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Dr. David Graham
medication, or for more naturally oriented people, chiropractic adjustments.
If you go the pain medication route, the standard is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). If you
complain a lot, or frequently, there are certainly more powerful pain blockers such as opioids (Oxycontin,
Morphine, Demerol, Percocet), although you will generally have to really, really complain to receive these as
they are so addictive.
You also may be offered steroid shots, and MRI or CT scans for diagnosing disc herniations, bulges, etc.,
which are basically qualifying you for surgery.
My personal opinion is that these are all ideal paths to chronic pain. If you start blocking the recognition of
pain when it begins as an injury or repetitive strain, the injury site is not supported; in fact you no longer
“hear” the alarm (pain) and do what your body is trying to prevent you from doing (moving). Rather than
support, you supply irritation.
As for surgery, I have seen incredible recoveries following surgery. Yet, I would move very slowly towards
surgery. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reports that approximately half of the
surgeries performed were unnecessary. For every wonderful recovery, how many have little to no
improvement, with a new, deep injury site? How many worsen? It’s been awhile since I’ve looked up the
studies on that, but they are good questions to ask directly to your (potential) surgeon.
I believe that a full functional diagnostic workup using reflexes and muscle testing to locate the weakness or
irritation is the key to successful conservative management. Conservative treatment includes ice, rest,
chiropractic, massage, and kinesiology (muscle testing). I also use a neurological technique called injury
recall technique, and acupressure tapping for pain.
Diagnosis: Is it a nerve, muscle, spinal disc, spinal cord, brain stem, or cerebellum?
For instance, if it is caused by weakness in the cerebellum, you miss your nose when you try to touch it with
your eyes closed….if it is in the brain stem, there will often show a problem with pupil reflex to light, or ability to
elevate your palate by saying “Ahhhhh.”
If the pain is caused by a nerve pressure or irritation, versus a muscle or tendon injury, we will find a muscle
weakness in both cases, but the nerve problem will strengthen when we manually stretch the muscle, and the
muscle/tendon problem will not.
So, in 2 minutes I have diagnosed whether you need exercise (cerebellum), rest (brain stem), muscle work
(Muscle/tendon), disc rehab (spinal disc), or chiropractic (nerve irritation).
The point, get a correct FUNCTIONAL Diagnosis, and exhaust your conservative options. With AK, Cold
Laser, chiropractic, and our knowledge of functional neurology and nutrition, we have the tools to offer your
best attempt at avoiding the side effects of medical treatment, and recover to your fullest ability.
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183 Bartlett St., Suite 120; Asheville, NC 28801
For Appointments Call: (828) 253-5844