A recent study conducted by the Washington State University has put figures on what many has been speculating about chronic pain in the U.S. As reported by Alan Mozes of HealthDay, researchers have found out that one in five Americans, mostly women and older people aged between 60 and 69 years, suffer from persistent aches in their body almost daily. This is despite the fact that the country is one of the world’s leading consumers of painkillers, implying that the latter may not be effective in treating pain in the long-term:
Bob Twillman, director of policy and advocacy for the American Academy of Pain Management, agreed, noting that the kind of crippling pain that can make it impossible for people to work tends to have many different sources, not all of which are best addressed with narcotic painkillers.
“If it was just one thing causing pain, we might have one treatment that would work for most people,” he said. “But, given that we have millions of people with dozens, or perhaps even hundreds of causes for their pain, we can’t use a cookie-cutter approach to treating pain.”
Note that ‘one in five Americans’ translates to about 39 million people suffering from chronic pain, which is caused by a variety of factors. Knee pain, for example, can occur due to physical injuries (like a torn meniscus), mechanical problems (like Iliotibial band syndrome), or a type of arthritis (like osteoarthritis). Rather than address each individual symptom, however, some experts in knee pain in Bergen County, New Jersey, like those from MedWell Spine, OsteoArthritis & Neuropathy Center, head straight to the source: the brain.
This is possible with the help of ‘brain-based therapy’, a form of treatment that was adapted from the works of renowned chiropractic neurologist Dr. Fred Carrick. It is premised on the principle that any pain felt by the body is caused by chemical imbalances in the brain.
Without going into specifics, these imbalances can be corrected by stimulating certain areas of the brain, either directly, or with the help of chemicals or hormones. However, since people’s brains are “wired” differently (referring to the ‘neuroplasticity’ of the brain), brain-based therapies are customized or designed for individual cases, rather than given as a standard treatment.
These therapies also work best when used alongside other pain relief treatments, like physical therapy and chiropractic care. One type of knee pain treatment in Paramus, NJ, in particular, uses brain-based therapy for diagnosis and pain management. The therapy can also be used to treat fibromyalgia, migraines, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other joint pains, which is good news for the 39 million Americans who suffer from these conditions every day.
(Source: Nearly 1 in 5 Plagued by Constant Pain: Survey, WebMD, October 30, 2014)