Article for website - tx of pain with natural medicine .pages

The Monday, August 2, 2010 issue of the St. Petersburg Times, Tampa Bay section page 1B, reported that since 2005 there have been 2,554 deaths from pain medication overdose in the Tampa Bay area.! These drugs include the most commonly prescribed for pain and anxiety including oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet, Tylox), methadone (Methadose, Dolophine), hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab, Lorcet), fentanyl (Actiq, Fentora, Duragesic), alprazolam (Xanax, Niravam), propoxyphene (Darvon), morphine (Kadian, MS Contin), carisoprodol (Soma), diazepam (Valium, Diastat) and hydromorphone (Dilaudid).! Overdosing can occur by taking too many doses within a certain time period, mixing several drugs at once, or combining with alcohol or over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol).! Though most people agree that there may be a time and place for such medications, there is much current scrutiny concerning the overuse of these medications.! In addition to being addictive, the possible withdrawal symptoms of these medications may include physical pain.! Thus, it may be difficult for a physician to determine whether they are dealing with a continuation of chronic pain,! or with a patient who has become addicted.! The State of Florida has been investigating pain clinics in which such medications are prescribed, and many have been shut down.! There is also increasing scrutiny of pharmacies and patients who "doctor shop," by going from one doctor to another as if they had not been prescribed a medicine such as oxycodone in the past so that they don't make any one doctor suspicious.! Pain can often be treated much more benignly with non-toxic, non-addictive techniques including massage therapy, physical therapy and other manual medicine techniques, acupuncture, neural therapy (injection into scar tissue and nerve ganglia using non-toxic medicines), prolotherapy (injecting dextrose into ligaments and tendons to stimulate the body to repair damage), various homeopathic injections such as Traumeel, Spascupreel and Zeel! (established in the medical literature as being effective in many cases), and mind/body medicine in which the emotional triggers to pain are looked into and relieved through a wide variety of safe techniques.! I have seen great success utilizing these techniques over the years.
! In a conventional medical setting, if a physician is overbooked to the point of precluding a thorough assessment, this may increase the risk of prescribing pain medication when other treatment modalities could address the source of the pain.! I often get patients who tell me that they "have a torn rotator cuff," have arthritis or another diagnosis for their pain.! When I ask, "How was this diagnosis determined?" they tell me that they described their pain to their doctor and were told that's probably the problem, even though no physical exam or medical imaging was done to determine the cause of the pain.! At the very least a good physical exam needs to be done to determine a probable cause, and, if this fails to answer all questions, then order up an MRI (I usually don't order up radiological tests, such as X-ray and CT, so as to minimize the patient's lifetime exposure to radiation, a known and potent cause of cancer).! Often, these exams produce a definitive diagnosis that enables us to treat a patient in a way that doesn't involve potentially dangerous and addictive pain medications.
There is also great help in the herbal medicine world.! The herb valerian is a great muscle relaxant and anti-anxiety agent.! Few people realize that Valium is an altered version of one compound found in valerian.! However, the whole valerian root is safe enough to be consumed regularly without risk of addiction, and can relax muscle pain much more safely than medications such as carisoprodol.! Other herbs in this same category are chamomile, hops, passion flower, California poppy, and many others.! Natural anti-inflammatory agents include willow bark, holy basil, boswellia (frankincense), myrrh, turmeric, green tea, skullcap and many others.! One product combining many anti-inflammatory herbs is Zyflamend, by New Chapter, which has been studied by Cleveland Clinic and is an excellent choice in herbal anti-inflammatory agents (we have this as well as many health food stores).! There are many other choices of products to control inflammation, and just like medications no one product is going to work in all cases, so one may have to try several to get the right one.! Additionally, oral and topical versions of the above-mentioned homeopathic injection medicines, such as Traumeel and Zeel, are available in oral and topical form.! There are many available choices to help improve or resolve pain that do not involve potentially deadly medications.! Please call our office with any questions and we'll be happy to help you.!


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