Sep 072010

I passionately believe that the days of totally relying on a health care specialist to cure all our ills and pain are over. Health care is expensive, whether it’s a private or government program. Today with the internet it’s possible to find information on every possible medical subject. Now I am not endorsing becoming your own doctor. What I am saying is that we can have the best of both worlds: the care of a competent doctor and being our own health advocate or coach. Our wellness or health is in our hands and we must be responsible for managing our health and that also includes pain management.

It is possible to be your own back pain management specialist. All of us you have suffered from a herniated disc, sciatica pain and chronic chronic pain know how much the pain can take over your life. We search for ways to relieve the pain or at least calm it down so we can live our life to the fullest. I am sure you have gone through many a bottle of pain killer over the counter and prescription attempting to stop your pain. You have probably seen several doctors had MRI, physical therapy and even surgery and still the pain persist. Recently I talked to a person whose brother has had four back surgeries. That is right four! Is he pain free? No, in fact he is worse off than before he had the first operation. He certainly is in need of pain management.

Pain is very subjective and in many cases difficult to treat. Many times patient suffering from non-specific pain. This is the pain most often dismissed by their doctors. These physicians have been trained to look for organic causes. So what is a person to do? Well the short answer is they need to become their own pain management specialist.

So what can we do to become our own pain management specialist? Let us look at pain management tools that we can use to lessen and eliminate pain. These methods are non-evasive alternative treatments that have been practiced successfully for hundreds if not thousands of years.

1. Exercise-There are many exercise programs available. Some are as simple as swimming, yoga, Qigong and walking. Exercising has proven to be a very effective pain management method. Just be sure to start slow and gradually increase the duration and intensity. As your own pain management coach learn to really listen to your body.

2. Manipulation: Massage therapy, chiropractic adjustments, osteopathy, acupuncture are all types of manipulation designed to relieve stress and pressure on your body. There is a lot of evidence support touch whether it is done be a professional or a friend as being very effective in managing pain.

3. Hypnosis: A trained hypnotist can help you ease your pain and no, you will not start barking like a dog when you see a cat. A skilled practioner is a far cry from a stage hypnotist. Biofeedback and other coping methods are also very effective in reducing or eliminating pain.

4. Stimulation: By stimulation I mean using hot and or cold packs and electrical stimulation. The hot and cold packs are self explanatory. By electrical stimulation I mean using a small battery charged device that sends a current to electrodes attached to your body. I use one of these devices regularly and find them to be very useful.

These are just some of the many non-evasive methods and techniques you can use to become your own pain management specialist. Some of these methods involve a health care provider, but some you can do on your own. The point I am making here is that it is up to you to take control of your wellness program.

Only you know how you really feel. After consulting with your doctor and identifying the reason and source of your pain you need to be assertive in your own health. You can learn to manage, lessen and even eliminate your chronic pain and return to a normal pain free life.

Lastly do not meekly rely on your doctor’s advice. As well meaning and skilled as they may be, most doctors are either unaware or ill informed about other non-traditional methods. They have spent years of educating and training that centered around surgery and modern drugs. Do not be afraid to ask tough questions and expect honest answers. I always felt that surgery is the last option. Once a surgeon has operated and it does work your options are greatly limited.

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