Don’t Cover Up Pain

If your house was on fire and the smoke detectors were sounding, would it be in your best interest to remove the batteries in the smoke detectors so the alarms stopped blaring? When patients suppress pain with corticosteroid shots, anti-inflammatory and narcotic medications, they are, in essence, not allowing the body to “sound the pain alarms” and have little hope of curing the pain/putting out the fire. For a family to go about their normal business during a fire, just because the alarm is not sounding, would be absolutely deadly! The same is true with suppressing the pain of an injury. Playing tennis or other sports and activities while pain is blocked by anti-inflammatory medications can essentially do the same thing to the injured joint!

Pain protects the body from further harming itself. Anyone who takes anti-inflammatory medications for painful joints runs the risk of increasing the joint damage. In addition, it is harmful to choose to do nothing because these progressive conditions only lead to more destructive joint motion. The majority of chronic joint pain begins with some type of soft tissue injury and joint instability. Bones move out of alignment if the stabilizing structures, like ligaments, have been injured. Treatments that encourage blood flow to the originally injured area are ideal to naturally activate the body’s own repair resources. These may include various types of acupuncture, osteopathic or chiropractic techniques, as well as Regenerative Injection Therapies, including Prolotherapy with stem cells or platelets (PRP), which stabilizes joints and eliminates pain.

Remember, chronic pain is not due to a corticosteroid or anti-inflammatory drug deficiency. We recommend not removing the batteries when the pain alarm is going off, but rather, take a more active role in finding out how to put the fire out for good.