A project of any significant size is normally going to need more than a single step to accomplish. High-value projects and goals almost invariably require careful planning, several steps during a period of time and perseverance to stick with it and see the project right through to the finish. Aiming to attack the layers of chronic pain isn’t any exception. To attack chronic pain conditions such as RSD (reflex sympathetic dystrophy), sciatic pain, chronic low back pain (CLBP), neuralgia, neuropathies, headache pain is not a single step project either. But here is how to achieve that in five simple steps.
Step 1. Realize that much of the pain is now what we call secondary or tertiary pain.
These painful areas are not the same areas as the original pain and in fact may now be more painful than the original precipitating painful condition. For the chronic pain patient the pain actually starts a process called “layering” in which guarding, postural changes, lack of movement creates stress in other areas of our body that, over time, results in creation of a second layer of pain. This is important because when chronic pain is treated there usually is more than one area of pain and the easiest to treat are the secondary layers of pain that have emerged over time. When you decide not to do this step, of going for the secondary layers, you may not achieve the pain relief that is expected.
Step 2. Treat the secondary pains with the armada of treatment options you have.
Lets take one of the most common second layers of pain for the back pain patient. That’s usually a sciatic, or radiating leg pain that may or may not extend into the foot causing a secondary foot pain, ankle or knee pain. Attack these pains first. If using an interferential unit then set the electrodes up to stimulate into those painful areas. Generally after a few 20 – 45 minute treatments the pain will subside or go away completely. The original cause of the sciatica problem is still the posturing from the back pain condition however for most sciatic pain patients the sciatica, knee pain, ankle pain etc. is now the most painful problem. This is also the easier to treat and the quickest success can be seen here. This is usually a crucial step that will need your full attention.
Do the interferential therapy for pain stimulus removal first in the secondary or tertiary areas. The reason why is the key is to slowly remove the pain layers, not the original cause such as the back in this specific, until we can get to the original source that created the secondary layers. The additional treatments are used to remove the irritation, one layer at a time, so the patient can feel better and see progress being made.
Step 3. If the combination of treatments resulted in diminishing of let’s say, any pain below the knee, then you are being successful as the foot,ankle, toe pain were all tertiary and now they are not hurting complicating the successful treatments.
The real reason for this is to advance pain relief until we remove all but the original pain source. In this case the original pain is the back condition. Also, you want to discover which of our treatment options work best for what layer of pain. As any chronic pain patient knows, pain moves. At certain times one remedy may be better than another and over time, what is best when, is discovered.
Step 4. Successfully use treatment options until the secondary pains are gone.
To elaborate on that a little bit, what we are trying to do is simply take away all secondary pains until we get to the original cause and once there then the most important aspect begins.
Step 5. Prevent the reoccurence of the conditions that lead to the secondary issues.
That means once the pain layers are to only one, then by continuing to use interferential treatments during stretching, using maybe tens mode while outside working or shopping then the pain is subsided and you may participate without guarding or shielding against pain. This is the process that restores elasticity to the muscles, allows free movement without restrictive pain and now the focus is on treating only one pain, that of the lower back. Furthermore, the original source of pain can now be treated with the goal of total elimination..
Finally, for those who have followed the above tips closely, you’ll succeed and can then enjoy the fruits of this success! You can be a little bit pleased with yourself and self-satisfied! You set yourself a goal and here you have attained it! Now enjoy it!
If you did not follow the tips set forth above, well… good luck anyway. You will likely require it…;-)