Integrative Pain Medicine

Chronic pain is a complex, multifaceted condition. It is now becoming more accepted that an integrated approach may be an effective long term solution. What is also interesting about pain is that there does not seem to be a single treatment protocol that works for everyone. Successful pain management is often achieved when multiple providers, each with their own skill set, work together. 

Recently, AMVETS, one of the largest veterans service organizations has joined with the America Association of Naturopathic Physicians to promote the use of non-pharmacological medicines for pain sufferers. 

Naturopathic medicine is particularly effective for pain because it always attempts to uncover the underlying causes of pain. Personalized therapies may involve:

  1. Anti-inflammatory diet and supplements
  2. Functional testing 
  3. Hormone evaluation
  4. Injection therapies such as PRP prolotherapy for osteoarthritis and tendon injuries
  5. Supporting gut health to reduce inflammation
  6. Mind - body techniques
  7. much more ...

Some commonly treated chronic pain conditions include:

  1. Low back pain
  2. Joint pain
  3. Fibromyalgia
  4. IBS or digestive pain
  5. Headaches

For a non-pharmacological pain consult book and appointment with Dr. Jeffery

Restorative Hydrotherapy

Chronic stress is a major health concern in our modern, face paced world. Over time, if untreated can contribute to many chronic health conditions. Chronic stress can lead to blood sugar regulation problems, hormonal problems, headaches, inflammation and much more.

Our Restorative Hydrotherapy treatment is based on a traditional naturopathic therapy that involves the application of hot and cold to the upper body region. The contrasting effects calm the nervous system and increase circulation. Each treatment is individualized and may be accompanied with other therapies such as low volt stimulation, herbal medicine, spinal manipulation, localized massage or essential oils. Overall it is a gentle, safe and restorative therapy. 

Its therapeutic potential is broad and it is useful for:

  1. Chronic stress
  2. Improve energy and overall vitality
  3. Pain
  4. Immune support
  5. Supportive care during cold and flu
  6. Sleep problems
  7. Digestive concerns
  8. Support during our detox programs 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Is it the bugs within?

Irritable bowel syndrome is a common misunderstood condition. There is a stigma regarding IBS as being mainly an emotional condition. Research is now showing that this is no longer the case. Although emotions can contribute, IBS is much more complex. 

Ones intestinal bacteria may be a major factor for many IBS patients. Researchers are now finding that many people with IBS symptoms may have an overgrowth of bacteria in their small intestine. We call this condition SIBO which stands for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. It can present as major gas and bloating often following a meal high in certain sugars. These sugars feed the bacteria leading to bloating. 

Other non-intestinal symptoms often associated with SIBO are chronic pain, fatigue, brain fog or depression. 

A simple breath test can be performed to determine if your GI symptoms are due to SIBO. Based on the results, a treatment protocol can be performed to treat it. If you suffer from IBS or suspect you may have SIBO book an appointment with Dr. Jeffery to discuss your options.

Functional Laboratory Medicine

Standard blood tests can be viewed from both a functional or pathological perspective.

Primary care doctors (including NDs) first view blood tests from a pathological perspective. This is an important tool for the screening of major illnesses or pathology. These test are often referred to as the CBC, CMP, Lipid and Thyroid panel.

A functional blood assessment should not be confused from the standard pathological assessment. Functional blood analysis allows one to evaluate for underlying imbalances interfering with optimal functioning. Iron deficiencies, B vitamin and folic acid deficiencies, inflammation and much more can be uncovered by connecting symptoms with non-pathogenic / functional patterns on standard blood labs.

This can also help focus treatment and assist to narrow down the many contributing factors involved in established chronic disease. Functional medicine analysis provides clues into nutritional deficiencies, metabolic function, inflammation and sub clinical conditions (such as thyroid and adrenal gland imballance. Therefore its also great for wellness care and can be used to optimize health. 

Since these tests are commonly ordered by primary care doctors, chances are you have a recent one available. They can be printed from your LifeLab portal and brought in on your next visit for functional evaluation by Dr. Jeffery.

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6 Surprising Causes of Inflammation and Pain

Aches and pains are the body's way of telling us that something is wrong. Pain is a symptom of inflammation and simply taking a drug or natural anti inflammatory will not cure it. With acute trauma, the source of pain is obvious. With chronic pain you need to look for the underlying causes of the inflammation.

Here is our top 6 causes of inflammation that are all too often overlooked.

  1. Poor quality sleep
    • Anything that interferes with sleep can be driving inflammation. Sleep apnea is one condition that may remain undiscovered and drive inflammation for a long time before diagnosis. 
  2. Gastrointestinal dysfunction
    • Gluten and processed food are two dietary factors contributing to a "leaky gut". When GI integrity is compromised foreign particles can enter into our blood which stimulates one's immune system to generate inflammatory mediators. 
  3. Undiscovered dental infections may be hiding within a tooth or below the gums.
  4. Too much stress and no relaxation
    • Stress comes in many forms. It may produce inflammation due to the physical wear and tear of our tissues. Emotional stress can influence hormone levels or prevent one from sleeping, both drive inflammation. 
  5. Dietary factors
    • The average western diet is often low in good fats and high in bad fats. Good fats like fish oil (rich in omega 3) are anti inflammatory. Bad fats found in many animal products (high in omega 6) are pro inflammatory.
    • Other factors such a sugar and processed foods also contribute to inflammation. 
  6. Hormones
    • After menopause there is a decrease in the level of estrogen which has anti-inflammatory properties. 

The naturopathic approach always attempts to seek the root cause of disease while treating the symptoms using the most non-invasive therapies. 

Chronic pain is a complex condition involving many factors that are not discussed above. An integrative approach involves the incorporation of multiple modes of therapy. Therefore a through investigation including a detailed history, complete physical exam and diagnostic or functional testing is always recommended.