Thiel: No prescription quick fixes for chronic pain sufferers

If you haven’t had chronic pain, consider yourself very fortunate.

Many of my patients ask me about ways to manage their pain when it is considerable.

This is a valid question and I can’t help but empathize with them.

I have had significant bouts of low back pain throughout my life since the age of 12.

If you haven’t had chronic pain, consider yourself very fortunate. If you have lived with chronic pain, you know what I’m talking about.

Chronic pain, whatever the origin, can be all-consuming.

It affects your relationships, your work, your sleep, cognitive abilities and overall state of being.

What’s worse is that chronic pain perpetuates itself.

In neurology, there is a phenomenon called synaptogenesis.

In this case, the body sends more nerve fibres to an area that is painful, thereby intensifying the pain.

The body thinks its master is not listening and turns up the volume.

In addition, there is another phenomenon called neural field recruitment in which the body morphologically changes the nervous system to interpret and intensify the pain if chronic enough.

One of the greatest services I can provide to patients is to validate their pain and allow them an arena in which their state is acknowledged and seen as real. If the pain is significant and long enough, as an individual, you’ll feel like you’re losing your mind.

I would not be exaggerating if I were to say that I have had patients presented to me who are suicidal as a result of their pain.

The pain that chronic pain sufferers are experiencing is very real and cannot be ignored.

So what do you do?

We are raised in a society that believes that a pill can fix anything.

In some instances, the use of medication is correct and necessary.

I try to change this thought process by telling them that, for example, you do not have headaches because you have a Tylenol deficiency.

We need to find the very genesis of your pain and address that issue.

Pain should get the attention it deserves. A thorough examination and history should always, always precede any diagnosis or proposed treatment plan.

When is it worse? What makes it better? What makes it worse? Is it worse in the morning or evening? Does the pain wake you at night?

I am sorry to say that for chronic pain, there is no quick fix in most cases.

If a quick fix is what you have been trying to obtain all along, well…maybe that’s why it’s still there and now chronic.

Moreover, it is important to understand that pain serves a purpose.

It is tantamount to our species for survival.

Essentially, it is telling us, “Something is wrong. Please fix it.”

To merely throw aspirin, acetaminophen or the like at pain and expect it to help indefinitely is like putting paint on rust.

If you are going to take pain killers, I say save it for a rainy day and do not use it daily to prevent or correct pain.

Logically thinking, if you are in chronic pain, something is drastically wrong.

Pain killers are not corrective or therapeutic.

They just remove the perception of pain, not its genesis.

I haven’t even began to discuss the long term effects of these medications and how they may hurt you.

Find it. Fix it. Leave it alone.

Kelowna Capital News

Just Posted

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Asia Youngman (right) is pictured shooting another short film she wrote and directed titled Hatha. (Luba Popovic)
Peachland set to star in fantasy thriller film about N’xaxaitk’w — a.k.a. the Ogopogo

The film will follow an Indigenous teen as she navigates peer pressure, bullying and identity

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Jeanette Megens
KCR: Volunteering is sharing your story

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control in Electoral Area D starting next year

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read