Chronic Headache or Other Chronic Pain
What Is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is one of the most common reasons people seek medical attention, but is also one of the most difficult symptoms to treat. Defined as persistent pain that lasts more than 12-weeks, chronic pain can be so severe that it affects a patient’s daily life and ability to accomplish general tasks, leading to sleep problems and depression. With chronic pain, the nervous system, including the autonomic nervous system, is often dysregulated.
I can assist patients in managing pain associated with:
- Post-concussion Syndrome
- Unexplained, localized pain
- Chronic medical illness
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Treatment for headache or other chronic pain
Pain is routinely treated with medications such as Advil or Tylenol, however with repeated use, these medications can lead to withdrawal headache or medication over-use headache. Other medications, such as caffeine or opioids, may cause withdrawal symptoms or unpleasant side effects such as constipation, which need to be managed on top of the pain. My goal is to minimize medication-use for pain and improve your quality of life.
One of my initial approaches to chronic pain is to identify and address factors that may be contributing to chronic pain. For example, sleep problems, underlying stress, and other symptoms of Nervous System Dysregulation are commonly associated with chronic pain. Additionally, sometimes the fear of pain itself contributes to chronic pain.
Tools such as the HeartMath techniques and Heart rate variability biofeedback are highly effective at promoting emotional and physiological regulation, which can help to minimize pain and reduce other symptoms related to nervous system dysregulation. Brainspotting can be used to address localized, unexplained pain.
In addition to these interventions, we will discuss nutraceuticals such as magnesium, riboflavin, and vitamin B12, as well as lifestyle modification, diet and exercise.