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Dr. Corinne: Chronic Pain and How to Treat It Naturally
Dr. Corinne Weaver : Jul 26, 2019 DrCorinneWeaver.com
Taking pain killers to make it through the day is NOT your only option for managing chronic pain!
It's so hard to see someone suffering and in pain. Even when I hear a baby cry, I try my very best to soothe that baby to bring comfort. Because pain is so subjective, sometimes it's hard to fix it. (Image: Pixabay)
When sin entered our world, death and pain entered as well. I also know that in the Bible, when Job lost everything and suffered, it brought intimacy with God (Job 42:5). Suffering is something I will never understand. Most of the people I meet and truly want to help have suffered so much and yet still hang on to God's truth and love. When I was struggling to breathe as a child, I also experienced God on a deep, profound level. The suffering I went through gave me compassion for others, enabling me to help others find their joy in the midst of their storm.
I feel the best when I make others smile. I am not a comedian, but that would be cool! My husband makes most of the jokes in our family to keep us laughing. Laughter is the best medicine for sure! In fact, we love playing games just to laugh.
One of my dear patients has complex regional pain syndrome. She has been suffering for 4 years. I just recently met her and am helping her in her healing journey. She was on so many medications trying to help her reduce her pain levels because when her pain is too high she has seizures. So, my primary goal is to reduce her pain meds to help her body heal.
Why I want to help people get off pain meds
We've all heard the term 'opioids' but let's clarify what specifically falls into that class of drugs:
Opioids are naturally found in the opium poppy plant, and some prescriptions are made from the plant directly, while others are made in a lab by scientists using the same chemical structure.
Opioids are chemically related to what our body naturally produces, and interact with opioid receptors on the nerve cells in our brain and nervous system. When opioids attach to these receptors, they block pain signals sent to the body and release large amounts of dopamine - this strongly reinforces the act of taking the drug, making the user want to repeat the experience, often resulting in addiction.
In the short term, and when used as prescribed from a doctor, opioids are generally safe and can help relieve traumatic pain.
Opioids' harmful effects include:
Opioids affect the part of the brain that regulates breathing. If you know me, then you know how I feel about breathing! When high doses of opioids are taken, it can result in respiratory depression, which causes hypoxia, a condition that results when too little oxygen reaches the brain. Effects of hypoxia include coma, permanent brain damage, and death.
Combining opioids with alcohol and sedative medication increases the risk of respiratory depression and death, as does use by people who have medical conditions such as HIV, liver or lung disease, or suffer from depression.
Chemically, prescription opioids and heroin are very similar and produce the same type of high. In some places, heroin is cheaper and easier to get than prescription opioids, so some people switch to using heroin instead. In fact, nearly 80 percent of Americans using heroin (including those in treatment) report misusing prescription opioids prior to using heroin.
The sad facts
Today, at least half of all United States opioid overdose deaths involve a prescribed opioid. In 2014, more than 14,000 people died from overdoses involving drugs including Methadone, Oxycodone, and Hydrocodone. That same year, overdose deaths from opioid abuse reached an average of 78 people per day - more than three people per hour.
Additionally, some estimates conclude that the cost of opioid abuse to United States employers is estimated at $18 billion in sick days, lost productivity, and medical expenses.
The number of people affected by chronic pain is on the rise, and in an attempt to keep up with patients' needs and demands for relief, doctors often over-prescribe narcotic painkillers. Plus, a majority of doctors incorrectly believe that morphine and oxycodone - both opioids - are the most effective ways to treat pain. Additionally, many physicians explain that they were taught to view pain as a 'vital sign' that should be constantly monitored and aggressively treated.
In 1996, Purdue Pharmaceuticals introduced OxyContin, an opiate used to treat chronic pain of all kinds, to the market. Although it had FDA approval, it was deliberately and falsely presented as a drug with a small risk of addiction and was provided to patients free of charge for limited time periods through a voucher system. Physicians, pharmacists, and other health care providers were aggressively marketed to and encouraged to liberally prescribe OxyContin for any and all kinds of pain.
In only a few years, OxyContin became the leading cause of opiate prescription overdose and had meanwhile generated more than a billion dollars in annual sales. Since then, Purdue has been hit with nearly 2,000 lawsuits from state and local governments. In 2007, Purdue was found guilty of criminal charges in this misrepresentation.
According to a 2016 survey by the National Safety Council, 99 percent of medical doctors prescribe highly-addictive opioids, and for longer than the three-day period recommended by the CDC. When these results were released, 23 percent of doctors came out to say that they prescribe at least a month's worth of opioids at a time.
Years later, despite all the pain killers that have been in circulation, studies have not shown any collective improvement in chronic pain.
Back pain and musculoskeletal conditions
Misinformation about the use and need of painkillers are most common when treating back pain, with more than 70 percent of doctors saying they prescribe narcotic painkillers for the condition. Have you or a loved one suffered from back pain where prescription painkillers were offered as a solution?
It's estimated that one in two adults are affected by a musculoskeletal condition such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, back pain, epicondylitis, and neck tension. These conditions become chronic when they last longer than 12 weeks and are associated with impaired physical and mental function, as well as reduced quality of life. Did you know that even headaches can be considered chronic if you experience three in a row?
