alternatives to treating chronic pain

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” – Haruki Murakami

If you have been suffering from any type of chronic pain for any length of time, you know that it can impact your mind and your emotions. Anxiety, despair and a growing sense of desperation can take hold and make life miserable.

Left untreated, chronic pain can even give rise to a depressing state of hopelessness that comes from long-term suffering.

So, we often do what most people do and that is to find a doctor that will prescribe painkillers, anti-inflammatory steroidal drugs, and even surgery – all in a desperate bid to find relief.

Alternatives Wanted: Inquire Within

While there will always be those whose default choice with any pain or physical complaint is to take medications, whether they’re prescription or over-the-counter (OTC). And, surprisingly, there are also those who are eager to submit to invasive surgical treatments without trying the alternatives. 

While these options may be necessary when the pain involved is caused by disease, cancerous growths and other pathological reasons, many times pain is a symptom of a non-pathological condition.

This could also be due to a wide variety of causes such as poor sitting or standing posture, a dysfunctional gait, entrapped nerves, and compensatory hypermobility, which is a connective tissue disease characterized by joint instability, chronic pain, and minor skin changes.

Too often, drugs and medications are only treating the symptoms, but not the cause. Treatments such as traditional physical therapy can often go further, but still stop short of addressing the root causes. And surgery, while it may resolve the chronic pain, there can be many disadvantages suchs as:

  • Blood clots in veins (Deep venous thrombosis or DVT)
  • Bleeding or infection
  • Nerve or tendon entrapment caused by scar tissue
  • External scarring from incisions
  • New sources of pain from peripheral tissue damage
  • Overall risk of death

But medications and surgery are not the only options. And the keys to pain relief and recovery lies within.

Your Chronic Pain Relief Alternative

At Pain and Performance Solutions, we offer something other than “physical therapy” in the traditional sense that most patients are familiar with. What we do is to work with your body using a variety of movement therapy techniques with the goal of bringing relief from chronic pain.

While physical therapy techniques and our unique approach to movement therapy can be somewhat similar, practitioners of physical therapy are limited by the restrictions within the medical system.

This means that they have no alternative to offer patients aside from the prescribed treatments allowed. These treatments can last over eight weeks or more, administered by a therapist that has been instructed to only work on a specific area of pain, and the patient is then sent home with a series of generic exercises to follow.

The problem is this area is quite often not where the root cause lies. And this is why Pain and Performance Solutions takes a broader and more holistic approach to chronic pain relief.

Here is a brief overview of what we do at Pain and Performance Solutions:

Active Release Technique®, or ART® is an advanced soft tissue treatment therapy that we use quite frequently and was developed by Dr. P. Michael Leahy, a chiropractor and former engineer.

Over time, injuries and movement dysfunction can create adhered and unhealthy tissues in the body. These conditions occur when muscles are subjected to an unusual amount of stress and the body attempts to reinforce the muscle through increased tension and building up collagen fibers.

Although this can help the body adapt to the specific stress, such as a repetitive movement, it can also prevent proper tissue movement and sometimes result in issues such as carpal tunnel symptoms.

ART® uses pressure and tension applied by the practitioner and movement by the client to break up the collagen fibers and scar tissue. The result is a restoration of normal range of motion and blood flow along with endurance, strength, and pain-free movement.

NeuroKinetic Therapy™, or NKT™, is often used with ART® to offer more precise relief of muscle tension and dysfunction. While ART® provides powerful relief from excess muscle tension, there are some instances when simply releasing a muscle with tension doesn’t provide permanent relief.

With NKT™, however, ART® therapy can be applied more effectively to eliminate dysfunctional patterns. We can use NeuroKinetic Therapy™ to test muscles and identify which ones are compensating for other muscles. Once the pattern is defined, the compensator muscle is released and the other muscles are neurologically retrained to work throughout the normal range of motion. 

Proprioceptive – Deep Tendon Reflex (P-DTR®) developed by orthopedic surgeon Dr. José Palomar, is a comprehensive technique for identifying and correcting “information processing errors” in the body. This then allows the treatment of acute and chronic pain, sensory dysfunctions, motor dysfunction, and a variety of other symptoms.

P-DTR® is based on the concept of proprioception, or sensation of touch, pressure, hot, cold, pain, etc., and how the body processes this information.

Most therapies deal with the physical elements of the body when, in fact, most pain and dysfunction is actually a proprioception problem. A comprehensive approach of muscle testing and neural challenges can identify receptors to be treated and normal function can be quickly restored. 

Anatomy in Motion, or AiM, can be described as a complete road map of the human body’s structure. The philosophy behind AiM philosophy is founded on principles of movement that are influenced by walking, which is our most fundamental movement.

AiM is essentially a philosophy of biomechanics that uses an assessment of walking, or a gait assessment, and posture to determine the specific movements that cause problems. With this information, patients can be taught new ways to move that will encourage their body to heal.

Quite often, Injuries cause the body to make adaptations by restricting movement in one part and overworking another part, or by preventing certain movements. Over time, these dysfunctions can cause more pain by a joint or tissue being forced to move in an abnormal way or being overworked. This is why treating just the area of pain often does not relieve the pain long term

The Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA™) is a set of seven full-body movement tests that establish a foundation for a series of further tests to provide a complete roadmap for treatment.

The SFMA™ tests approach identifies which movements are painful or dysfunctional, and which areas need to be assessed further.

Chronic pain treatment typically focuses on the site of pain. However, the actual cause of much pain is in a different location. Known as regional interdependence, this occurs when one area of the body affects the muscular recruitment and function of another area.

Chronic Pain Relief With Pain and Performance Solutions

For chronic pain, the first step in recovery and relief is letting us get to know you and your pain issues. Once you make your first appointment, we’ll want to learn about your present discomfort as well as any history of discomfort.

After a full examination, we can determine which form of treatment is needed to help you on your road to recovery. Because our bodies will try to compensate for pain, you may find you can move on with your day. However, by shifting that pain around to compensate for your discomfort, this can lead to other forms of pain.

Getting chronic pain relief with therapies such as Active Release Technique® can only begin when we can understand where your pain started. That could mean it started previously with another injury you might have sustained. 

Your trust in us is key, as is your honesty. Ultimately, getting your body working properly and healthy is the only way to achieve total recovery. So, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help and will answer any, and all questions that you may have.

You can reach us at (707) 636-4404 or by filling out our online contact form.