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Pain and Injuries

What is Pain?

Pain, while unpleasant, serves an important purpose in keeping us safe, alive and well.  It is a signal from our body that we need to stop doing something that is causing harm or injury.  Inflammation that comes along with injury also acts as a splint and functions as the beginning of the healing process.  Without inflammation, healing does not happen.  

All pain is essentially caused by inflammation.  The inflammation that causes pain can come from many sources:

  • Mechanical injury to structure

    • Pressure on soft tissue (muscles, ligaments nerves) caused by

      • Bone spurs

      • Herniated discs

      • Tumors

      • Joint misalignments

    • Pulls, tears, bruising of soft tissue from trauma

    • Muscle spasms / bound fascia

  • Immune inflammatory triggers

    • Infections (bacteria, virus, spirochetes, etc)​

    • Food reactions

      • Gluten, dairy and nightshades being frequent culprits​

    • Toxic exposures to mold, heavy metals or chemicals

    • Endocrine imbalances

Treatment strategies:  Treat the Cause

As a naturopathic doctor, bodyworker and acupuncturist, when I consider a patient with pain, my first question is “what is the cause?”  I look at the pattern, history, location and quality of the pain.  

If the pain is in a specific, fixed location,  I first look for structural issues and injuries.  Because I have so many different types of training, I have multiple layers of understanding of the musculoskeletal system, and can sometimes find dysfunction or injuries that others miss.  

​If pain is everywhere, in multiple, symmetric locations or wandering around, then I consider systemic issues such as food reactions, infections or toxic exposures (metals, chemicals, biotoxins). 

Acupuncture, naturopathic therapies and bodywork are powerful combination for addressing structural pain, injuries and systemic pain.  Naturopathic therapeutics are helpful in finding and treating the cause of systemic inflammation, as well as alleviating symptoms during the healing process.  Most people find pain relief with some combination of: 

  • Identifying food sensitivities and other toxic exposures that cause inflammation

  • Using herbal and nutritional supplements to heal tissues and reduce inflammation

  • Using acupuncture and bodywork to trigger rapid resolution of local pain

That said, if you have an injury that needs structural repair, I am also fairly good at assessing the need for specific imaging or higher levels of intervention (trigger point, prolo or PRP injections, surgery, etc).  I have training in all of these areas, though ordering / performing them in Texas is outside my scope.  I am happy to educate you and point you in the direction of local or national specialists. 

Treating pain and injuries is one of my favorite things to do because they so frequently respond well and quickly to the combination of tools I have.  Giving someone pain relief after a 45 min acupuncture and bodywork session is what I call job satisfaction! 

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