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Today, medical care is a highly specialized and compartmentalized business, and many physicians are pressured by significant time constraints. When your health problems are complex, it can be difficult and frustrating to find answers. Be your own advocate, don’t be afraid to ask questions and seize control of your health.
5 Important Steps For Better Health When You Have a Chronic Illness or Pain
- Find an expert. Chronic pain can undermine every aspect of your life – your work, relationships, recreational activities, self-esteem and hope for the future. You want – and need – a pain specialist who is going to investigate the causes of your particular pain problem, strive to understand exactly how it has affected your life, and work with you to create and implement a personalized and comprehensive treatment strategy that fits the context of your life. You don’t have to just live with it. Chronic pain or illness should not define who you are and what you do.
- Understand Your Diagnosis. A diagnosis is not just a label; expect your doctor to provide you with resources to help you better understand your own condition; and expect him or her to lay out clear recommendations for your short and long-term treatment, including steps that you can take to assist with your own healing process.
- Understand the Value of Non-invasive Manual Therapies to Your Recovery. Seek out a physician who is knowledgeable about non-invasive manual therapies that will support your recovery. Ideally, you want a doctor who can recommend highly skilled manual practitioners who will communicate with your doctor about your progress and the need for adjustments in your ongoing medical care.
- Be Careful about Using Pain Medication. While medications may help pain, some also have the potential to cause other problems with your health and quality of life. Be confident that the medication your doctor has prescribed for you is truly the most effective and least invasive way of treating your chronic pain problem.
- Understand All the Factors that May Be Contributing to Your Condition. Many times there are underlying, undiagnosed factors that may be contributing to your pain. Nutrition, emotional issues, hormone imbalances, biotoxicity or neurotoxicity, and sleep disorders can all cause inflammatory reactions in the body which can lead to a cascade of painful symptoms. Chronic pain is a multi-faceted problem that requires a multi-disciplinary approach to diagnosing and treating your pain.