Chiropractic Chronic Pain Management St Paul MN
Pain is a silent epidemic in the United States. An estimated 50 million Americans live with chronic pain caused by disease, disorder or personal injury. An additional 25 million people suffer acute pain resulting from surgery, auto, sports or work related injury. Approximately two thirds of these individuals in pain have been living with this pain for more than five years.
The most common types of pain include arthritis, lower back, bone/joint pain, muscle pain and fibromyalgia. The loss of productivity and daily activity due to pain is substantial. In a study done in 2000 it was reported that 36 million Americans missed work in the previous year due to pain and that 83 million indicated that pain affected their participation in various activities.
The Price Of Pain
If acute pain remains untreated, it’s status changes. It soon becomes chronic pain. Once three to six months go by, and the person has been experiencing pain, what happens within the body is that there are pain pathways that are created. And this is how chronic pain is born.
- The annual cost of chronic pain in the United States, including healthcare expenses, lost income, and lost productivity, is estimated to be $100 billion.
- More than half of all hospitalized patients experienced pain in the last days of their lives and although therapies are present to alleviate most pain for those dying of cancer, research shows that 50-75% of patients die in moderate to severe pain.
- An estimated 20% of American adults (42 million people) report that pain or physical discomfort disrupts their sleep a few nights a week or more.
Commonly Reported Pain Conditions
When asked about four common types of pain, respondents of a National Institute of Health Statistics survey indicated that low back pain was the most common (27%), followed by severe headache or migraine pain (15%), neck pain (15%) and facial ache or pain (4%).
Back pain is the leading cause of disability in Americans under 45 years old. More than 26 million Americans between the ages of 20-64 experience frequent back pain.
Migraine, jaw and lower facial pain (TMD/TMJ) account for over 25 million pain suffers, many of who treat themselves with over-the-counter medications. Many pain sufferers take over-the-counter pain relievers for 5-10 years despite label warnings.
Adults with low back pain are often in worse physical and mental health than people who do not have low back pain: 28% of adults with low back pain report limited activity due to a chronic condition, as compared to 10% of adults who do not have low back pain. Also, adults reporting low back pain were three times as likely to be in fair or poor health and more than four times as likely to experience serious psychological distress as people without low back pain.
What is Chronic Pain?
While acute pain is a normal sensation triggered in the nervous system to alert you to possible injury and the need to take care of yourself, chronic pain is different. Chronic pain persists. Pain signals keep firing in the nervous system for weeks, months, even years. There may have been an initial mishap — sprained back, serious infection, or there may be an ongoing cause of pain — arthritis, cancer, ear infection, but some people suffer chronic pain in the absence of any past injury or evidence of body damage.
Many chronic pain conditions affect older adults. Common chronic pain complaints include headache, low back pain, cancer pain, arthritis pain, neurogenic pain (pain resulting from damage to the peripheral nerves or to the central nervous system itself), psychogenic pain (pain not due to past disease or injury or any visible sign of damage inside or outside the nervous system).
Treating The Whole Person
Because pain is a complex puzzle, no single health care profession holds the puzzle piece that solves this puzzle; rather, each health care profession holds a critical piece that contributes to the completion of the puzzle. Chiropractors are trained to see their patients as multifaceted, whole systems requiring a multidisciplinary viewpoint. A vast array of therapeutic options are available to pain patients, ranging from allopathic medicine to various complementary disciplines. Today’s pain patients may select Western medicine, Chinese medicine, acupuncture, pharmaceuticals, chiropractic, nutrition, supplementation, body work, yoga and psychology, to name a few. What does this mean to the pain patient? The path to pain reduction lies in the power of applying many different healing therapies in a way that complements the patient’s needs, beliefs and personality.
Untreated pain has significant impact on the pain sufferer and their family. The Chronic Pain in America: Roadblocks to Relief study, demonstrated clearly that pain has a negative impact on an individual’s quality of life. Pain diminishes their ability to concentrate, do their job, exercise, socialize, perform daily tasks and sleep. All resulting in an unrelenting downward spiral of depression, isolation and loss of self esteem.
Effective, Lasting Relief WITHOUT Drugs!
There are many ways to treat chronic pain that don’t include potentially addictive medication.
The impact of pain requires an understanding that the whole person experiences pain; that is, the mind, body and spirit. Fully Integrated Therapy supports the use of “conventional” treatments, for example, counseling, exercise or surgery, along with “complementary” pain-relieving techniques like acupuncture, laser therapy, bio-feedback, massage therapy or chiropractic manipulations. For more pressing concerns, Craniosacral therapy has proven to be effective on perplexing cases that have not responded well to other approaches.
This allows healthcare providers to offer more holistic care, taking into account all of somebody’s physical, mental, and social conditions in the treatment of illness.
Chiropractors are trained in chiropractic care, which focuses on the relationship between the body’s structure – mainly the spine – and its functioning to correct structural alignment problems to help the body in healing.
They use their hands and other tools to gently manipulate the spine to relieve pain (see spinal manipulation). Spinal adjustments or spinal manipulation is the process of applying a quick but gentle pressure to “subluxated” vertebrae in a corrective manner. A chiropractor will advise you on available treatment options for pain management because it is important that you receive all the information you need about potential treatments.
Unlike DOs or MDs, they cannot prescribe prescription medications, admit patients to hospitals or perform surgery.