare system. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 1 in 3 of us are experiencing pain that lasts longer than 24 hours at any given time. While the source of our pain can sometimes be acute and need immediate medical intervention, others can be managed without the need for surgery. How important is pain relief, and what are some non-surgical alternatives for pain management?
Treat Pain Sooner than Later
Wanting to delay surgery could be a good idea depending on your condition, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also actively seek alternatives for pain management. A 2018 study published by the American Academy of Pain Management concluded that just the experience of chronic pain can actually result in physical changes in the parts of the brain that are responsible for pain management. In observing patients with long-term knee osteoarthritis, it was noted that even after surgery corrected the problem, up to 20% of patients had established neuroplastic changes to their brain matter that kept them in pain even after the injury was fixed. There are a number of surgical alternatives to consider if you’re experiencing pain.
It was Hippocrates who said, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” To create an internal environment that will support healing and a return to pain-free living, it can help to reduce the consumption of foods that can lead the body into painful inflammation. Try to reduce refined sugars, dairy, meats, and fried or processed foods, and opt for cleaner, whole foods with more fruits, veggies, and healthy fats for the nutrients necessary for repair.
The experience of pain can lead us to change the way that we stand, move, walk, and even sleep as the body tries to function around the injury. Muscular and mechanical imbalances can be created, and these can lead to a cycle of even more pain. Working with a trained massage or physiotherapist can help to identify and fix muscular and mechanical sources of strain in the body and can even help strengthen the muscles around an injury for improved support.
Healthy mechanical movement in the body depends on proper alignment, and many factors can lead to misalignment in the joints in our limbs and spines. These imbalances can lead to changes in the way we carry our body weight and in how we move, which can increase pain through tensing muscles and compression of the nerves. Chiropractic care as pain management is a foundational alternative to more ease in the body.
Communication between the limbs of the body and the brain happen through the nerves that run from the periphery of the body to the central nervous system. Each of these nerves ultimately passes between the vertebrae in the spine. As we age or experience injury, deteriorating conditions in the cushioning discs between the bones can lead to compression of these nerves, causing weakness and pain. Spinal decompression provides rapid pain relief and invites new blood flow, nutrients, and oxygen into the discs to encourage stability and repair.
Interventional medical treatments like injections can provide almost immediate relief from acute or chronic pain conditions in the body. These targeted treatments work by blocking pain reception in the nerves, by relieving the strain of muscle spasms, and even by reducing local inflammation to help facilitate the repair of damaged tissues.
Pain Management in Bakersfield
If you’re currently experiencing chronic pain with the potential of surgery in your future, you owe it to yourself to consider alternate methods of pain management. In Bakersfield, Envista Medical’s professional team will offer you the highest quality care through a comprehensive, personalized treatment plan. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you return to a healthier, more active lifestyle by reducing your pain!