Comprehensive Pain Elimination Plan
Break away from steroids and opioids
What is pain?
Well, first of all, pain is only a perception that is dependent upon the integrity and sensitivity of the pathways that lead up to it. Secondly, pain is protective - it is signal to your body that there is a threat present and you need to reevaluate what you are doing or how you are doing it. Obviously, there comes a point where pain is no longer protective - where there is actually no pattern of behavior that can be adopted that will stop the pain. The reasons for the onset of chronic pain are not so obvious.
These treatments are not life-long and are geared toward you getting your life back. Anti-inflammatories and opioids create a positive feedback loop that leads to continual and gradually increasing use until you max out - and then you’re stuck. With this program we are addressing the root causes of pain - inflammation, bioenergetic malfunction, structural damage, and central sensitization.
First, we have inflammation, which has become quite the buzzword in recent years because of its ubiquitous role in all disease. Inflammation is not a black and white phenomenon, it has many shades of gray and it actually is an important process under normal circumstances (acute inflammation). The problem lies in the presence of chronic inflammation where the body is not able to resolve the process and get back to pre-insult status. With this phase of the plan we are trying to remove the inflammatory mediators that cause tissue damage and prevent recovery and healing. Tackling this first gives the body a clean slate to improve response to the next phases of the IV plan.
Malfunction of bioenergetics basically means that the energy producing organelles, the mitochondria, are not as effective as they should be. There are hundreds to thousands of mitochondria in each cell, and they are very sensitive to stressors like high blood sugar, inflammation, environmental toxicants, and nutrient deficiency. Poor energy factories mean poor cellular function, which means that collections of cells (organs) will start to become dysfunctional. Organ systems with high energy demands like muscle tissue, the heart, and the brain will manifest problems first - headaches, brain fog, muscle aches, body pain, shortness of breath, exercise intolerance, etc. The second stage of our IV plan for pain addresses bioenergetics because it is the foundation of cellular function.
Thirdly we address structural damage left in the wake of inflammation, wear & tear, poor lifestyle choices, and so on. The fatty sheaths that surround nerves is most prominent in the bigger, more important fibers that transmit higher order information like fine touch, proprioception, and vibration. On the other hand, the nerves responsible for pain have little to no sheath and when the larger fibers lose theirs the smaller pain nerves start to have more of a voice. In this phase we are attempting to provide peripheral nerves and the cells that support them a comprehensive cocktail that contains the necessary components to rebuild and regrow so the pain fibers return to silence.
Finally, one of the problems with chronic pain is that peripheral silence is not always enough. Because of the effect it has on the processing and perception of pain in the brain, pain changes the density of connections that are involved with its own generation - it’s like an old dirt road that gets enough traffic to necessitate an actual paved road that continues to be developed into a 6-lane freeway. The technical term for this is central sensitization. The nervous system rewires itself and pain is perceived even in the absence of any painful stimulus. Without the necessary components from nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress management, and physical rehabilitation the likelihood of pain resolving and not getting progressively worse is not good. It is for these reasons that the next part of the plan tackles the brain and its metabolic functions. This resets the higher pain centers and un-paves the roads.