the goal of chronic pain management is to improve function
Dr Mosely explains what chronic pain is and how we can address it for real lasting change.
Dr Kabat-Zinn explains how uncoupling the thoughts that accompany pain from the physical sensations, reduces suffering.
The Canadian Pain Society states "Evidence supports that chronic pain is not just a symptom of underlying illness or injury, but it is a disease in its own right, with significant changes in complex biological, and psycho-social functions." - 2018
A good chronic pain plan involves whole person care and a multi-modal team. This means education, psychological therapy, manual movement, spiritual care and the body need to be part of the care package.
Medications are but a small part of the overall management process, but are sometimes relied on as the only option.
Medication itself can be a trial and error process, and can be very frustrating. But it is well worth the trials to find a combination that works for you, along with your plan incorporating all of the other modalities.
Dr. Holowaty also performs joint injections, trigger point injections, acupressure, acupuncture, dry needling and botox injections for chronic migraine. If deeper injections or lidocaine/ketamine infusions seem beneficial, Dr. Holowaty will refer you to appropriate physicians for further treatments.
Dr. Holowaty's philosophy is that pain cannot be treated without addressing total suffering. There is the physical component, but because of the plasticity of the nervous system, and the the shared wiring with mood and the stress response, these must also be mastered in order to manage pain and reduce suffering. Most of this work needs to be done by the patient, unfortunately! But it also means that you have control of most of your healing. Please see below for some excellent resources as well as checking out https://www.tamethebeast.org/
Pain is not simple. In fact, its very complex. The more you know about it, the more you can do about it, and take charge of your life again.
Physical movement improves almost everything! Even if it hurts at the beginning, as your body gets stronger from its injury, movement will feel better and better.
It may sound too good to be true, but a positive attitude and an openness to try new things are key to physically feeling better as well.
Mindfulness has been shown to be an incredibly powerful tool for dealing with mental health issues, stress, chronic pain and trouble sleeping.
Opioids are no longer indicated for many types of non-cancer chronic pain. In fact, opioids can make you feel worse - lowering testosterone, depressing mood, and making pain worse (opioid induced hyperalgesia). Sometimes rotating opioids or lowering the dose in combination with other approaches is the best way to treat the pain.
Sleep is when your body and your mind are able to repair and rejuvenate themselves, and so is very important. There are easy routines to get into to ensure that you have a good nights sleep.