Chronic Pain and Osteopathy

Chronic pain is the kind of condition that does not carry a good prognosis with respect to a definitive starting or ending day. Sufferers suggest that the pain comes in waves: at times it is less pronounced while at others times it can be downright debilitating.

What remains constant, however, is the presence of the pain in varying degrees. Chronic pain is commonly managed with pain medication, but due to the significant side effects that accompany a variety of painkillers, patients are looking for other avenues as well.

Managing chronic pain through osteopathy and other medical disciplines is proving to be quite successful. Patients are careful not to set their hopes and expectations too high, but many have reported that already their pain has undergone a metamorphosis when it comes to strength, duration, and recurrence. Thus far, there are more or less four different kinds of practitioners that pain sufferer seek out.

1. Pain sufferers usually begin their travel through the medical community in the offices of a medical doctor or M.D. The medical doctor will usually focus on the symptoms and the organs or bodily systems associated with them. Seeking to ferret out the cause of the pain, the M.D. orders a plethora of lab tests and other exploratory fact finding endeavors. When most attempts at treatment fail, the M.D. will seek to control the severity of pain with medication.

2. Those suffering from chronic pain may seek out a doctor of osteopathy or D.O. This practitioner is going to take the scope of the examination further and instead of simply focusing on the symptom or the affected body part, she or he will seek to find lifestyle choices that may contribute to the pain that is experienced. Through observation of the whole body and via manipulation of the musculoskeletal system the D.O. seeks to ease the pain and promote bodily self healing.

3. When indicated, a referral to a physical therapist may be made. It is the goal of the physical therapy to utilize heat and electric stimulation to ease the pain and perhaps improve the healing process of torn or healing muscles. Physical therapy when combined with osteopathic means has proven to have quite a few good outcomes.

4. Should the pain be localized in the back or specifically the spinal cord, the intervention of a neurologist may be sought out. In some cases surgery is required to repair torn nerves and tendons, and a neurologist will be called in to evaluate a variety of tests and MRIs to see if the patient is a good candidate for neurosurgery.

There is no guarantee that any of these disciplines by itself will yield the desired results. On the other hand, there is a very good chance that when combining two or more medical disciplines, chronic pain may be managed with a minimum of pain medication.

In some cases the pain may actually be eradicated completely and the patient will be rendered pain free for the foreseeable future. Only a subsequent injury to the affected bodily area may bring back the pain she or he previously experienced.