At Cincinnati Health Institute, helping our patients manage and resolve pain and inflammation issues is a major part of what we do every day. For instance, in the case of chronic back pain, it is reported that back pain accounts for more than 10% of all doctor visits each year and the cost for treatment accounts for about 86 billion annually. The Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA, studied the treatment of back pain from January 1, 1999, through December 26, 2010. The published guidelines for back pain indicated a need for less invasive, conservative pain management. It pointed to the high likelihood of resolution with these conservative measures, such as NSAID pain relievers and physical therapy. The study advised avoiding more aggressive treatments, except in rare cases. However, non-recommended, aggressive treatment protocols have drastically increased.
Hmmmmm.....I wonder why that is? First, lets look at the numbers.
- The Use of NSAIDS decreased 50.6% during the study period
- Narcotics increased 50.8%
- CT or MRI imaging increased by 56.9%
- The overuse of imaging coincided with a significant increase in spine surgery, often with no benefit to the health or spine of the patients.
While this may seem shocking at first, it shouldn't. These treatments are expensive and generate a lot of revenue. Conventional medicine tends to treat symptoms, but aren't spending the necessary time to figure out what is wrong at the systemic level to cause these problems. Sometimes the body is missing some crucial component to aid in it's own natural healing process. Sometimes a less invasive, less expensive procedure will have better success. There are other options available to treat chronic pain.
In our office we have hundreds of patients that find relief through alternative/natural products, dietary changes and experienced chiropractic care. These are products that are backed by research and science. We don't recommend or use supplements that don't offer PROOF that they work. We insist that products be clinically researched and proven to have effectiveness and benefit to our clients and patients.
The Importance of EFA's in Pain and Inflammation
The first thing we do in our office when someone presents with pain and inflammation is to make sure they increase their intake of essential fatty acids (EPA and DHA) Omega 3's. These are usually in the form of a fish oil supplements, as they are an abundant source of high quality, easily utilized essential fatty acids (EPA and DHA). It is one of the most important ways to modulate inflammation and support joint health.
Just having Omega 3's isn't enough. You need Omega 6's as well, however too much Omega 6 and too little Omega 3 can wreak havoc on your health. These must be balanced. Too much Omega 6 can actually make inflammation worse, so it is important to make sure you get more Omega 3's than Omega 6's. The best way to do this is through diet and supplementation. Decrease dietary intake of Omega 6's (fried, processed food) and increase intake of Omega 3's through supplementation.
Omega 6 vs. Omega 3 Content
Generally, Omega 6's are characterized as being pro-inflammatory, but this isn't the case. Too much of them CAN be pro-inflammatory, but we need Omega 6's for normal body and immune function. The problem is that modern diets (fried, processed foods) are overloaded with Omega 6 EFA's. Omega-6 fatty acids are proinflammatory, because they are broken down by the body and converted into prostaglandins and other inflammatory proteins. These proteins cause inflammation. In fact, steroids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen, work by blocking the formation of these same inflammatory proteins.
Omega-3 fatty acids are also converted into inflammatory proteins, but this conversion takes place much more slowly, so that the body's natural mechanisms of breaking down inflammatory mediators occur before inflammation has a chance to take place. When you consume omega-6 fatty acids, inflammatory proteins are built so quickly that the body's natural process of metabolizing them is overwhelmed, and inflammation and its symptoms are much more likely to occur.
Dietary fish oil causes its prostaglandin-lowering effects through three different mechanisms.
Many chronic disease and pain responses can be limited or mitigated by simply supplementing with a high quality Omega 3 supplement. The modern diet simply isn't equipped to give us what nature intended. Nature intended the ratio of Omega 6's and 3's to be closer to 1:1 and no higher than 4:1, however humans are averaging anywhere from a 16:1 ratio to 40:1. Given what we know about how Omega 6's stimulate pro-inflammatory proteins it's no wonder everyone is sick and in pain!
- First, much fewer prostaglandins are made from omega 3's, than Omega 6's
- Second, omega 3's compete with omega 6's for the same binding site on the COX 1 enzyme, that converts the omega 6's to prostaglandins (which is why the COX 1 enzyme and its COX 2 cousin are the targets of anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen). The more omega 3 fatty acids present to block the binding sites, the fewer omega 6 fatty acids are able to be converted to prostaglandin.
- Third, although omega 3 fatty acids also are converted to prostaglandins, the prostaglandins formed from omega 3 are generally 2 to 50 times less active than those from the omega 6 fatty acids.
Both, Biomega-1000 by Biotics and Ortho-Omega by Ortho Molecular are great options if you are interested in lowering inflammation and pain.
.DesBio's Pain Relief Protocol
At Cincinnati health Institute we use Desbio's Pain Protocol for many cases involving pain and inflammation. Over 1 in 5 people over the age of 18 have ongoing joint pain and symptoms such as swelling, aching, decreased range of motion and stiffness. The impact of such a diagnosis compromises the patient’s ability to perform activities of daily living such as walking, grasping, or climbing stairs.
- Back pain is one of the top reasons people look for alternative pain relief.
- Using computers all day, every day often leads to repetitive joint injuries to wrists and fingers.
- Joints in the feet take a beating day after day and need optimal health for activities of daily living.
- Knees need special attention to keep functioning well without pain.
- Shoulders are susceptible to repetitive motion injuries, so these joints need attention, too.
The powerful combination of DesBio’s Renovate and Chronagesic helps to manage these symptoms.
- Renovate features a unique combination of
ingredients to support joint structure
while simultaneously providing pain
management. Renovate features
Hyal-joint – an exceptional hyaluronic
acid complex that nourishes synovial fluid for rapid impact on range of
motion. Herbals such as boswellia and
curcumin help to manage inflammatory
activity while also reducing joint
discomfort and nutrients
glucosamine and chondroitin help to
- Chronagesic is a homeopathic combination that temporarily
relieves symptoms of mild to moderate
arthritic pain and joint stiffness.
- Celeragesic Gel is a homeopathic topical gel that can be applied directly for the temporary relief of muscular pain, joint pain, sports injuries and bruising. Celeragesic is also available as homeopathic drops.