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Chronic Pain Recovery Programs

Neurodegeneration is the umbrella term for the progressive loss of structure or function of neurons, including death of neurons. The most common neurodegenerative diseases are:

Intrusive memories/thoughts

Self-destructive behavior
Social isolation
Emotional detachment
Chronic Pain
Chronic Fatigue
Weakened Immune systems

Chronic pain is pain that persists longer than 90 days. There are many forms of chronic pain, and it can affect any area of the body. It’s often referred to an invisible disability because the pain sufferer looks normal to others and therefore, they are frequently misunderstood and accused of malingering.

Chronic migraines are a type of Chronic Pain that feature head pain ranging from moderate to intense, the pain can be on one side of the head or both, the pain presents as a throbbing,
pounding, or pulsating sensation, the pain is exacerbated with physical activity or movement, and has nausea, vomiting, light-headed and/or light and sound sensitivity along with it. The frequency of the pain and symptoms can be experienced for a few moments, only on occasion, to daily constant pain. It is very common for people to suffer from migraines for over 10 years and require regular use of prescription medication to manage the pain. It is estimated that there are 148 million people in the world suffering from chronic migraines.

Chronic migraine sufferers seek out a variety of treatments, not only for pain relief but to decrease the recurrence of future migraines. Resolving chronic migraines can be a complex process due to the myriad of contributing factors that span multiple categories. For example, undiagnosed or improperly treated head injuries and sub concussions, hormone imbalances, unresolved complex trauma, metabolic issues, immune issues, chronic subclinical infections, digestive issues, structural imbalances, cranial compressions and misalignments, circulatory issues, dental issues, visceral congestion, channel obstructions, nutritional deficiencies and more.

Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, brain fog, memory, and mood swings. The pain is often described as a constant dull ache. People with fibromyalgia often experience disrupted sleep due to pain and other sleep disorders such as restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea. The persistent pain and disrupted sleep contribute to a decline in cognitive abilities and impair one’s capacity to focus, pay attention and concentrate on mental tasks.
It is not known what causes fibromyalgia, but researchers believe symptoms sometimes begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection, or significant psychological stress. Repeated nerve stimulation causes the brain and spinal cord to change which creates an abnormal increase in certain chemicals in the brain that signal pain and the brain’s receptors seem to become sensitized and may overreact to signals. There are other cases where symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event identified by the patient.
Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than men. Many people who have fibromyalgia also have chronic fatigue syndrome, tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and depression. You may be more likely to develop fibromyalgia if you have osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or Lupus.
The main factor needed for a fibromyalgia diagnosis is widespread pain throughout the body for at least 3 months. The pain must be present in 4 out of 5 regions in the body.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a form of chronic pain that usually affects an arm or a leg. CRPS typically develops after an injury, a surgery, a stroke, or a heart attack. The pain experienced is often out of proportion to the severity of the initial injury.

The exact cause of CRPS is unknown and cases are uncommon with only 200,000 cases per year. Some possible causes are abnormal inflammation, dysfunctional nervous system after a heart attack, stroke, or other injuries like fractures, cuts, burns, sprains, or surgery. Symptoms may change over time and vary from person to person. Continuous burning and/or throbbing pain in extremities, swelling of the painful area, joint stiffness, muscle tremors, spasms, weakness and atrophy, changes in skin color ranging from white and blotchy to red or blue, noticeable changes in temperature and hypersensitivity (particularly to cold and touch) usually occur first.

CRPS occurs in two types both with similar symptoms, but different causes:

Type 1 is the most common type and occurs after an illness or injury that did not directly damage the nerves in your affected limb. As referred to as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD).

Type 2 symptoms are like Type 1 but in this case CRPS occurs after a distinct nerve injury.

Symptoms may change over time; the affected limb can become cold and pale. It may undergo skin and nail changes as well as muscle spasms and tightening. Once these changes occur, the condition is often irreversible.

CRPS occasionally may spread from its source to elsewhere in your body, such as the opposite limb. If left untreated the disease may progress to more-disabling signs and symptoms including tissue wasting and muscle tightening causing your hand and fingers or your foot and toes to contract into a fixed position.

In some people, signs, and symptoms of CRPS go away on their own. In others, signs and symptoms may persist for months or years.

