One major trend in current healthcare is multidiciplinary or multimodal medicine. A practice that utilizes a multidiciplinary perspective draws on the research and principles of numerous medical specialties, for a stronger unified whole. Experts in the field of pain management, perhaps more than any other specialty, have embraced this approach to optimize patient success. For us, a technique such as trigger point therapy is seen as one piece of treatment.
A multidisciplinary strategy is not just about incorporating different medical disciplines. It also is an opportunity to explore any complementary and alternative options. Additional methods of treatment to accompany trigger point injections or other standard pain management techniques are by no means unusual. In fact, almost 2 out of every 5 patients who experience chronic pain include alternative or complementary strategies in their healing regimens.
National Institute of Health Complementary/Alternative Studies
The Institute of Medicine estimates that 1 out of every 3 people in the United States is currently undergoing chronic pain, with an annual cost to the marketplace of over $60 billion. Because pain affects our country so negatively, not just individually but economically, the National Institute of Health is studying all viable solutions. The NIH has been reviewing complementary and alternative methodologies for use alongside traditional approaches, such as facet joint injections, for 15 years.
The NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) – the subagency focusing on the topic – has specifically identified a number of therapies (listed below) that may be useful in treating pain. Note that findings on the effectiveness of these practices is still inconclusive, but each is worth consideration alongside pharmacological approaches such as trigger point therapy:
- Massage – Treatment from a licensed massage therapist (LMT) is often used in conjunction with facet joint injections or other conventional therapies. (We have LMTs on staff.)
- Spinal manipulation – Otherwise known as chiropractic care, it may be especially useful for low back pain and headaches.
- Prolotherapy -Prolotherapy involves injecting an irritant into the body, based on the notion that an initial harmful action toward the body can promote healing.
- Acupuncture -The use of small needles inserted into specific points in the body to treat pain.
- Yoga – Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines stretching exercises, controlled breathing and relaxation. Yoga done properly can stretch the muscles and reduce back pain.
- Tai chi – Tai chi is an ancient Chinese tradition, it involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing.
- Meditation – Meditation is considered a type of mind-body complementary medicine. Meditation produces a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind. Often used to reduce stress.
- Exercise – Exercise comes in many different types and forms but the overall benefits, strength, balance and cardiovascular gains increase the body’s ability to protect itself from pain and injury.
Trigger point injections can be extremely effective at treating pain, as are many of the pharmacological approaches used by pain management physicians. However, the wide range of complementary and alternative strategies, and the potential they exhibit to further decrease pain, cannot be ignored.
Our customers appreciate the pain management philosophy at Pain Stop because we study the situation of each patient and craft treatment plans to suit the individual. Contact us today.
Below, watch Dr. Thomas Morgan from the Pain Stop Avondale discuss the Pain Stop approach to Trigger Point Injection Therapy…