cognitive behavioral therapy

Chronic Pain

Hello again.

This blog post is all about chronic pain and different treatment options that are safe.

Chronic pain is classified as any pain that lasts for longer than 6 weeks. A lot of people fall into this category as people live with pain a lot longer than 6 weeks. It has become a very larger problem because the current conventional model for treating pain has led to an even bigger problem of prescription medications being abused and becoming addicted.

The new guidelines for pain treatment consists of complementary treatments such as massage, acupuncture, chiropractic, physical therapy and some feedback techniques to help your brain readjust to the pain to better interpret the pain.

I find the natural alternatives to medications fascinating as well. Things such as turmeric, bromelain and even magnesium for managing pain. In my experience bromelain and turmeric have provided very useful to myself for aches and pains that I experience from time to time.

Back to the recommendations for chronic pain sufferers. Pain is a stimulus that our brains detect that gets our attention. It doesn’t necessarily mean that a tissue is being damaged. I find it interesting that when we focus on the pain more then it seems to intensify. Similar to fears. If one is scared of say a snake and to even think of a snake image would produce the same type of fear even though there is no snake, in reality near them.

So how is this connection tied into pain? Great question and it is still being investigated. A somewhat new term is what is called central sensitization that occurs in the spinal cord and brain. It is almost as if the brain and spinal cord store memory of pain and any little thing can trigger that memory to feel pain. It is in a state of high reactivity to a stimulus in the persons environment.

This could be an explanation to things such as fibromyalgia where the person’s nervous system is in such a high state that they hurt throughout the body and it moves and migrates to different spots.

I think a promising treatment is through coaching and cognitive behavioral therapy. It helps to reset the thoughts in your head to better form a clear interpretation of the pain. This therapy would help along with other treatment options such as acupuncture and electrical stimulation to help heal nerves.

One of the treatments that we do in office is micro current as well as other forms of electrical stimulation. This low current helps the cells respond and better heal. It is backed by science and is used to heal tendon, ligaments, muscle and skin injuries. This could be a potential in helping the body “turn down” the hyper reactivity of the nervous system along with coaching to find the thoughts behind the pain.

This is not a one-size-fits-all approach to chronic pain and it shouldn’t be. Every person is different with different backgrounds that need to be brought to the light in order to truly heal from chronic pain.

Chronic pain at the heart is a faulty reaction to a stimulus and that encompasses more than just mechanical pain such as an injury. It needs an integrative approach to better handle the person’s pain.

Moving forward in this type of approach I think more and more people can get well.

In good health,

Dr. Kauffman