Post-Surgical Scar Pain/Scar Numbness refers to thick, fibrous tissues where the collagen proteins grow in a single direction rather than in a multidirectional pattern, as they do in healthy skin. This structure makes scar tissue less elastic, which may cause tightness or restrict range of movement. Sometimes when surgical procedures don’t heal properly and leave behind painful adhesions, painful scars, numbness and/or constant tingling in the surgical area.

Why Sometimes Scars Don’t Heal Well:

When the scars occur over acupuncture points, they inhibit the energy flow affecting the functions of the organs and glands supplied by these meridians.

Being in a highly stressed state, sick, or experiencing high levels of inflammation at the time of surgery or injury can impair your healing process resulting in long term scar pain and numbness. I often work with clients to prepare them for surgery to have better outcomes and less complications.

Another complication to scar healing is unresolved emotional trauma that’s encoded and embedded in the nervous and connective tissue.

In some cases, pain from scar tissue is noticeable right away, and in other cases it might come on years later. This can be a result of the nerves that develop after the injury itself heals. Another possibility is that a deep wound can eventually adversely affect underlying bones and joints, leading to subsequent pain at the site of the scar tissue.

Low Back, Mid Back, and Neck Pain: Spinal pain in the lumbar region (lower back) and cervical region (neck) are highly prevalent and are often the causes for many lost work days. Lumbar muscle strains and sprains are the most common causes of low back pain. The thoracic spine (mid back) can also be a site of spinal pain, but because it is much more rigid, the thoracic spinal area is much less frequently injured than the lumbar and cervical spine.

The lumbar and cervical spine are prone to strain because of its weight-bearing function and involvement in moving, twisting, and bending. Lumbar muscle strain is caused when muscle fibers are abnormally stretched or torn. Lumbar sprain is caused when ligaments (the tough bands of tissue that hold bones together) are unusually stretched. Both can result from a sudden injury or from gradual overuse.
When the lumbar spine is strained or sprained, the soft tissues become inflamed. This inflammation causes pain and may cause muscle spasms. Even though lumbar strain or sprain can be very debilitating, neither usually requires neurosurgical attention.

Spinal pain can be caused by things more severe that might require surgical consideration. These usually involve spinal pain that radiates into arms, legs or around the rib cage from the back toward the anterior chest.

Three types of muscles support the spine:

Extensors (back muscles and gluteal muscles)

Flexors (abdominal muscles and iliopsoas muscles)

Oblique or rotators (side muscles)

Non-surgical low back, cervical and thoracic pain usually affects the central or paraspinal soft tissue without radiating into the arms, around the chest or down the legs. On the contrary, pain radiating from the spine into the extremities or chest wall implies structural pinching of the nerves in the spine that might require a surgical opinion if the situation fails to improve within weeks with non-surgical symptomatic treatment.

Other symptoms include:

  • Stiffness in the low back area, restricting range of motion
  • Inability to maintain normal posture due to stiffness and/or pain
  • Muscle spasms either with activity or at rest
  • Pain that persists for a maximum of 14 days
  • Notable loss of motor function such as the ability to tiptoe or heel walk

Sciatic Pain refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve. You might feel the discomfort almost anywhere along the nerve pathway, but it’s especially likely to follow a path from your low back to your buttock and the back of your thigh and calf. Typically, sciatica affects only one side of your body. Sciatica most commonly occurs when a herniated disk, bone spur on the spine or narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis) compresses part of the nerve. This causes inflammation, pain and often some numbness in the affected leg. Although the pain associated with sciatica can be severe, most cases resolve with non-surgical treatments in a few weeks. People who have severe sciatica that is associated with significant leg weakness, or bowel or bladder changes might be candidates for surgery.

The pain can vary widely, from a mild ache to a sharp, burning sensation or excruciating pain. Sometimes it can feel like a jolt or electric shock. It can be worse when you cough or sneeze, and prolonged sitting can aggravate symptoms. Some people also have numbness, tingling or muscle weakness in the affected leg or foot. You might have pain in one part of your leg and numbness in another part.
Fortunately, most forms of Chronic pain can be reasonably reduced and often eliminated with natural drug-free methods. An important factor in many forms of Chronic pain is that where the pain is felt isn’t necessarily where the problem causing the pain is. Therefore, in order to create an effective treatment plan, a thorough history and clinical exam is necessary to identify the specific causes and pathways involved in the pain syndrome.

When you’re ready to positively change the trajectory of your health, call 941-923-0283 to schedule a brief phone consultation to see if I can be of help to you and if we are a good fit for working together.