It seems you’ve tried everything: prescription and over-the-counter pain killers, alternative therapies like yoga and massage, shuffling between providers, exercise, and even diet modifications. But still your chronic pain persists. Until now. At Renew Health in Tempe, Arizona, we offer real solutions to help real people like you.
What Is Chronic Pain?
After an injury, and while it’s healing, it is normal for the body to experience pain. Once the injury heals, and pain persists, you begin to experience chronic pain. This happens when the body continues sending erroneous signals to the brain.
The condition can last from months to years and limit you physically and emotionally. Daily tasks and activities become difficult to complete, and sometimes, you’re not able to function at all.
Specifically, chronic pain is that which lasts longer than 12 weeks. Different patients experience different sensations. Some have sharp pain, while others describe it as dull. The time during which you experience pain may also fluctuate; some days it may be ongoing, and on others, it may come and go. This takes a toll both emotionally and physically.
This pain can also target any part of the body and might feel differently in different areas. Some of the most common kinds of chronic pain include:
- Pos-surgical pain
- Post-trauma pain
- Lower back pain
- Cancer pain
- Arthritis pain
- Pain caused by nerve damage
- Psychogenic pain (not caused by disease, injury, or nerve damage)
Chronic pain is usually caused by an injury, such as a pulled muscle or torn ligament. It develops after nerves become damaged, which makes the pain more intense and longer-lasting. Some people, however, never have an injury and still experience this kind of pain. The causes in this instance are not understood but may be related to an underlying health condition like inflammatory bowel disease (IBS) or fibromyalgia.
In many cases, treatment is recommended in a blanket manner. This is to say that healthcare professionals tend to prescribe and/or recommend the same therapy to nearly every patient. This is why it’s been so hard for you to achieve a pain-free life; the options put before you have not been customized to meet your individual needs.
Our offices are committed to finding a balanced treatment approach that finds solutions designed to work with your body. The therapies we offer push aside the one-size-fits-all theory and embrace you as an individual.
Platelet-Rich Plasma / Autologous Stem Cell
The human body is equipped with internal healing powers that can be harnessed and put to work for many different issues. This eliminates the need for complicated surgeries and significant healing times. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cells are therapies already found within the body that, with the proper medical attention, can relieve such conditions as:
- Sports injuries, like torn rotator cuffs or tennis elbow
- Repetitive injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome
- Chronic neck and back pain
- Joint pain and osteoarthritis
- Specific headaches
Platelets are small, colorless cell fragments within the blood that form clots and stop bleeding. They also contain growth factors that stimulate the regeneration of new cells and support healing. When a soft tissue injury occurs, the body’s first response is to deliver platelet cells.
As a therapy, we can isolate and concentrate platelets from your blood. When the concentrated plasma is injected into an injured part of the body, it intensifies the body’s natural healing efforts by delivering a higher concentration of platelets. Plasma has powerful regenerative effects on its own, but the harvesting kit we use only improves its therapeutic potency.
Platelet-rich plasma is an effective healing therapy, but its most key role in managing chronic pain is to attract the critical assistance of stem cells. These cells have a unique feature in that they become precisely what the body needs, whatever that may be, exactly when needed. Regardless of your injury, the body’s stem cells provide the necessary repair by generating muscle, bone, cartilage, or any other type of tissue.
PRP and Stem Cells Together
These combined therapies work to treat an entire part of the body rather than just a place of injury. Results vary from patient to patient, but the dual treatments accelerate tissue regeneration that can reduce inflammation, decrease the need for pain medications, and bring long-lasting and effective relief from pain.
Interventional Pain Management
For patients who have exhausted other treatment options, interventional pain management (IPM) uses a multidisciplinary approach that can finally bring relief. Particularly in treating spinal pain, overtaxed doctors often prescribe habit-forming painkillers or surgery.
But in our office, we use IPM to locate the precise source of pain and then intervene to block pain signals. The focus is again on the spine, but treatment can be for any part of the body, from head to toe.
Several different options fall under this umbrella treatment. For instance, PRP and stem cells – as we discussed earlier – can be injected into an injured area to relieve localized pain. Additional IPM treatments include the following.
These non-surgical therapies are intended to provide pain relief by reducing inflammation of the nerve roots as they exit the spine. We deliver steroids to the epidural space. By reducing inflammation at the very point where the nerve root causes issues, pain can often be relieved – sometimes for years – so you can return to normal activities and/or a physical therapy program.
