By Dushyant Viswanathan, MD
Chronic neuropathic pain causes a lot of people a lot of misery and suffering. It is one of the reasons why there is a chronic opioid epidemic; patients have untreated pain and are in agony, and opiate medication prescriptions are easy to write and hand over to a patient.
I would like to take a moment to describe how I treat chronic neuropathic pain. To begin, it is important to understand some nuances with regards to the physiology of neuropathic pain:
Pain is a neurologic phenomenon. Neurologic phenomena occur in the brain, the spinal cord, and in the body at large (the neurologic term is “peripheral nerves” throughout the body). The nerve tissue in the brain and spinal cord that are responsible for carrying pain “information” can cause excess pain perception by any of the following features:
Each of these concerns can and should be directly addressed by medical treatments. What is overwhelmingly clear is that simply giving patients narcotic prescriptions to treat chronic pain is not only ineffective to treat chronic pain, but also very dangerous.
My approach is comprehensive. After consultation, physical examination, and diagnostic testing to determine the underlying causes of chronic pain, any of the following treatments are considered and can be customized to best help the patient:
The strategies themselves may involve pharmaceutical medications, amino acid formulas, hormone treatments, compounded treatments, anti-microbial treatments, microbiome repair treatments, and holistic treatments such as yoga, meditation, and acupuncture. Ultimately a customized approach is necessary for each person. We do not stop until our patients are pain-free!
It is important to stay up to date about the neurobiology of pain and about how to safely help people become pain-free. If you are interested in exploring how to become pain free, contact us today at 888 250 CCIM (2246)
Dushyant Viswanathan, MD, ABIM, ABOIM, AACE
Chief Medical Officer
The Columbia Center for Integrative Medicine
888 250 2246