By Christie Bondurant
To help you enhance your practice and increase your bottom line, Dynamic Chiropractic PracticeINSIGHTS asks practicing doctors of chiropractic, like you, for ideas and solutions that have been tested in real-world environments. In this issue, we asked: "What drug-free approach has been the most effective in addressing your patients pain? (not including an adjustment/manipulation)?"
Of all the questions we've asked, this was by far the one that received the most responses we've seen yet. This question seemed to hit a nerve and produced such varied responses that to incorporate them all in this article would be exhaustive. Instead, we pulled out the responses that we felt were most informative and included them in this summary.
As chiropractors, you face client pain complaints daily, and most of you have developed your own detailed treatment plan specific to the complaint. The majority of you mentioned some form of nutritional therapy to reduce inflammation, relieve pain and also prevent pain. Michael Berglund of Wisconsin summed it up with: "We all practice the art of chiropractic so we know what spinal and non-spinal manipulation does for pain. Most of us who do herbal/nutritional therapy know of the power of turmeric, boswelia and even fish oil as anti-inflammatory agents, but I was surprised that high dose quercetin (6-12 grams) was also very powerful in cases of chronic pain."
And while some responses were general, some of you were more specific and gave clear outlines of your treatment plans. For example, Cynthia Leeder of California gave five different plans, stating: "I use several different protocols.
1) If anyone calls in for treatment as a result of a recent accident, I always tell them to go to the health food store or come by the office and pick up some Traumeel (BHI-Heel) and start taking it. I tell them to take 1 tablet every 15 minutes for 3 hours then to cut back to 1 every hour for day 1; 1 every 2 hours on day 2 and 1 3x a day until they can get in to see me. I find homeopathics incredibly valuable for most muscle trauma.
"2) I also use another homeopathic by the same company called Spascupreel and it seems to work wonders on muscle spasms and cramps. These products can be ordered from Natural Partners in addition to ordering from BHI-Heel.
"3) I find turmeric really works wonders for pain in general. I have a product that has turmeric, ginger and bioflavonoids that people swear by. The nice thing about turmeric is that even though they are working on getting the inflammation out, it is also working on their brain; it has been shown to help with beginning stages of Alzheimer's.
"4) For severe pain, I have found a product called "Neprinol" from Arthur Andrew Medical that has serrapeptase and nattokinase that work wonders with nasty stuff - it also works on dissolving tumors - sadly it is very expensive too.
"5) I also make sure they are on an anti-inflammatory diet: no sugar, alcohol, gluten, dairy, preservatives, chemicals, high amounts of EPA/DHA, digestive enzymes. A chiropractic treatment that seems to work wonders is doing cranial adjustments."
Mark Baxter of Las Vegas also gave specific treatments for certain conditions. Baxter said: "For peripheral neuropathy, including diabetic neuropathy: Controlled-release Alpha Lipoic Acid 300 mg BID in conjunction with Acetyl-L-Carnitine 500 mg BID.
"For musculoskeletal pain: Something for muscle spasm that includes calcium, magnesium, valerian root, passaflora and hops. The calcium and magnesium should be in very absorbable forms (not carbonate or oxides) and the valerian and passaflora are GABA agonists, which help to relax the mind as well as the body and decrease the brain's PERCEPTION of pain. Keep in mind that chronic pain depletes Serotonin, GABA and Dopamine and other Catecholamines (which in turn amplify pain perception); so nutrients that address Serotonin (such as Tryptophan, 5HTP, and Vitamin D) and Dopamine & Catecholamines (amino acids phenylalanine and tyrosine, with co-factors such as folic acid or 5MTHF, vitamin B6 or Piridoxal-5-Phosphate, iron, copper and vitamin C).
"Anti-inflammatory nutrients are also extremely helpful for pain patients and should include a good, purified fish oil concentrate as a source of EPA, Vitamin D3, bioflavonoid, boswelia, curcumin and ginger. In addition, proteolytic enzymes taken on an empty stomach (as long as there are no stomach ulcers) can be of substantial benefit as well."
Terry Wiley of Colorado addresses pain conditions as well as common cold and flu symptoms using nutritional therapy along with the Loomis protocol. Wiley said: "Pain relief for sprains and strains and for immune response with colds, flu and other viral or bacterial stress has responded with protease enzymes. I find the plant enzymes are extremely helpful in building the patient's immune system and taking days off of the healing time or the time to run its course. The Loomis protocol is what I follow. Many times pain is referred from an organ or system under stress and that needs to be relieved first and the adjustments will perform much better when administered to the subluxation complex."