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Chronic Pain: A Functional Medicine and Functional Neurology Approach

By Dr. Michael Veselak, D.C.

Chronic Pain is an epidemic in America with over 100 million people suffering. By definition chronic pain is pain lasting longer than three months. Many chronic pain sufferers have been failed by our healthcare system for various reasons. Without a doubt our healthcare is the best in the world for acute care, however once the revolving door process starts of testing, specialists and various medications it is often times difficult to find relief or resolution.

This is due to several factors. First, the chronic pain model focuses on the symptoms of chronic pain rather than determining the root cause. Other factors like inflammation in the body, autoimmune issues, circulation, anemia and blood sugar can all affect chronic pain and in my opinion must be addressed for permanent change to occur. A whole body approach must be implemented rather than a symptom based or local approach.

The other factor that is rarely discussed is based on research performed in the mid 1960’s and is based on the gate-control theory of pain. The gate theory is an important component of pain management and how we perceive pain. For example, if we are experiencing pain at a particular part of the body this perception of pain does not go directly to the brain. Instead, there is a neurological gate within the spinal cord that determines if the signal will be passed onto the brain. If the gate remains open the patient or individual experiences pain all of the time. If the gate remains closed they experience a lot less pain.

This gate control works through various nerve fibers in the body that allow us to transfer information about touch, vibration and pressure and these are called large diameter fibers. They are also affected by thin nerve fibers which carry information about pain. The large diameter nerve fibers helps block the transmission of the pain cell causing inhibition and reducing the level of pain that is interpreted by the brain.

In our office we focus on therapies that are designed to stimulate these large nerve fibers that help to inhibit pain. This has been extremely helpful for our patients that struggle with Peripheral Neuropathy, Spinal Stenosis, Failed Back Surgeries, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and Fibromyalgia.

We include therapeutic interventions such as microcurrent, infrared therapy, spinal decompression, cold laser, vibration, high volt galvanic and brain based therapies. These have proven to be quite effective in helping to inhibit the pain and manage the pain gate.

Our office specializes in chronic pain management using advanced research based techniques without the use of drugs and surgery. If you are looking for a conservative alternative to manage your pain we have a proven track record in helping thousands of patients with very complex difficult cases.

Call Dr. Michael Veselak, D.C., CFMP for a complimentary 5 minute consultation. 805 482-0723

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