Chronic pain is an overwhelming issue in American healthcare. Individuals are suffering from a variety of conditions, and medical practitioners are treating this condition with harmful opioids. Despite these treatments, chronic pain cases are not decreasing. And, even more alarming, prescription drug overdoses still remain a major concern for families and communities.
Does an alternative exist? Yes – functional medicine.
With a holistic approach, functional medicine works to discover WHY the body breaks down. By tracing back to the root cause, we can help patients make natural changes that provide lasting change. The body is an intricate system, that is often negatively affected by the choices we make as humans — diet, exercise, environment, etc. These contributing factors lead to a substantial impact upon the body often causing systemic inflammation and thus, chronic pain.
If we can identify the reason for your pain, we can do a more efficient job at reversing the problem – not just masking it with self-destructive sedatives.
Why Prescription Pain Medication Isn’t The Answer
Opioid prescriptions have increased dramatically since the 1990s. The overmedication of Americans has caused unnecessary abuse and death — many because of nonmedical prescription use. The misuse of these pain medications is highest among young adults, ages 18 to 25 – followed by older individuals, ages 57 to 85.
Prescription pain medications also cause day-to-day issues for individuals who properly adhere to usage guidelines. Problems like constipation, slowed breathing, depression, anxiety, and more pose complicated side effects.
While these powerful pain medications are necessary for certain circumstances, their commonplace use as an everyday solution is unproductive and reckless. These opioids may give patients temporary relief from their chronic pain, but they only mask the symptoms for the duration of the pill’s effectiveness. Once the medication has worn off, the pain returns – creating an unhealthy and health-dependent cycle.
How Functional Medicine Address Chronic Pain
As a functional medicine doctor, here at The Epigenetics Healing Center, we work to empower our patients to make the changes in their lives that lead to a healthier body and mind. A functional medicine approach might be the treatment course you need if you are someone who is suffering from the day-to-day chronic pain caused by conditions like:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Psoriatic Arthritis
Often the root cause of all pain reverts to some form of inflammatory response. When long-standing systemic inflammation is allowed to continue, mild to moderate to severe pain begins to take hold. Functional medicine looks at each individual as a case one of one. A cookie-cutter diagnosis isn’t the standard of care. We do extensive research into your medical history, present symptoms, and current lifestyle to help understand what could be the cause of your pain.
Once we have identified a few possible causes, we build a custom lifestyle modification plan that addresses your chronic pain at the source. Some areas we might target include:
- Anti-inflammatory diet
- Restorative exercise
- Nutrient-rich supplements
- Stress management
- Environmental alterations
- Sleep modification
In addressing one or multiple of these areas, many chronic pain patients begin to see improvements in their daily lives, without the need for harmful opioids like hydrocodone or oxycodone. These core adjustments give struggling patients the power to control their lives and see long-lasting effectiveness in the fight against systemic pain.
If you suffer from chronic pain, contact The Epigenetics Healing Center to learn how we can help.
Dr. Jay Goodbinder ND DC DABCI is a doctor in Overland Park, KS who serves patients in surrounding Kansas City areas, cities across the United States, and in several countries around the world.