Pain Management Therapy
Pain is complex. Because of the intricacies of human anatomy and the fact that pain is often multi-factorial, a comprehensive assessment is invaluable. For this reason, an experienced naturopathic doctor is a vital part of your team.
Dr. Meli’s multi-faceted approach to treating chronic pain:
- A complete physical assessment to determine which structures are affected. This may involve muscle tissue, tendon, ligament, fascia, bursa, nerves, vertebral discs etc. An orthopedic assessment involves special tests to isolate and identify damaged structures, and also to guide treatment.
- A functional assessment to determine patterns that may limit healing or worsen pain. This may involve assessment of posture or a compensation pattern for weakened structures.
- A nutritional assessment involves an analysis of diet, digestion and supplementation to ensure adequate nutrients are available to maintain the healing process. The digestive tract is a major source of inflammation and toxin accumulation, which can worsen pain anywhere in the body, even when no abdominal pain is experienced.
- A lifestyle assessment of each of the factors that promote inflammation and decrease one’s susceptibility to pain is essential and often missed. Seemingly unrelated symptoms such as insomnia, depressed mood, negative thinking, chronic stress, constipation, food allergies, poor circulation or imbalanced hormones can prevent or dramatically elongate the healing process.
- A laboratory assessment to assess for inflammatory markers, chronic infections, heavy metals or other toxins are often important in uncovering elements that sustain the pain and prevent healing.
The conditions I treat regularly and effectively include:
Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD)
Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)
Rheumatoid Arthritis/ Polymyalgia rheumatica
Low back pain, herniated discs
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Acute and Subacute Conditions:
Tendon/ligament strains and partial tears
Loose, unstable or hypermobile joints
Generalized neck pain, whiplash
ACL, PCL, MCL, LCL and meniscus tear of the knee
Rotator cuff and labral tears of the shoulder
Post Surgery Pain
Shin splints, heel spurs
Sport injuries of all types
I’ve found injection therapies to be highly effective for ligament tears, joint instability and osteoarthritis mainly, but can be every effective for many types of injuries.
Prolotherapy is a ‘regeneration therapy’ that involves an injection of a dextrose/procaine mixture to accelerate the healing and rebuilding of connective tissue. It is an excellent therapy for strains, sprains, tears, degeneration and most sport injuries. Learn more about prolotherapy here.
PRP is the most common treatment used for tendon/ligament tears and osteoarthritis because of its superior results. It is used in the same types of injuries as prolotherapy but tends to work faster and more completely. It is especially useful in chronic injuries (longer than 3 months). Learn more about PRP here.
Prolozone involves the injection of ozone gas into painful tissue and is an excellent therapy for a wide array of pain, from chronic low back pain and sciatica to overuse injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome or tennis elbow. It is typically used in conjunction with prolotherapy. Learn more about prolozone therapy here.
Cortisone injections can be extremely helpful in certain inflammatory pain conditions. Though never a first resort, this treatment is available.