Here's What You Can Do About Chronic Pain

Here’s What You Can Do About Chronic Pain

May 19, 2023

If your pain is constant or recurrent, disrupts your life for months or years, or causes a chain reaction of subsequent symptoms — it’s chronic. Here’s how we treat chronic pain with functional, integrative, and naturopathic medicine.

Old injuries, ongoing conditions, and a host of other hidden factors contribute to chronic pain, one of the nation’s most prevalent and debilitating health problems. The key to ending chronic pain is identifying and eliminating those factors.

That’s what we do at OWM Integrative Wellness in Buffalo, New York. We approach chronic pain from multiple perspectives, recognizing that your pain may stem from multiple sources and require more than one type of treatment.

If you’ve been living with ongoing pain without relief, it’s time to explore the benefits of our innovative treatments based on functional, integrative, and naturopathic medicine.

What’s behind your chronic pain?

Nearly 21% of American adults experience regular chronic pain — nearly 7% have high-impact chronic pain that restricts their abilities to work, go to school, socialize, and take care of themselves.

Chronic pain is complex, and no two cases are alike. Initially, the root cause could be an acute injury that has long since healed. Or it could be due to ongoing conditions, such as cancer, arthritis, Lyme disease, or neuropathy.

However, other factors often exacerbate chronic pain, making it difficult to identify and treat. Lifestyle habits like smoking, poor posture, inadequate sleep, and poor nutrition can worsen your symptoms.

Chronic pain can also create new physical conditions. For example, if you have chronic arthritis pain in one knee, it may change your gait and lead to hip and back problems. Likewise, chronic pain can trigger mental health issues, as frustration and immobility lead to isolation, depression, and anxiety.

This cycle of physical and mental pain often impacts your family, friends, and coworkers, too, as your moods and limitations interfere with your relationships and responsibilities.

Since chronic pain affects your whole life, we take a whole-life approach to your treatment.

A holistic approach to chronic pain

At OWM Integrative Wellness, we embrace several disciplines to address your chronic pain. Our primary focus is finding the source of your chronic pain and revealing all contributing factors. That process takes time, but seeing our patients’ lives transformed is worth every minute. Here’s a look at our multi-pronged approach to treating chronic pain.

Functional medicine

Functional medicine focuses on the underlying causes of your chronic pain that stem from genetics and your environment. We use personalized therapies to identify the exact cause of your chronic pain and special testing to determine whether you had imbalances before the onset of your chronic pain, whether the pain came as a result of treatments, or both.

The concept behind functional medicine is simple yet revolutionary: one condition can have many causes and vice versa. For example, if you exhibit symptoms of low mood, appetite, and libido, you may be diagnosed with depression — but depression isn’t the cause of those symptoms, it’s just a name we give to your state of health, your condition. Our goal, in this case, is to detect what’s causing the symptoms of depression, whether it’s vitamin D deficiency, thyroid disease, antibiotics overuse, or all of the above — one condition, many causes.

Likewise, a single problem like inflammation can lead to depression, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer — one cause, many conditions.

OWM’s concierge model allows our providers to do a deep dive to pinpoint the root cause of your chronic pain, detect unhealthy patterns, and develop a customized treatment plan.

Integrative medicine

Integrative and functional medicine are complementary fields — both approaches evaluate you as a whole person instead of simply treating the symptoms of your chronic pain.

But integrative medicine also explores the connections between your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual needs and how they contribute to your overall well-being. We often combine several therapies, including but not limited to:

Our integrative approach to chronic pain features a unique partnership between you and our experienced providers, Leonard Kaplan, DO, Amy Claroni, FNP, and Kim Howes, ND, and you play an essential part in your healing process. We also lean toward natural and noninvasive interventions that consider all the factors affecting your health, including mind, body, spirit, environment, and community.

Integrative medicine combines conventional and less conventional therapies to promote natural healing while encouraging healthy behaviors for lifelong self-care.

Naturopathic medicine

As a naturopathic physician, Dr. Howes diagnoses, treats, and manages your chronic pain while addressing related dysfunctions of your body, mind, and spirit. If that sounds a lot like integrative and functional medicine, you’re right. These three fields overlap and complement one another.

Naturopathic medicine is unique because it combines modern science with the time-honored wisdom of nature and follows six key principles, including:

  • Do not harm
  • The healing power of nature
  • Identify and treat the causes
  • Doctor as teacher
  • Treat the whole person
  • Prevention

As part of our naturopathic approach, we educate you about your chronic pain, teach you to tap into your body’s natural healing powers, and help you prevent chronic pain onset and progression.

Our multi-pronged approach to chronic pain offers the best chance at full healing and long-term relief. In fact, recent studies show that these integrative and complementary disciplines can significantly reduce the likelihood of opioid dependency and other substance abuse related to chronic pain treatments.

To learn more about our innovative chronic pain treatments, schedule an appointment online or call OWM Integrative Wellness at 716.626.6301.

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