By Dr Justin Marchegiani
Natural pain relief comes for all of my patients once the underlying cause of the pain is found and treated. Chronic pain is a major issue that I see frequently in my patients on a day-to-day basis. The underlying cause of chronic joint pain is driven by a state of systemic inflammation. Inflammation acutely is very important; it helps the body to heal. If you got a cut on your finger, a scab would form, and a few days later the wound would heal. If that scab never formed, you could potentially bleed to death.
Chronic inflammation is a much different story. When inflammation gets out of control, the body is kept in a steady state of pain which prevents healing from occurring. The best way to promote natural pain relief is to get to the underlying cause of the inflammation and not just cover it up with NSAIDs.
Chronic inflammation will wear away at the joints, decrease range of motion, decrease athletic performance, and keep you chronically stiff and sore. Systemic inflammation doesn’t just cause physical pain; it can also increase your chances of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, hormone imbalances, thyroid issues, digestive problems, and obesity.
Solutions to Pain
The only solutions conventional medicine provides are cortisone injections, opiate pain medications, and orthopedic surgeries; these procedures only address the symptom of the degeneration and not the underlying cause. Over time, these medications and procedures tend to cause more problems than they were prescribed for originally. I find the majority of people can avoid surgery and these other conventional treatments.
Some people maybe too far gone to fully recover using these natural methods alone. That is why it’s very important to get assessed first. I find this in a small percentage of the population (less than 5%).
Important note: no surgery or drug can ever substitute for an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle.
Even if surgery is needed, I strongly recommend using the treatment methods below to rehabilitate yourself post surgery. I find an 80% improvement in rehabilitation speed post surgery vs conventional physical therapy when these methods are used.
The Underlying Cause of Why You Are Injured
The body is designed to absorb force; the muscles are the body’s primary shock absorbers which help facilitate this process. Imagine driving on a bumpy road without shocks; every little bump is felt, and you step out of the car pretty shook up. With healthy shocks, the ride is much more smooth and enjoyable.
The goal of care is to address the underlying cause of joint degeneration and to help lower the body’s levels of systemic inflammation. In order to keep this problem from repeating itself in the future, we want to make sure the body’s natural shock absorbers are facilitated so force does not get absorbed by the tissues, tendons, cartilage, ligaments, and discs. These structures are not designed to absorb force on a daily basis and over time will wear away.
When we use applied kinesiology and the ARP Wave, we can figure out where the pain is actually coming from. Most people are surprised to find the symptoms of their pain (where they feel the pain) aren’t the underlying cause of the pain.
Just like when the check-engine light pops up on the dashboard of your car. The symptoms are the check-engine light, but the underlying cause is located somewhere under the hood of the car. No one would put duct tape over the check-engine light and think they fixed the problem…
Nutrition and Inflammation
Nearly every person will heal faster when they change their diet and use specific supplementation. When the body is already inflamed, the best way to push your physiology into an anti-inflammatory state is to change what you are putting into your mouth.
Focusing on eating more anti-inflammatory foods and avoiding or minimizing the pro-inflammatory foods are the fastest ways to quench this internal fire. Certain supplements that contain specific fatty acids, botanicals, and nutrients are recommended on a case-by-case basis to help accelerate the healing process.
The Healing Process
The First Phase of Care
In summary, the first phase of care is designed to lower systemic inflammation. We accomplish this by removing some of the most inflammatory foods that we find in our patient’s diet and at the same time adding in anti-inflammatory foods that help quench the fire.
We also assess the body via muscle testing (applied kinesiology) to make sure all of the muscles are turned on and facilitated. Any muscles that aren’t functioning properly, we use chiropractic, soft tissue, and bioelectric healing devices, like the ARP Wave to help promote healing and activation of the nervous system, muscles, and joints.
The ARP Wave is a powerful bioelectric device that uses specific DC current to assess the underlying cause of the pain and help the injured area heal 80% faster.
Once the inflammation is reduced and the body can move and function properly, we can now begin the second phase of care. When you see a building on fire, the first thing you do is call the fire department to put out the fire. The fire department brings their axes and water hoses to put that fire out. The last thing you want to do is call in the carpenters while the firefighters are inside fighting the fire. The first thing that needs to be done is to put out the fire. Once the fire is out, it’s safe to call in the carpenters. The carpenters do better work when there isn’t a fire at their back.
The Second Phase of Care
The goal of the second phase of care is to make sure the body has the foundational support to stay pain free as well as move and perform optimally. As a person heals, pain is usually the first thing that goes away and can also be the first thing to come back. It’s always optimal to continue care even after the pain is gone. It’s important to make sure each person has the foundation to prevent the pain from returning. There are objective indicators that tell us when the patient is able to discontinue a more intense treatment regimen.
- Increased ARP Wave Intensity: When the patient hits a 10/10 on the ARP Wave, this is a sign the patient’s nervous system and inflammation is back in balance and under control.
- In Balance: The patient’s applied kinesiology tests are strong, and there is no evidence of instability.
- Feeling Better: The patient should begin to feel better. As you can see, it’s not the first thing on our checklist. Based on past experience, letting patients out of care too soon can predispose them to reinjury.
Third Phase of Care
Most people live stressful lives and usually find themselves with less times to exercise and are stuck sitting at a desk throughout the day. These habits can predispose people to structural issues that can lead to pain and chronic inflammation.We may not have control over some of these habits as they have become ingrained in our society.
People that fall into the above category (most of us) do better engaging in some type of supportive/preventative type of treatment program consisting of 1–2 treatments per month to help keep our bodies in balance. When your body is in balance, you are giving yourself the best opportunity to prevent reinjury. Most people find they feel and perform better when they are in balance, too!