News of the opiod epidemic abounds.  Nobody wants to be in pain but there are better choices than taking addicting drugs.  What’s important is to find out the cause of  the pain and treat it.

Is the pain structural?

Chiropractic is an ideal way of eliminating musculoskeletal pain.  There are many different types of chiropractic techniques including gentle non-force methods that are very effective for eliminating pain and restoring normal movement.  While chiropractic adjustments may focus on the musculoskeletal system, it actually impacts all aspects of the body including the immune system.

Has the body gotten programmed to react excessively to pain?

Being in pain will lower the threshold for feeling pain.  What would be a slight irritant to one person can be severely painful to someone who is already in chronic pain.  It is possible to reprogram these pain pathways to be less reactive.  NeuroModulation Technique (NMT) is a drug-free non-invasive method to correct errors in how the body processes information, including its pain response.  NMT is also useful for managing stress response, digestive issues, allergies and many other imbalances in the body.

Is inflammation causing pain?

Find out the source of the inflammation.  Is it due to an inappropriate immune system response like an allergy or food sensitivity?

Eliminating inflammatory foods like grains (especially those with gluten), dairy, sugar, corn and soy can help.  These can affect some people more than others.  There are a couple of ways to see if they are a problem for you.  One is to do a 3 week cleanse and elimination diet.  Then  reintroduce foods one at a time and monitor the effect.  There are a number of good cleanse programs.  I particularly like Standard Process’s 3 week program of supporting supplements and dietary suggestions.

Another option is to get a food sensitivity test done that measures IgG antibodies.  Most allergy tests measure IgE antibodies.  These will show up in classic allergies where there is an immediate reaction.  IgG reactions can be delayed for hours and even days so it can be hard to figure out what exactly is causing the problem.

Having this information gives you choices for letting your body heal either by eliminating the irritating foods or getting treatments like NeuroModulation Technique to reprogram the body so the immune system is no longer confused and reactive to what should be harmless substances.

Is the pain stress related?

There really isn’t a separation between what goes on emotionally and what happens in the body.  Chronic stress can affect every system in the body.  It adds to the body’s inflammatory response, decreases digestion so the body is robbed of nutrients, contributes to insulin resistance and  disruption of the endocrine system.

Stress management  involves many things like diet, exercise, meditation, talking with friends.  Beware of so called comfort foods.  They tend to high in simple carbohydrates and bad fats, and actually make it harder for the body to manage stress.

Get moving.

The body needs to move.  The amount of movement needed and tolerated varies with the individual.  Exercise is important no matter what else is going on.  If you can only do a little, it will still pay off.  Writing this reminded me of Dr. Elaine Stocker, a wonderful person and napropath who for many years dealt with chronic pain, which limited her activity.  She made this video about “Rocking Chair Aerobics”.  She gained a lot of function and pain relief from just using a rocking chair (and she really liked rocking chairs).

A person who is dealing with chronic pain usually has a number of different distressed body systems.  Laboratory testing, like organic acid test, can give a lot of information about how the body is actually functioning and using nutrients.  Without proper nutrition the body can’t heal and pain will not go away.

Autoimmune Disorders and the Body’s Confusion

Hashimoto, Graves, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Crohn’s, Lupus all have something in common. The body has gotten confused and is attacking itself. The messengers that should be aware of foreign invaders and warding them off are now sending out various immune cells that end up attacking the thyroid, joints, digestive tract, kidney, etc.

Traditional means of stopping this is to use something like steroids to shut down the immune system and stop the attack rather than correct the confusion. While steroids will suppress the immune system, their long-term usage can come at a high cost and only keeps the hounds at bay.

A better way would be to stop the confusion, balance the immune system so it knows what to attack and what to protect. Make sure it can recognize self vs non-self. Here are some things to check out:

Is the body is a chronic state of inflammation? More than likely, yes. There are lab tests to see about inflammation, like highly sensitive C-reactive protein (HS CRP). Initially it’s a good idea to get highly pro-inflammatory foods out of the diet. These include wheat (gluten), sugar, and trans fats. A good guideline would be to eliminate processed foods since they tend to have an abundance of pro-inflammatory foods and chemicals.

Is your body toxic? The cleaner your body is the better it can function. We are all constantly exposed to heavy metals. While the body can cope with a certain amount, after a while things start to break down. One good and rather inexpensive way to check is to have a hair analysis done. This will not only give information about levels of heavy metals but also various minerals in the body. The mineral information can give a good indication of how the various organs and glands are functioning.

How is your immune system being stressed? Our immune system is an ever changing balance between various cells and messengers. Autoimmune diseases present a unique challenge. You want the immune system to do its job, go after invaders and get rid of damaged and abnormal cells. Different aspects of the immune system may be over-functioning while others are suppressed. There are lab tests to determine which aspect of the immune system is dominant and then support can be given to raise the function of the suppressed aspect.

There are some basic supports that should be considered in all autoimmune conditions.

Decrease stress – The immune system is already stressed, so any pressure that can be taken off of it will help.

Exercise – It can not only decrease inflammation but can improve overall body function.

Get More Vitamin D – There is often a deficiency. It will not tip the balance between the various aspects of the immune system, just help with overall health.

The main thing to consider in any autoimmune issue is that the body has gotten confused and is now attacking itself. It can get confused after an infection, long periods of stress, lots of bad eating, excessive toxin exposure. The thing is to get the body back on the right path.