If you or someone you know suffers from constant pain, you know the toll it takes on the body. With chronic pain, simply getting out of bed is challenging. The neverending piercing pain is excruciating and by the end of the day, you’re toast. As someone who suffers from chronic pain, you’ve likely tried everything from physical therapy to surgery to opioids. If none of those solutions has worked for you, don’t worry, there’s still hope.
At its core, functional medicine looks at the why instead of the what. In this way, we can better determine the underlying causes of disease and pain. With functional medicine, the patient and practitioner build a therapeutic partnership. When we change our thinking to why instead of what and take a patient-centered approach, we experience a more effective healing process.
Functional medicine is based on the following principles:
- The biochemical makeup of patient must be understood
- Care must be patient-centered instead of disease-centered
- There should be balance between internal and external experiences
- Health is to be thought of as positive vitality and not just the absence of disease
As a comprehensive style of medicine, functional medicine focuses on the wellbeing of the whole person, which includes physical, psychological, social, and spiritual levels. When you work with a physician who uses this method, you’re healing your whole self and not just your chronic pain.
When you speak to a functional medicine practitioner, he or she may make several suggestions for treating your chronic pain. Some of these may include:
- Elimination diet
- Regular physical exercise
- Better sleep and hygiene
- Stress management
- Continuation of care
With functional medicine, it’s important to remember that you’re not just trying to eliminate your pain, but that you’re trying to promote wellness and vitality throughout your body. There could be underlying reasons that you experience chronic pain and if left unresolved, they’ll continue to cause pain.
Emotions and chronic pain
In our western culture, we tend to forget just how much our emotions can impact our bodies. Whether you’re grieving over a lost loved one or you’re worried about the renovations on the house, your body will begin to feel the impact in a physical way. You may experience headaches, back pain, neck pain, or sciatica issues. If not dealt with, over time, these built-up emotions can contribute to your chronic pain.
You’ll find that when you manage your stress, your pain will reduce significantly. Even if you tend to carry your stress in an area of the body where your chronic pain doesn’t reside, it can contribute to your overall lack of health.
For instance, think about when you’re feeling the most stress. Is it when you’re managing your checkbook? When your boss is pushing you to meet deadlines? Or when you’re in a fight with your partner? Look for what triggers your stress and causes it to flare up. Next, think about what you can do to eliminate your heightened emotions over these situations. Do you feel calm when you go for a walk? Does listening to music help? Finding ways to cope with stress and reduce it are key in eliminating and reducing pain within the body, including chronic pain.
If you’re ready to manage your chronic pain using the functional approach, give Dr. Tanya Teggatz a call today. As a physician who practices functional medicine, Dr. Teggatz will help you find the best way to manage and reduce your chronic pain. Take the first step. Call to schedule a consultation today.