Ah pain. One of the many things that connects every human because we all share it. There are lots of types of pain, and each can be as infuriating as the next! Whether it’s aches, strains, or ghost pains, everyone wishes their pain away.
No one likes it, but pain can save our lives in the right situations. When pain sticks around longer than normal, it signals that there’s something wrong. Naturopathic doctors can not only help you treat pain but help you find what it is your body is trying to signal. In other words, we help discover the cause of your pain, so you can make the changes you need to be pain-free for good.
Here are some of the more common types of pain we see in clinics.
Low back pain is one of the leading causes of missed work in North America. Sometimes there is a physical cause, like vertebrae that are out of alignment or muscle spasms. However, most of the time there isn’t a direct physical cause, and the lower back pain is simply the result of stress or other emotional factors.
Physical treatments can be a great help in alleviating your back pain. Acupuncture, spinal adjustments and injections therapies can help back pain disappear, as can posture assessment and the strengthening of certain muscles. Stress management can decrease pain, and this means managing both physical and mental/emotional forms of stress.
Most athletes have experienced physical pain as they pushed their body outside their limits. For some it has even ruined careers.
A sprain is what happens when a joint gets injured by moving outside its normal range of motion. Think of a sprained ankle: your ankle bends in a way it isn’t supposed to, which stretches the ligaments unnaturally, and it hurts!
A strain is what happens when a muscle gets stretched beyond its limits. They’re also known as muscle tears and can take a long time to heal properly. Rotator cuff injuries and hamstrings are common sites of injury.
We care for both sprains and strains in similar ways. Ice and rest are critical after the injury, and gentle movement can be started in 1-2 days. Both sprains and strains require proper nutritional support to aid in healing, and naturopathic doctors can help you get the right supplements to get you back on your feet.
Neuropathic pain, also known as nerve pain, is incredibly frustrating for the people who have it. Sometimes it’s because of diabetes and poor blood sugar management, or it can be a side effect of HIV or the drugs used to treat it. Post-shingles pain is a kind of nerve pain (called postherpetic neuralgia); shingles are more common in young people than most people think, and the pain after an infection can last for months or years. With any neuropathic pain, the goal is to reduce inflammation in nerve cells and to make sure you have enough of the essential vitamins and minerals required for proper nerve function.