Chronic pain treatments: Where to start?

Paul StaerkerWhole BodyLeave a Comment

Chronic pain treatments: Where to start?

Chronic pain treatments can only work if your health professional truly understands your very unique situation.

Chronic pain treatments. Let’s get real about it

Managing and treating pain is not about miracle solutions. Chronic pain treatments can only work if your health professional truly understands your very unique situation. That’s why in this week’s video, Dr Paul Staerker talks about chronic pain, and guides you through a few of his very valuable insights, gathered throughout decades of work as a chiropractor in Perth.

chronic pain treatments

Chronic pain treatments: video transcript

Medication unfortunately, with chronic pain, doesn’t work that well. Number one, because our body habituates. We get used to it. And we have to increase doses.
Number two, opiate medication, as recognised by pain specialists themselves, is not the best way to go. Because of the side-effects, one being tendency towards addiction. There are side-effects in medication, cardio-vascular and stomach irritation and constipation, so if you can get away without medication, if there’s other ways of doing it, it would be something to consider. And that’s accepted by professionals all around the world in the area of medicine.

Why medication isn’t always the miracle answer to chronic pain

Medication unfortunately, with chronic pain, doesn’t work that well. Number one, because our body habituates. We get used to it. And we have to increase doses.
Number two, opiate medication, as recognised by pain specialists themselves, is not the best way to go. Because of the side-effects, one being tendency towards addiction. There are side-effects in medication, cardio-vascular and stomach irritation and constipation, so if you can get away without medication, if there’s other ways of doing it, it would be something to consider. And that’s accepted by professionals all around the world in the area of medicine.

Is pain between our ears?

We know that the way we think about our pain can affect the way our brain processes it. Some people say ” Are you telling me my pain is between my ears?” . Well, in a sense it is, because your brain is there. And your brain processes pain, it tells us all about our world. When someone has an amputation, it’s a well known fact that they have phantom limb pain. There’s no limb there anymore, but they feel it for the rest of their lives. Sometimes it itches, sometimes it aches. But the brain remembers it, someone hasn’t told the brain that that’s gone. The same thing with an injury that becomes chronic. The tissue may have healed, but your brain remembers the pain and it ramps it up. Chronic pain sufferers… look at an old injury. Look at low back pain, neck pain, mechanical back pain. Look at cancer patients, reumathoid arthritis, these people, we have conditions that are not going to go away. Unfortunately there’s no medicine that is gonna cure that completely. So we have to learn to deal with the hand that life has given us. We have to learn to modify our life in a way that changes the way we look at pain. We know that chronic pain affects the biology of the body. So I have chronic low back or knee injury, I don’t exercise, I don’t move anymore, so I become stiff, I de-condition. I can’t exercise my heart, so that actually shortens my life. So if there’s ways we can deal with decreasing the physical pain, increasing the fitness, that would be good.
Number 2, we have to look at the emotional aspect of chronic pain. People in chronic pain, and those of us who had it, we know, it’s hard to be happy. We become sad, we become depressed, we actually can get to the stage of hopelessness, and that’s really quite serious. Can we change our thinking about it? The answer is yes, with help, we can.


chronic pain treatments

The psychology of pain management

The last thing is the psychology of it. How do we think about what’s going on in our life. We have one thing, in our life, one sense of power and that’s the power of choice. We can’t choice what life throws at us, but we can choose how we look at it, how we deal with it. And, the tip to managing chronic pain is to find someone who can help you describe what your problem is, what you need to do about it, and how you need to do it. What exercises can you do? How can you change your thinking? Things like cognitive behavioural therapy, relaxation therapy… these things are proven to show that a person takes a sense of control back into their life. And with little baby steps, start self managing the way they look and process their pain. And unbelievably, studies show that just by changing those things and thinking, we decrease our pain levels naturally. So we’ll have more videos on this in the future: stay tuned!

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