Chronic pain: Mind, body, spirit

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Honest words about relieving your pain.

By Patricia Delzell, M.D., Advanced Musculoskeletal Medicine Consultants, Inc.

By definition, chronic pain is a significant discomfort you have lived with for a long time, often resulting in countless doctor visits over the years as well as dozens of treatments.

In the modern world, we want a physician to “fix” us, to repair what’s broken with surgery, an injection or a pill. But chronic pain often does not respond to such isolated treatments. That’s because “we” are not a collection of body parts. You and I are a complex system of mind, body and spirit and we are best healed with an integrated approach.

Pain, after all, is manifested in the brain—not in the body—a primordial stimulus designed to discourage us from sticking our hand into the fire or into the mouth of a saber-toothed tiger.

And chronic pain has a profound effect on our spirit. Stress, anxiety and depression resulting from years of pain have a strong influence on how we interpret the world around us.

Our role at Advanced MMC is to do everything we can to treat the physical causes of each patient’s pain, but also to address their relationship with pain. In the same way we can experience significant weight loss by changing our relationship with food, we can also experience significant relief by changing our relationship with our pain.

We are not our pain.

Yes, our mind-body-spirit approach involves traditional fix-the-problem healthcare, but we also employ advanced ultrasound technology to find the true physical cause of your pain. Due to the complexities of the “kinetic chain,” one part of our musculoskeletal system can affect another part. Hip pain, for example, can be caused by a problem in your back. Some patients find this hard to believe. “But, Doc,” they say. “My back doesn’t hurt. It’s my hip!”

Our advanced diagnostic tools and knowledge of the musculoskeletal system mean we may treat you in unexpected ways.

In addition, chronic pain may be caused by disease, injury, scar tissue, overuse, age-related degeneration, lack of movement and exercise, stress, anxiety and even poor nutrition. So we’ll address your history as well as your current outlook on life. Our goal is not necessarily to “fix” you, but to reduce your pain and dramatically improve the quality of your life. We may suggest a scalpel or a needle or a pill, but we may also suggest yoga, meditation, breathing techniques, supplements, and infrared light therapy—all part of our integrated approach which has brought relief to hundreds of patients.

At the end of the day, your improved quality of life is directly related to how willing you are to be engaged in the process. If you’re looking for yet another injection, we can do that, but true, long-term pain relief results from an authentic doctor-patient relationship that harnesses the astonishing power of the mind, body and spirit.

Advanced Musculoskeletal Medicine Consultants is at 8398 Kinsman Road in Novelty, Ohio, and relocating in March to 8401 Chagrin Road, Suite 20A, in Chagrin Falls. The phone is 440-557-5011. Please visit for more information, including blogs and videos.