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Pain...It's a Pain

Have you been imaged, poked, ultrasound, lasered, (insert passive modality verb here) to death? Did this treatment approach give you any better grasp on why you are in pain? Do you feel any more empowered by the findings? Have you been properly educated on what activities are safe and what are not? Do you feel lost? Defeated? UNFIXABLE?

Did you know the language that has been spoken to you regarding your condition may have unknowingly changed the trajectory of your improvement? Sometimes unknowingly and sometimes knowingly, health care providers explain your conditions in a way that may make you feel fragile or doomed until the end of eternity. We are here to help explain pain and improve your outcomes via a combination of listening, asking permission to educate, and then fulfilling our mission statement of empowering you to help heal yourself.

Healing from pain is highly dependent on the approach you take with pain. A lot of times, your belief system around why your pain started, what makes it worse, and any prior advice you have received in the past can adversely or positively affect your future processing of a painful situation. Truly understanding why you are experiencing pain and then establishing what makes it better, worse, what to avoid, and what not to avoid will change your outcome. We are here to give you this important information about your pain so that change in outcome is for the better.

Mechanical pain (pain changed by motion) and peripheral neurogenic pain (pain caused by nerves) have presentations that, when given the right assessment, can be straight forward to treat. I say straight forward with some major contingencies in mind. First, you, as the patient, must be open to treatment, and we, as the clinicians must fulfill our promise of both educating your condition and guiding you to the best exercise/treatment modality for the condition. If you have a trauma, of course the option of referral to another provider may be made if inflammation is out of control and cannot be handled with conservative measures. If pain is localized, then figuring out whether it is caused by the tissue in the area or referred by tissue from another area of the body (typically the spine) needs to be determined. If there is a radicular component, meaning the pain travels, then we determine if it is from a tight nerve or from a nerve that is trapped, and the location of the entrapment. This simplistic breakdown of the complexity that goes through our heads when you are seen at the office will hopefully give you a bit of insight into what makes Function First different. If anything, you glazed completely over this part, and we get to share it with you when you make an appointment.

It has been a while since I have felt so empowered and driven by a seminar. This past weekend helped me collect my wealth of knowledge and organize it in a way to help dissipate information to patients in a way that will resonate with them and help THEM navigate their pain presentations in a way that will improve their chances of resolution. At 12 years in the “game”, I can honestly say that I have felt some moments of burn out, depression, and often a sense that I am not doing enough or able to help patients in a way that I want. Pain is not only exhausting for the patient experiencing it, but also for the clinician trying to resolve it. If I have learned anything from this past weekend, it is that it is a team effort. My job is to safely guide you to understanding your presentation of pain and to work with you, with your permission, in developing the proper “game plan” for you. Help us break down some lies, build up some safety, and guide you to the pain free life you deserve.

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