Reports from the Center for Disease Control confirm that 17 percent of adults have experienced a migraine or severe headache, and often, opioids are used as a way to treat them.
Chiropractic is the largest, most regulated, and best recognized of complementary and alternative care professions. For the large number of people who suffer from chronic pain, chiropractic care can offer a drug-free, non-invasive, and cost-effective alternative to opioid drugs. Providers in multiple disciplines and throughout the healthcare industry as a whole are now advocating for the use of chiropractic care.
There is a growing body of research that backs up the effectiveness of chiropractic services, and the American College of Physicians has updated its guidelines to recommend first using non-invasive, non-drug treatments for acute and chronic lower back pain, regarding drug therapies as a last resort.
A 2012 study revealed that patients receiving chiropractic treatment combined with exercise for chronic neck pain were twice as likely to become pain-free versus those who were treated with medicine only.
The study followed 272 neck-pain patients for 12 weeks and found:
32% of those receiving only chiropractic care became pain-free
30% of those exercising became pain-free
13% of those treated with medication for chronic pain became pain-free
NOTE: Here's the study:
There are two types of pain
Pain management often deals with two types of pain, intractable pain and chronic pain. Intractable pain is a term that first came to fruition in World War II as a clinical definition of soldiers who required morphine (an opioid) for constant pain. This type of pain is usually temporary and requires surgery or powerful medications – not chiropractic care.
Chronic pain is what can occur as a result of intractable pain or can develop over time without a specific traumatic event. Chronic low back pain, neck pain, and headaches are the problems for which people most often seek chiropractic adjustments for.
By now most of you are probably curious to learn more about how chiropractic care works. In order to best explain, I want you to think of your body as an automobile. When driving around, most of the time everything seems fine. But over time, small fender benders, hitting a speed bump too hard, or slamming on the brakes too fast and too often can result in small misalignments. The damage may not be immediately obvious, but over time we'll see joints begin to break down and wear out. The focus of chiropractic care is to keep the bones of the spine in their proper relationship to one another so that everything stays running as smoothly as possible.
When vertebral joints lose proper alignment, it leads to abnormal motion and movement. This affects the way that the brain communicates with the body and changes the firing pattern of chemicals within the central nervous system. By reducing this interference, your body can return to its regular order and reach its maximum health potential.
The best first step to recreating equilibrium in your body is by visiting and consulting with a chiropractor. Based on your symptoms, they will be able to make personalized readjustments. But the work doesn't have to stop there...
As we age, our bodies change, and the way we care for them changes as well. No matter what age you are, take these considerations into account in addition to consulting with a chiropractor. Do exercises that promote stability, strength, and balance. Strengthening your core allows your spine to achieve a neutral, healthy posture much easier. Strength training will build your muscles and support your bones. Balancing exercises will also help with alignment AND prevent you from having a fall down the line that could contribute to chronic pain. Additionally, exercise will boost your mood!
Maintain a healthy weight. Even if you're just moderately overweight, there will be increased stress on joints and muscles that are already misaligned and dysfunctional.
Please note, even if you lose the weight, the problem will still be there if the alignment is not corrected.
Check out this video now to be inspired by Chronic Hope.
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day to read this! We hope that by now you understand and feel confident about the fact that taking pain killers to make it through the day is NOT your only option for managing chronic pain.
My mission is to help you get healthier without needing more medications. Join here to get my FREE ebook and join the INNER Circle if you want accountability to take action for your health.
By joining this circle, you have the unique opportunity to ask questions and share personal experiences while engaging with like-minded individuals and gaining the support of health professionals who are experts in health and wellness.
I am looking forward to Showing Up more in your life and Serving you Better!! Don't forget to Listen to the No More Meds Podcast and join the No More Meds Movement with me. Subscribe for free to Breaking Christian News here
Dr. Corinne Weaver is a compassionate upper cervical chiropractor, educator, motivational speaker, mother of three, and internationally bestselling author. In 2004, she founded the Upper Cervical Wellness Center in Indian Trail, North Carolina. Over the last 13 years, she has helped thousands of clients restore their brain to-body function. When she was 10 years old, she lost her own health as the result of a bike accident that led to having asthma and allergy issues that she thought she would always have to endure. Then, after her first upper cervical adjustment at age 21, her health began to improve thanks to upper cervical care and natural herbal remedies. This enabled her to create a drug-free wellness lifestyle for herself and her family, and she also enthusiastically discovered her calling to help children heal naturally.
Dr. Weaver was named one of Charlotte Magazine's "Top Doctors" in 2016 and is now a number-one internationally bestselling author to two books: Learning How to Breathe and No More Meds.
Upper Cervical Wellness Center is known for finding the root cause of health concerns through lifestyle changes, diagnostic testing, nutraceutical supplementation, and correction of subluxation (as opposed to just medicating the symptoms). The practice offers cutting-edge technological care at its state-of-the-art facility, including laser-aligned upper cervical X-rays, bioimpedance analysis (measures body composition), digital thermography (locates thermal abnormalities characterized by skin inflammation), and complete nutritional blood analysis, which is focused on disease prevention.
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