Epidural injections can bring relief to many different parts of the body. We’ve seen success in patients who have neck and back pain, just to name a few. Candidates for this treatment include those with these conditions:
- Spinal stenosis
- Herniated disc
- Degenerative disc
Ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that uses carefully controlled energy to destroy nerve fibers that carry pain signals to the brain. Although the effect is temporary, it can provide lasting relief, especially in the lower back, neck, and arthritic joints. This is an excellent option for those with pain that hasn’t responded to physical therapy or medication.
During ablation, heat is used to ablate, or burn, the nerve causing you pain. Many conditions can benefit, including neck, back, knee, pelvic, and peripheral nerve pain. At the top of the benefits list is a reduced need for oral pain relievers. Patients also quickly return to daily activities because ablation requires little recovery time. Finally, it can provide relief for up to two years and allows you to avoid surgery,
In small doses, ketamine can treat pain and give patients the relief they need. Infusions make it even more effective, as it goes directly into the bloodstream. Over time, it can improve communication signals between the body and brain so that after an injury is healed, the sensation of pain naturally goes away.
How Do Treatments Work?
It is believed that ketamine interferes with the central sensitization process, by which the body builds the intensity and number of pain signals over time. By blocking and resetting pain signaling, patients are provided relief from chronic suffering.
Ketamine may also relieve the symptoms of depression. Those who experience ongoing pain feel its emotional toll as well and often feel depressed. This comes as each day presents new challenges: the pain’s severity constantly changes, mobility can be limited, and frustration sets in. But ketamine can potentially treat multiple issues, thereby improving the overall quality of life.
What Are Treatments Like?
Your treatment dosage will start very low, and we’ll decide with you the exact amount of ketamine you initially need. In addition, we have designed our treatments to be quick and convenient. It’s important to note exact treatment results can and do vary with each patient. We will discuss further details with you during your consultation appointment.
Many patients find ketamine therapies to be relaxing. It is often a welcome opportunity to sit back and remove yourself from mental and physical pain. Ultimately, the goal is to empower you to achieve positive outcomes in pain management and/or ongoing therapy.
When it comes to medical attention, pain is the single most commonly reported symptom. Ironically, it is a normal response that allows each body to recover from an injury. This response becomes abnormal, however, when the pain persists and starts to negatively impact life.
Because each person is genetically different, each response to pain is also different. Some feel it more intensely than others, which further complicates treatment. This is why an individualized approach is needed. One person may do very well on oral pain relievers, while another may need more in-depth and comprehensive therapy.
A Multifaceted Problem
Pain may not register as a traditional disease like cancer or diabetes, but the same multitude of factors is at play. Painful experiences throughout a patient’s lifetime, in addition to genes, can modulate our responses. They help explain why we don’t all respond in the same way to pain treatment.
The real goal for healthcare providers, then, is to find ways to identify who will have more pain after an injury or surgery, who will need more pain-killing drugs, and who will need a more targeted plan for managing pain. This will lead to a plan that negates “guesswork” and instead focuses on helping a patient recover comfortably, safely, and quickly.
The Plague of Ongoing Pain
Ongoing, lasting pain presents constant situations of the unknown for patients. You don’t know how you’ll feel in the morning, if one day will be easier than another, or how the doctor is going to react when you say that yet another treatment has proven unfruitful. These situations, combined with enduring the pain itself, makes life feel like a constant roller coaster.
Managing pain is more than pills. When medications do run low – whether it’s a clerical issue at the pharmacy or a problem with health insurance – waiting for the next prescription brings the added burden of anxiety. Modalities that eliminate the need for prescription painkillers, like those offered at our office, do so much more than relieve pain. They restore a sense of hope.
Light at the End of the Tunnel
The frustration that builds from trying to relieve ongoing pain is real. The pain is also real; it seems that too many times, friends, family, and even some practitioners are willing to dismiss pain as “in your head.” But, as we already discussed, many factors go into the pain phenomenon, wherein some patients get better quickly, and others suffer for years.
We understand the complexities of chronic pain and assure you treatment options do exist. We want to talk with you, not at you, and welcome your thoughts and suggestions as we formulate a treatment plan together. Call Renew Health in Tempe, Arizona today and schedule your consultation appointment.