I hear this all the time. In so many cases, when patients feel pain that doesn’t go away, they go to their doctor. Appropriate exams and workups are done and in some cases x-rays or other advanced imaging is done as well. Sometimes the doctor doesn’t find anything wrong, but the patient still feels pain. This is when it becomes very frustrating for the patient. At this point, they come to see me asking for answers. That’s when I begin my detective work and try and find if there are certain trends or conditions that may have been overlooked. I’ll discuss some of the things I find that are not normal, and some of my prescriptions I recommend to my patients.
First of all, if you have pain anywhere in your body that is not going away even for a few weeks or longer, specific workups need to be done. If it’s internal, bloodwork should be done immediately. If that’s not normal, it needs to be treated. If the bloodwork is normal, and there is still pain, necessary imaging like cat scan, MRI, or others should be done immediately. If nothing out of the ordinary is found, I have to look at trends. Perhaps some of your bloodwork is on the lower side of normal or higher side of normal, but still in the normal range. That doesn’t make it normal. If images have not been done, I would order them at that point. So many times I’ve found things that have been missed by other healthcare professionals. Sometimes it just takes a second set of eyes to see it. If the pain is in your spine or any of your other joints, of course the first thing to do is take an x-ray. From that point forward if everything appears normal, MRI or CAT scan would be done. Even thermography in some cases. In many x-ray reports I receive from imaging facilities, the radiologist has reported that everything is unremarkable, meaning normal. I always request that the patient bring the films in. Once I look at them, even patients will notice that the film is not normal. Radiologists are looking for cancer, fractures, and other major conditions. They do not always report structural changes. I’ve also heard patients tell me that their doctor has said that their stenosis, arthritis, or herniated discs are normal for their age. NO. Those conditions are not normal. When I see the misalignment or mechanical dysfunction, I’m able to start the appropriate treatment immediately, therefore relieving the patient’s pain.
Once the cause of this otherwise “normal” diagnosis is found to be abnormal, there are “alternative” prescriptions as I call them for my patients to follow. I call them prescriptions, not suggestions. There are small changes in lifestyle that patients can make that can help these conditions from recurring. Honestly, many patients may balk. That’s normal because we’re human. When they want to return to many of their favorite ways of doing things, I will ask them, ”How has that been working for you?” Of course it hasn’t been working out very well at all, or they wouldn’t have the pain they are complaining of. These changes are not life-changing, only small tweaks in daily activities that perhaps no one else has told them about in the past. And in some cases, once these little tweaks have been made, they can go back to doing things the way they were doing them previously. Some of these changes can be posture related, how people sit and what furniture they said on, how they are driving, and even how they look at their computers and other devices. These all seem like they are insignificant, however every time I have advised they follow my prescription of these changes, it works. Other changes may be related to choices. Once my patients follow my prescription, they feel better and the pain is gone. As I said earlier, we are human. We make mistakes, we fall, but we are able to get back up. The better you feel, the more you want to follow the prescription. A pain-free life is a happy life.
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Leisa-Marie Grgula, D.C.
Accurate Care Pain Relief Center
21043 N. Cave Creek Rd. #A9
Phoenix, AZ 85024