Pain Relief For Arthritic Neck

I spoke with Dr. Vad recently about his new book and the issue of chronic pain. Here’s our conversation.

I have seen a big explosion in chronic back pain and arthritis. What I realized is that people have very limited self-help options. In the medical system, regrettably, many health care professionals do what they’re trained to do. They push you into prescription medications which have side effects or suggest tons of medical procedures. Medical procedures like joint replacements and lumbar fusions have skyrocketed. I felt it was necessary for people whose main focus is self help, giving them clinically proven options that will really help them to enhance their quality of life and minimize their dependence on narcotics and medical procedures as soon as possible.

In the same vein as the previous paragraph…

Duragesic-Fentanyl patches contain a narcotic that is an opioid based medication. This medication is hard core and has had problems during the past with some users however if the individual is already use to taking opioids orally then the patch can be some other form of treatment other than oral, since there aren’t the stomach side effects. This medication takes a while to work since it must accumulate in the bloodstream to become effective.

Duragesic-Fentanyl patches contain a narcotic that is an opioid based medication. This medication is hard core and has had problems during the past with some users however if the individual is already use to taking opioids orally then the patch can be some other form of treatment other than oral, since there aren’t the stomach side effects. This medication takes a while to work since it must accumulate in the bloodstream to become effective.

There are so many self-help things you can do. Something as simple as trying to do 30 minutes of aerobic exercise can help. With pain, you are in a vicious cycle – you take more narcotics, your REM sleep decreases, and then you are tired and you do not want to exercise. If you can get through the first week or two of extra pain by doing the proper exercise, like 30 minutes of walking daily, long term that’s going to have an impact. Most people give up on simple walking. However, it can get a huge impact long term.

We see the same thing with arthritis. A gradual increase in load on an arthritic knee joint reduces pain. There are data to show proper exercise therapy can to slow the loss of cartilage. Muscles are the shock absorbers. However, they are shut down by arthritic pain. You can reactivate those muscles gradually with proper exercise therapy.

That’s only one part of self help. There are topical treatments and supplements as well. When I started exploring this I used to think the topical thing is bogus. But there is a great science behind topical pain relievers.

What we are trying to do here is add up six things you can do properly on your own. It might have a vast impact on your quality of life. I’m trying to get people off using narcotics every time. Narcotics are a downward spiral. It’s a deal with the devil. I do not know if you have seen anybody on heavy duty chronic pain medication. However, it really affects how they live their life. And even with anti-inflammatory drugs, there are health issues. I’m trying to give people options that really do not have a lot of downside.

The whole book really establishes the relationship between inflammation and pain. An anti-inflammatory diet is very important. The book talks about the basic elements of diet, proper exercise and topicals and proper supplements that you may use to attempt to control your pain. I look at supplements with known data for certain problems, like glucosamine and chondroitin and vitamin D.

I talk in my book about fibromyalgia. I have my own personal biases. Yes, it unquestionably exists, but I do think it is over-diagnosed. I give an illustration of a woman who had been suffering from fibromyalgia for six or seven years. She could not sleep, she was exhausted. I examined her and she did not have the classic fibromyalgia points. We talked. She really had an irritated nerve in her neck that was causing pain in her shoulder blade. Literally, after one epidural and one proper pillow, she was night and day a different woman. But the book also talks about people who truly have fibromyalgia and other problems, and about the significance of the aerobic exercise and how that can affect endorphin levels and how exercise increases REM sleep.