Pain is a very individual thing. There are countless kinds, causes, and ways that it can manifest. Your pain can be acute and short-lived, or be endlessly chronic. It may feel dull, achy, sharp, shooting, throbbing, electric, burning, or feel like something that words can’t describe. Pain also has a personality. It may feel better when you apply ice, or it may calm down with a heating pad. Your pain may wake you up in the middle of the night, or be worse first thing in the morning. You may feel pain all day long, it may come and go, or only affect you when you make a single movement, such as raising your arm over your head or walking up the stairs.
There are a number of mechanisms and causes of pain. Including:
- Trauma, such as from an accident, fall, injury, or surgery
- Impingement or entrapment of nerves
- Ischemia, which is a big word to describe a blockage of blood flow
- Nerve damage
- Wear and tear or overuse
- Chronic illness
The Nature of Sports Injuries
There are generally two types of injuries sustained during sports activities. The first type of injury happens quickly and is considered acute. A wrist or shoulder injury from a fall, blowing out your knee on the soccer field, or rolling your ankle while running are all considered to be traumatic injuries. Often these injuries involve a sprain, which is damage to a ligament; or a strain, which concerns muscles or tendons. In addition to pain, with an acute injury, you may experience inflammation, swelling, bruising, and poor range of motion.
The second type of sports injury is chronic, and these occurs over time. Frequently these injuries are the result of repetitive movements, such as throwing, running, paddling, or racquet sports. These repetitive overuse injuries often result in muscle strains or inflamed tendons, which is a condition called tendinitis. While these injuries can be painful and involve inflammation, you may not notice any visible signs, such as swelling or bruising. In addition to overuse, these injuries may be also be caused or aggravated by poorly fitting equipment, improper biomechanics, lack of adequate training, and inappropriate or worn footwear.
How BodaHealth Can Help
Regardless of the cause or nature of how you hurt, everyone who experiences pain has one thing in common: You want it gone. Pain can zap your energy, affect your ability to do the things that you want to do, affect your sleep and leave you depressed and frustrated.
At BodaHealth, we want your pain to be gone, too.
We offer a number of treatments to help you become pain-free safely, naturally, and without the use of prescription pain medications. Among them:
-Acupuncture is one of the best-known complementary treatments for managing pain, and for a good reason. A 2018 analysis of several research studies on the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating pain concluded that it can effectively reduce pain related to a number of chronic conditions. In addition, the researchers determined that pain relief that resulted from the treatments were sustained over time, and that the benefits from acupuncture were not related to the placebo effect. www.aafp.org/news/health-of-the-public/20180521acupuncture.html
Acupuncture works through several physiological mechanisms. It increases circulation and restores blood flow, which helps to reduce pain and aid in healing. Acupuncture also works to reduce inflammation. Most important is that acupuncture releases chemicals that block the transmission of pain signals to your brain and it increases the circulation of certain neurotransmitters that act as your body’s own pain relief system.
-Cupping. If you watched recent Olympic Games, you may have noticed that some of the athletes have what appears to be perfectly round bruises. These are actually marks from cupping, which is a restorative and healing treatment that involves the use of glass or plastic cups in which a vacuum has been created. The cups are placed on your skin, and the vacuum creates a pulling effect, but can cause a red or purple mark on the surface of your skin. Cupping can act a little like a reverse massage, because your muscles and connective tissue are pulled, rather than being pushed. Cupping helps to increase circulation, support healing, loosen tight muscles, decrease pain, and is very relaxing.
-Tui Na means Pinch and Pull in Chinese, and is therapeutic bodywork, similar to massage. It incorporates Chinese acupressure points and pathways. While Tui Na isn’t painful, it’s generally not used for relaxation, but rather to increase circulation and speed healing of a specific condition.
-Gua Sha. Also a part of Chinese medicine, Gua Sha involves rubbing or scraping your skin with a blunt edged massage tool. Like cupping, Gua Sha can leave a mark. Its effects are to increase circulation to the injured area, decrease inflammation, break up scar tissue and promote healing.
-Nutrition. When dealing with pain, what you eat can be crucial, and at BodaHealth, we can help you develop a plan through Chinese dietary therapy, as well as through nutritional assessment and supplementation from our naturopathic physicians and holistic nutritionist. The right diet can put you on track to reduce inflammation, support healing, and increase your energy.
-Massage Therapy. At BodaHealth, we also have several knowledgeable and experienced massage therapists on staff. They can provide treatments that help reduce pain in several ways. Therapeutic massage can help loosen tight or spastic muscles, increase joint and muscle mobility, improve the circulation of blood and lymph, help relieve nerve compression, and reduce the stress that can aggravate your pain.
-Shockwave Therapy may also be used, especially if you’re suffering from chronic tendon issues. This therapy delivers shock waves to the injured area, which can jump-start the healing process. Shockwave therapy helps to increase circulation to an injured area which in turn helps stimulate healing and relieves pain.
-Injection Therapy. Most frequently used for joint pain, hyaluronic acid or perineural injection treatments (PIT) https://www.lyftogtmed.com/ can be an effective way to reduce inflammation, increase viscosity of the cushioning synovial fluid in an affected joint, and reduce pain. Injection therapy may be a good choice for patients with nerve pain, osteoarthritis, joint injuries, or wear and tear to their joints.
-Naturopathic Medicine. The naturopathic doctors at BodaHealth are able to assess your diet and digestion in an effort to put you on the right track nutritionally. They are able to prescribe vitamin, herbal, and other nutritional supplements to speed up the healing process and help to reduce inflammation.
-Osteopathy. Our osteopathic practitioner is committed to preventing health problems before they start. Treatments are focused on your entire body, especially your musculoskeletal system, and are likely to involve hands-on manipulation to treat your pain or injury.
-Therapeutic Exercise can be an important component in dealing with chronic pain or recovering from an injury. It may involve stretching to increase your range of motion, exercises to build strength, and strategies to improve performance without causing or aggravating your pain. Our exercise experts are also able to help reduce your risk of further injury.
-Pilates. At BodaHealth, our Pilates instructors work one-on-one with you to help you manage your pain or recover from injury. Pilates is a form of exercise therapy that uses slow and controlled movements that minimize the impact on your joints. It can help improve your muscle strength, especially those of your core (abdominals and back), increase flexibility, improve your posture, and enhance sports performance.
If you are struggling with pain, feel like you’ve run out of options, or want a drug-free alternative to pain medications, contact us today. We are happy to discuss the details of your situation and outline out how we can help you get started on the road to being pain-free.