Over fifty million Americans are currently struggling with chronic pain. Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts longer than six months. Sometimes chronic pain continues after the injury or illness that caused it has healed. This may be because pain signals in the nervous system can remain active for weeks, months, or even years after the trigger for the pain has gone away. Frequent headaches, arthritis, nerve pain, back pain, and fibromyalgia pain are considered chronic pain conditions.
Many patients are prescribed addictive drugs or given injections that only provide temporary relief. These are not the only options available to chronic pain sufferers. Solutions for mitigating and even curing chronic pain do exist. These include laser therapy, regenerative therapy, and adjustments that can correct misalignments in the spine that may affect your nervous system. Here’s a closer look at these options:
Cold Laser Therapy
How it Works: Laser therapy is a non-invasive treatment that targets inflammation and increases blood flow to speed healing. Cold laser therapy uses red and near-infrared light to stimulate a physiological reaction in damaged cells that promotes regeneration. The procedure itself is quick, often taking less than twenty minutes, and painless.
Conditions it Can Treat: Cold lasers are excellent for treating soft tissue and joint pain. They can be used at the site of an injury or on joints affected by bursitis or arthritis. They have also proven effective for tendonitis, carpal tunnel, and fibromyalgia pain. Most patients notice a difference after the first treatment and report feeling less pain and stiffness after each successive treatment. The number of sessions you need to reach your goals will depend on the specific issue being treated. Your chiropractor can create a treatment plan that is tailored to you.
How it Works: Chiropractic adjustment refers to the treatment that you might think of as “having your back cracked.” While there often is a cracking or popping sound associated with adjustment (from gas leaving the joints), this is not the whole picture. Chiropractors are trained in dozens of methods for realigning the spine and other joints; many of these methods are very gentle and appropriate for people suffering from pain or even for those with osteoporosis.
Adjustments work by realigning vertebrae in your spine. Since the spine houses your spinal cord, misalignments can have consequences for your nervous system. Keeping the spine properly aligned can help your nervous system function better. Proper spinal alignment also takes the strain off your muscles and reduces stiffness and pain. Other joints, like knees, elbows, and wrists, can also be adjusted.
Conditions it Can Treat: Chiropractic adjustment has been proven to reduce headaches and migraines, cure chronic earaches, and relieve back and neck pain. It can also be helpful for repetitive use injuries. Adjustment can be used alone or in combination with other therapies like cold laser therapy to improve pain and promote healing.
Spinal Decompression Therapy
How it Works: Not to be confused with spinal decompression surgery, spinal decompression therapy is a non-invasive treatment for those suffering from chronic back or neck pain. During this therapy, the patient is secured to a computerized table that will gently lengthen and release the spine, creating negative pressures within the spinal discs. Most patients report feeling relief from their pain both during and after treatment.
Conditions it Can Treat: Spinal decompression therapy is used to treat conditions that are caused by problems with spinal discs. These are the fluid-filled cushions between the vertebrae. As a result of strain, injury, and aging, these discs can be pushed out of their normal place and bulge between the vertebrae or even become ruptured and leak fluid. Problems like these can cause chronic pain that can be difficult to treat with drugs or even surgery.
During decompression, negative pressure between the vertebrae will pull the discs back into proper alignment, relieve pressure from nerves and pull in oxygen, fluids, and nutrients that promote healing. Several treatments are usually needed, but relief can be long-lasting. Spinal decompression can treat unresolved back and neck pain, failed back surgeries, tingling or numbness in the extremities, and any other kind of back or neck pain that has been linked to disc problems or pinched nerves.
How it Works: Regenerative therapy is a state of the art treatment that uses cells to help your body heal. Our bodies naturally produce special cells that help to form replacement tissues after an injury. Sometimes this process doesn’t happen to the extent it needs to within our bodies. Regenerative therapy uses injections of harvested cells to help your body build new tissues. This therapy doesn’t work overnight. It usually takes a month or two to see results, and several months before the process is complete. After the new stronger tissue has replaced the old damaged tissue, the patient’s pain will be gone or significantly reduced. This is a safe treatment with a very low risk of side effects, and usually, just one treatment is needed. If one injection does not have the expected results, a booster injection will usually work to start the regeneration process.
Conditions it Can Treat: This treatment is appropriate for conditions where chronic pain is caused by damaged tissues. It can treat arthritis (by helping to regenerate cartilage), muscle injuries, certain types of neck and back pain, ligament injuries, joint injuries, and hip pain. Regenerative therapy is offered by Allstar Chiropractic in Florence, Kentucky, and their medical staff can tell you if you are a candidate and walk you through the process.
The Bottom Line
If you are suffering from chronic pain, you don’t have to depend on short term, possibly addictive, or dangerous treatments. All of the treatments outlined above have been proven to help people overcome their pain and live healthier lives. Ask your chiropractor which treatment or combination of treatments is right for you.