Medical doctors are good at a lot of things…treating pain isn’t one of them. We’ve been trained since we were kids that if we’re sick or injured we go see the doctor and they can fix us. As a result, many people take their advice without question. But should we?
Over the course of my career I’ve seen and experienced how the standard of care for treating pain taught to the medical profession not only doesn’t work, it actively makes the problem worse. In this article we’ll look at seven reasons why that is.
1. Masking Pain w/ Pills and Injections
Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. Medical Doctors first line of defense for managing pain is to prescribe pills or steroid injections to mask this important signal. While providing relief, it completely ignores the underlying problem that your body is warning you about. As with most things in life, the longer we ignore a problem the bigger problem it becomes and the harder it becomes to solve.
Along with the dangerous side effects of long-term pill use and the damage to our joint cartilage caused by repeated steroid injections, your doctors attempt to mask your pain leads to WORSE long-term outcomes for their patients in the long run.
2. Resting and Immobilizing Joints
If you go to see your doctor for an injury there is a high likely they will put you in a boot, brace, or give you crutches. Unless a fracture, rupture, or other traumatic injury is identified, rest and immobilization of joints is one of the worst things you can do for pain. Not only will it slow healing times, but prolonged immobilization of a joint leads to muscle atrophy and joint cartilage damage which contributes to arthritis and more joint pain as we age.
Finding gentle pain free movement is one of the best things you can do to ease pain and speed healing. Building strength through exercise is one of the best ways to protect your joints from future irritation and should not be avoided as advised by many doctors.
3. Actively Steering Away from Therapies That Actually Work
There are so many natural, effective, and safe ways to manage pain. Not only are these often ignored by the medical profession, they are actively advised against. Strength training is one of the best things you can do to protect your joints from further damage. Many medical providers advise their patients to stop exercising and lifting weights to avoid aggravating their joints. They’ll tell them to avoid safe and effective therapies like chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage which have been proven to help with pain and speed healing.
Avoiding these natural therapies leads to more reliance on pills, injections, and surgeries and will keep you from getting anywhere closer to solving your pain.
4. Pharmaceutical Approach Causes MORE Joint Pain
The pharmaceutical approach to treating lifestyle diseases comes with a lot of side effects. In fact, some of the most commonly prescribed medications list joint pain as a common side effect. Common medications for cholesterol, asthma, osteoporosis, acne, antidepressants and antibiotics all list joint pain as a side effect. I advise anyone experiencing chronic pain to look at the side effects of their medications to be sure it’s not contributing to their pain.
5. Ignoring Lifestyle Factors
The medical profession is given very little education on the benefits of diet and lifestyle training to help with a long list of health issues. When it comes to pain, our diet, sleep patterns, stress levels all play a role in how much pain we experience. Ignoring these lifestyle factors leads to worse outcomes for patients.
6. Overreliance on Imaging
With no system or training to assess and address pain, many medical doctors rely heavily on imaging like X-Ray’s and MRI’s to make their decisions about your joint pain. The problem? The findings of imaging alone, doesn’t tell us anything of value in regards to the best treatment. Studies have shown time and time again that things like arthritis, meniscus tears, and disc bulges are common findings seen with imaging on asymptomatic people and don’t correlate to the level of pain we experience.
This overreliance on imaging often leads to the recommendation for unnecessary, expensive, and dangerous surgery that often does more to hurt than it does to help.
7. Unnecessary Surgery
When pills and injections no longer work, medical doctors often look to surgery as the last option. They’ll use the imaging we discussed above to show you some level or arthritis and say that all other conservative therapies have failed and the only option is to cut you open and give you a whole new joint.
The problem? Replacement surgery doesn’t address the cause of pain and can create many new problems that you’ll have to dealing with. Remember, you have to cut through muscle, nerves, fascia to get to the joint which can create more pain and alter movement patterns and contribute to even more pain. And the worse part is that many people deal with chronic pain AFTER their replacement surgery.
Now this isn’t to say that your family doctor is a bad person or doesn’t care about you. They simply aren’t trained to help their patients solve pain in a way that keeps you active, strong, and doing what you love. They are trained to mask symptoms until the problem becomes big enough to require injections or surgery.
The good news is that there is a better way. Improving movement and building strength we can limit the impact that goes through our joints to decrease pain and get back to enjoying life. To help you get started I’ve included the exact program we’ve used to help solve years of joint pain, even when nothing else has worked. Claim yours at the link below.
Limited By Joint Pain? Get Started With Our Free Program
Solving Pain With Strength: An Approachable, Step-by-Step Strength Program For Adults Limited By Joint Pain
Don’t let back pain keeping you from enjoying life. Be sure to check out other some of our other back pain articles for even more help:
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- Best Exercises To Get Rid Of Lower Back Pain
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- Ten Step Guide To Treating Chronic Lower Back Pain
- Lower Back Pain Solutions: How To Improve Breathing For Less Back Pain
- The Best Low Impact Strength Exercises For Low Back Pain
- The Best Exercise For Low Back Pain You’re Probably Not Doing
- How To Fix Lower Back Pain With The Hip Hinge