OPINION: Rocky naturopath explains how to manage chronic pain

CHRONIC pain is a debilitating condition that exhausts the system in the long term and frays the nerves.

Ultimately chronic pain causes irritability and antagonism. If antagonism develops, relationships finish with hostility or hatred. Despite challenges involving chronic pain, there are lifestyle changes and therapeutic possibilities that can manage chronic pain conditions to a more tolerable level.

The TGA decision that over the counter codeine products will only be available with a medical prescription in five months time is noteworthy. A great deal of evidence has shown that overuse of low-strength codeine products is concerning.This decision it may be said is long-sighted. It might assist better quality of life for chronic pain sufferers who overuse high-risk codeine products.

With that said, solutions in preventing chronic pain sufferers from becoming addicted to opiate drugs may continue to be problematic for the conventional medicine sector. Perhaps this impending timeline may be a reason in part why persons are highlighting the illegal usage of cannabis oil. Naturopathy knows human studies indicate cannabis has an additive effect to opiate drugs and barbiturates.

Cannabinoids are toxic constituents of cannabis, which have significant side effects. Some short-term side effects include anxiety or panic attacks, impaired heart function, uncontrollable hunger, impaired short-term memory and catalepsy.

Some long-term side effects include impaired judgement capacity, irritability, disturbed function to sex organs and impairment to sleep quality.

Adverse effects appear to outweigh benefits, I have concerns for community welfare that conventional medicine and government agencies are moving toward cultivation and prescription use of cannabis.

Traditional naturopathic approaches in managing chronic pain in clinical practice include manual neurotherapy, hydropathy, relaxation techniques, psychotherapy, herbalism and vitotherapy.

Manual neurotherapy, hydropathy, psychotherapy and vitotherapy prominence declined in the naturopathic curriculum, which may possibly be associated with HECS influences.

Currently the total Australian debt of unpaid HECS fees is reported to be 60 billion dollars.

Manual neurotherapy is a naturopathic system that applies specific pressure to targeted nerve locations with intent to moderate chronic pain.

Hydropathy utilises water applications externally and internally to disperse pathological changes resulting from chronic pain.

Psychotherapy aims to correct psychogenic complications due to chronic pain.

Vitotherapy attempts to restore better nerve function using particular foods.

Relaxation techniques aims to shift mind focus to better experiences.

Herbalism uses safe botanicals in an endeavour to repair tissue trauma effects.

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