Physical pain is an awful fact of life. It can range from mild, occasional annoying pain to severe, chronic debilitating pain. Whatever the severity of the patient’s pain, it should be treated as aggressively as safely possible.
I love helping patients treat their pain. I feel it to be a calling. When someone comes to me and tells me they are in pain and tells me “my doctor says there is nothing more they can do for me”, my heart sinks. Often, the patient’s doctors have not explored every option available and have left many therapeutic treatments “on the table” so to speak.
One area of my practice in which I may be able to help patients is with respect to neuropathic, or nerve pain. Neuropathic pain can be caused by many things including diabetes, shingles, chemotherapy and radiation, alcoholism and vitamin deficiency. Neuropathic pain is very difficult to treat, as anyone who experiences it knows. There is a phenomenon called neuo-plasticity where by the nerve will seek alternate routes to send pain signals if one of the routes is blocked. So understanding and being able to manipulate many different pain signals in the body at the same time is key to helping control neuropathic pain.
by David J. Miller, RPh, PhD, FIACP, FACA