Thursday, November 17, 2016

A new approach to pain management

Have you had the following experience? You've been examined by your doctor because of chronic pain. You've completed blood tests, x-rays and other diagnostic tests. You've talked to your doctor about your health history and your lifestyle. All signs point to "normal" but you and your doctor both know that you are in pain. If so, you might want to consider Pain Management through Functional Medicine.

Women and doctor in conversation

The Functional Medicine model

Physicians who practice functional medicine focus on treating your body as a whole system and focusing on the causes of your problem, not just the symptoms.

By changing the disease-centered focus to a patient-centered approach, a functional medicine physician is able to support the healing process by viewing health and illness as part of a cycle. This view examines how all components of the body interact dynamically with the environment and identifies potential genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors that may shift a person's health from illness and pain to well-being.

Common issues causing chronic pain are arthritis, cancer treatments, fibromyalgia, or an old injury. You may also experience chronic pain that is seemingly unrelated to any past event. Regardless of the source, chronic pain is wearing on a person both physically and mentally. There are many different pain management options available and a pain management specialist can help you find the right treatment combination to get the relief you need. It may take some trial and error but working with your doctor you can find the balance of treatments that help you relieve your ongoing pain:

Medication treatments

  • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), including ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Antidepressants, which can improve sleep and alleviate pain
  • Anti-seizure medications, which can be effective in treating pain related to nerve damage or injury
  • Steroids, like dexamethasone and prednisone, to alleviate inflammation and pain

Therapy treatments

  • Physical therapy
  • Cognitive behavior therapy
  • Psychological therapy

Alternative treatments

  • TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) therapy
  • Meditation
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Visual imagery, as simple as picturing a peaceful scene, for example
  • Biofeedback, which teaches control over muscle tension, temperature, heart rate and more
  • Heat and cold therapy
  • Manipulation and massage
If you are suffering from chronic pain, even if it's pain that you cannot directly tie to a specific cause, don't suffer alone. Talk to your doctor about your pain and consider turning to a pain management/functional medicine specialist.

Meet Dr. Pedro Perez

Your pain management and functional medicine physician
Dr. Perez is board-certified in anesthesiology and pain management. He is in the process of pursuing additional certification through the Institute of Functional Medicine and completing continuing education through the Kresser Institute for Functional and Evolutionary Medicine. Dr. Perez is currently accepting patients.

Schedule an appointment: 574-753-1730

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