Have you been everywhere and tried everything, and you’re still suffering?
Getting to the bottom of some pain problems can be very frustrating. In many chronic pain cases it is not always possible to determine the precise cause, as chronic pain can persist long after the main tissue damage that initially triggered its onset has resolved, and in some people, chronic pain can continue without preceding injury or ongoing tissue damage. Treating this kind pain issue successfully is usually a very different process to more common problems.
Are you someone with a stubborn condition; you have been to a lot of practitioners; you feel you have tried virtually everything and are still struggling?
I see a lot of people in this situation.
I won’t promise I can help you, either…
I will, however, promise you:
1) You will receive a comprehensive examination and a clear diagnosis. Diagnosis is essential.
While in some complex cases I see there is no one precise driver of someone’s pain, there are many times that there is a cause of a chronic pain issue and it has simply been missed. Here are some examples (Keep in mind these are just examples):
- A 32-year-old woman who had been in a severe car accident 4 years earlier. She had since suffered increasing lower back pain. She had been told by multiple medical practitioners and physios that there was no significant cause of her pain. She couldn’t exercise and was on constant strong pain-killers. Nothing was helping. But on reviewing her MRI there were findings that indicated she had an auto-immune inflammatory condition. This was confirmed by blood tests and review with a rheumatologist.
- A 38-year-old man with a 3-year history of constant pain in the right groin area. None of the prescribed exercises were making a difference. After a few sessions of osteopathic treatment there was some minor improvement, but not what I would expect, so he was referred to a colleague. Skilled ultrasound scanning revealed scarring on one of the ligaments, and the pain was resolved after one cortisone injection.
- A 35-year-old woman suffering for 4 years with left-sided mid back pain. The pain was constant and affected her every moment throughout the day. All the scans were normal, but on careful palpation of her spine there was an obvious minor deformity of 3 ribs. Gentle release of the muscles and joints in this region completely resolved her pain – though it requires some periodic maintenance treatment to keep her feeling fine.
- A 29-year-old woman who had been suffering with left shoulder pain for 5 months. An ultrasound suggested she had a small muscle strain – but muscle strains usually resolve in a few weeks. She had been diligent with physiotherapy and massage for months, but it was getting worse. But her pain was more notable when sitting down for long periods and sometimes when deep breathing. She was extremely tender under her left ribcage. Referral to a specialist confirmed she had a lung condition.
I can’t pick up everything, but I’m honest when it seems there might be some missing clinical information in a stubborn case and that the tools of osteopathy may not be enough. In these cases, I can refer you to great people who might be able to help further.
I won’t leave relevant stones unturned.
Many chronic pain conditions involve longer-term changes in the sensitivity of the nervous and immune system, so it’s not so clear-cut. If this is you, there are still many ways to start moving forward.
2) I won’t suggest I can treat you unless I am confident that the nature of your problem can be reasonably addressed by the treatment approaches I provide. If there are other aspects to your condition that I can’t address, I will work together with other appropriate professionals who can address these factors.
3) I will discuss with you a realistic recovery plan to achieve your health goals. A recovery plan has to be realistic. This is determined by a balance of the nature of your condition and how motivated you are to do the work required to achieve your goals.
4) If at any time during your care you feel that you have not received a clear explanation of your health issue and the steps required for recovery I will arrange to spend any necessary additional time discussing this with you at no further cost. I want you to be as educated about your condition and the path to good health as possible so that you have the best chance of managing your condition successfully.
5) I won’t pressure you to keep you continue treatment if you don’t feel that what we are doing together is working. If I can’t make sense of what is happening, or if your body isn’t responding the way I expect, I will be very upfront in raising this with you and talking through the options.
If you are in chronic pain and you aren’t ready to make an appointment, do yourself a favour and start getting educated about pain. Here are two places to start: