Chronic Pelvic Pain

Studies show up to 25% of women experience some variation of chronic pelvic pain (CPP) at some point in their lives. That sure is a lot of ladies. The etiology can be gynecological in origin (endometrial adhesions, fibroids, adenomyosis), gastrological (irritable bowel syndrome, colitis), urological (cystitis, painful bladder syndrome) or musculoskeletal (pelvic floor hypertonicity, myofascial pelvic pain syndrome).  A thorough history and physical can point the patient/provider team in the right direction to discover and treat the underlying cause or causes. Treatment is based on the source of pain with a goal of restoring function. Treatment may include medication, pelvic floor physical therapy, behavior modification and very rarely a referral for surgery. Unfortunately, many women are misdiagnosed and misunderstood for many years before appropriate care is found.

Types of pain include nociceptive, neuropathic and central pain. Nociceptive pain is often sharp and localized and is a result of injury or inflammation. Neuropathic pain results from specific nerve damage and is described as burning, numbness or tingling. Pelvic floor physical therapy can be life changing in these circumstances.

One of the trickiest situations is when, regardless of the initial reason for pain, the central nervous system becomes sensitized to pain signals and essentially “turns up the volume” without an actual increase in the source of pain. This phenomenon is considered “central pain” and the mechanism is thought to be similar to fibromyalgia. In these cases, one must consider the current level of pain in addition to the etiology. The chronic nature of central pain can be particularly challenging for patients and may present with comorbidities of depression, anxiety and addiction. Cognitive behavior therapy, medication and a home program of pelvic floor physical therapy exercises may all benefit the patient in this situation. Longer term situations require a longer healing period.

For some excellent resources on the topic of Pelvic Pain, check out the International Pelvic Pain Society website: https://pelvicpain.org/patients/patient-education-booklet.aspx

 

IBS, weight loss, stomach pain

If you are someone you love suffers with pelvic pain, help is available! Please call us to set up an appointment today 503-287-4970

 

Linda Anzalone, WHNP at Nature Cures Clinic

Linda Anzalone WHNP
Linda Anzalone, WHNP-BC, in Nature Cures Clinic Downtown Portland, OR

Fibromyalgia: Naturopathic Treatment Approaches

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by Dr. Greg Eckel

Nature Cures Clinic physician

I have been researching fibromyalgia for the last 13 years.  My mother had it, and as any son would want to help his mother out, I really was looking for ways to decrease her pain.  I have come to understand fibromyalgia to be a very complex pattern for those suffering from it.  In assessing sleep, levels of toxicity, hormone balance and meningeal compression, we can arrive at a comprehensive treatment plan that has the best chance of relieving one’s pain and suffering.

Sleep and Fibromyalgia

Sleep is a huge component to correct, as it’s the time of rest and regeneration.  The body can heal itself and/or have some respite from the day.  I start here with patients.  Often times patients with fibromyalgia are on multiple pharmaceuticals for sleep and are still experiencing difficulty getting and staying asleep.  We will use Chinese herbs, magnesium and amino acid blend, just to name a few, to help correct the imbalances that have led to sleep issues.  This is step one in treating fibromyalgia.

Toxicity and Fibromyalgia

The body stores toxins in its fat.  Perhaps it’s a protective mechanism, to store these toxins out of circulation.  Through cleansing the connective tissue and the the liver we help clear these toxins out, which in turn helps tune down the nervous system and thus helps at relieving pain.  All of my patients are on a liver cleanse at least once a year.  Personally, I tend to do 2-3 cleanses a year.  We are all exposed to over 80,000 chemicals a week here in the US.  Most of those have never been tested as far as the safety of those chemicals in our bodies.

Stress, Hormones and Fibromyalgia

Stress has a huge impact on patients.  Stress flares symptoms for patients by increasing inflammation in the body.  Acupuncture treatments put patients into a parasympathetic (rest and regenerative state).  We also work on mental emotional states, deep breathing, meditation, and mindfulness techniques.  Diet can have a huge impact on stress as well.  All of my patients have a comprehensive diet analysis and meet with my holistic nutritionist.

When someone has been in a lot of pain over time, their hormones can become affected.  The pain triggers a stress response, which affects the adrenal gland (the major stress response hormones come from there), which can in turn affect thyroid function and estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.  This rarely gets addressed conventionally.  Through correcting hormone imbalances we have a better chance at correcting the imbalances that have led to the chronic pain pattern.

The Neurological Relief Technique

A new technique we have incorporated into treatment is the neurological relief technique (NRT).  This is a great technique when it works and through a free test we can see if it will work. If the result is positive, you know with greater certainty the technique will be beneficial.  There are multiple causes of meningeal compression — stress, trauma and environmental toxicity to name a few.  The meninges compress the nerves at the level of the foramen magnum (where the spinal cord enters the skull) causing pain on the nerves (hence the patterns of pain associated with fibromyalgia).  The NRT has been a great addition to how we treat patients with fibromyalgia.  This component is also why pain medications don’t correct any dysfunction in the body, as they don’t do anything for this component that a lot of patients have.

Of course there are some very specific nutrients we can use depending on what the root causes of the fibromyalgia are.  It is through the comprehensive evaluation — looking at all of these aspects of the patient — that we find good success at relieving pain and suffering.

If you know of anyone suffering with this condition, please have them call our clinic and ask for a complimentary consult with me. During the consult, we will go through the neurological relief technique test and see if we could help them.

 

 

 

Image courtesy Menage a Moi

Seeing a Naturopath after a Motor Vehicle Accident

Did you know you could see a naturopathic physician as your doctor after an accident?  The personal injury protection (PIP) that we all must carry by law for our auto insurance in Oregon covers this service.  This portion of your insurance covers your care no matter who was at fault.  It is there to get you better.  Insurance companies would rather you not.
All to often I see patients that have never been the same after an accident.  Unfortunately, I see them years after their accident.  I’ll hear “yeah, my back/neck has been hurting me for X amount of years.”  You insert the time frame, 5, 10, 15 years.
I recently wrote an article about treating patients in chronic pain (insert link to that article here).   We at nature Cures Clinic are one of a limited number of centers around the country that have been trained in a new neurological relief technique that is helping many people finally get relief from their pain.  Whether you have recently been in an accident or have been suffering from chronic pain, (or know someone that has been), please give us a call and schedule a complimentary consult.
The typical ER department is not set up to handle the intricacies of a motor vehicle accident.  Perhaps muscle relaxants and or pain medications are prescribed.  These do stop the signal to the brain, but do nothing to repair the inflammation or tissue damage the body has endured.
When you are in an accident adrenaline surges.  This hormone is released when the body is stressed.  This hormone keeps you alive.  Cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline), and nor-epipinephrine (nor-adrenaline) are the three hormones released in the fight or flight response.  I often counsel patients to give themselves a week or two to settle down post accident to really see what happened to their body after an accident because of this response.
Even low impact collisions (less than 6 mph) can have lasting negative consequences.  If there was no vehicle body damage, the force of the collision traveled through your body.   Newton’s third law in motion physics states, that for every action in the universe there is an equal and opposite reaction.  The force of impact does travel through your body.  Many studies show the impact of 6 M.P.H. cause tissue damage.
I encourage you if you or someone you know has been in an accident to get checked out thoroughly by a physician at nature Cures so we can best assess you and the status of your body.  You don’t want to be the patient years later telling us I’ve never been better since that accident.

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by Dr. Greg Eckel

Nature Cures Clinic physician

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Did you know you could see a naturopathic physician as your doctor after an accident?  The personal injury protection (PIP) that we all must carry by law for our auto insurance in Oregon covers this service.  This portion of your insurance covers your care no matter who was at fault.  It is there to get you better.  Insurance companies would rather you not.

All too often I see patients who have never been the same after an accident.  Unfortunately, I see them years after their accident.  I’ll hear “yeah, my back/neck has been hurting me for X amount of years.”  You insert the time frame, 5, 10, 15 years.

The typical ER department is not set up to handle the intricacies of a motor vehicle accident.  Perhaps muscle relaxants and or pain medications are prescribed.  These do stop the signal to the brain, but do nothing to repair the inflammation or tissue damage the body has endured.

When you are in an accident adrenaline surges.  This hormone is released when the body is stressed.  This hormone keeps you alive.  Cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline), and nor-epipinephrine (nor-adrenaline) are the three hormones released in the fight or flight response.  I often counsel patients to give themselves a week or two to settle down post accident to really see what happened to their body after an accident because of this response.

Even low-impact collisions (less than 6 mph) can have lasting negative consequences.  If there was no vehicle body damage, the force of the collision traveled through your body.   Newton’s third law in motion physics states, that for every action in the universe there is an equal and opposite reaction.  The force of impact does travel through your body.  Many studies show the impact of 6 M.P.H. cause tissue damage.

I recently wrote an article about treating patients in chronic pain.   We at Nature Cures Clinic are one of a limited number of centers around the country that have been trained in a new neurological relief technique that is helping many people finally get relief from their pain.  Whether you have recently been in an accident or have been suffering from chronic pain, (or know someone that has been) please give us a call to schedule a complimentary consult.

I encourage you if you or someone you know has been in an accident to get checked out thoroughly by a physician at Nature Cures so we can best assess you and the status of your body.  You don’t want to be the patient years later telling us I’ve never been better since that accident.

Image courtesy Jason Rojas