According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, roughly 100 million Americans are suffering from chronic pain.
The most common forms of chronic pain are headaches and joint pain like arthritis.
Chronic pain is usually the result of an injury or trauma, but it can also be from an autoimmune disease or infection.
How can you reduce your pain within 90 days?
Dr. Daniel Twogood joins Dr. Mike to discuss what chronic pain is and how you can find relief in 90 days.
RadioMD Presents:Healthy Talk | Original Air Date: June 3, 2015
Host: Michael Smith, MD
Healthy Talk with Dr. Michael Smith, M.D. And now, here's the country doctor with the city education, Dr. Mike.
DR. MIKE: So, if you suffer from chronic pain and I tell you that I have a guest who believes you can manage – more than manage this--you can eliminate chronic pain in just 90 days, you're probably really excited about this and want to hear what my guest has to say. This is an important issue, without a doubt. A significant percent of adults in this country suffer from chronic pain for different reasons.
Regardless of the reason, we know that chronic pain increases stress, mood disorders, impacts sleep and when you put that all together, that can impact how well you function and even how long you can actually live. This is something that is a definite issue we need to talk about more.
My guest is Dr. Daniel Twogood. He graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1973 and from Cleveland Chiropractic College in Los Angeles in 1983. He has been doing this stuff for quite some time. He began practicing at the International Sports Medicine Institute in West Los Angeles where he treated many of the athletes in the 1984 Olympics.
He opened his own practice in 1985 where he discovered the diet-pain connection. He has written four books on chronic pain and the latest is Chronic Pain Gone in 90 Days. Dr. Twogood, welcome to Healthy Talk.
DR. TWOGOOD: Hey, thanks for letting me share this information with your audience.
DR. MIKE: Let's just get right to this. I know there are some people, Dr. Twogood, when I talk about or when you talk about eliminating chronic pain in 90 days, come on. There are some skeptics out there, right? Is this really realistic?
DR. TWOGOOD: There should be skeptics. We should be skeptical about everything, especially about chronic pain. You know the title of the book, Chronic Pain Gone in 90 Days, does seem grandiose because we've all been taught and learned from our experiences or from other people that we know that chronic by definition means that it is not going to go away. There are many people in this country walking around with chronic disorders that their well-educated, well-trained doctors have told them a chronic condition is not going to go away like fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, migraines, chronic back pain, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome.
There are a ton of these diseases where what has happened to this group of people, who are a large percentage of our population, they have been to doctors; they have been to acupuncturists; they have been to chiropractors; they have been to everybody and they are not getting any relief.
Whatever it is that we are offering, it's not working. If, as a chiropractor, I keep doing the same thing over and over again, 80% of my patients are going to respond and this 20% is going to get only palliative care. When I saw that happening many years ago I thought, "Well, that is not satisfactory. I can't keep treating them the same way. I have to do something different." When we talk about chronic pain being gone in 90 days, that is just how long the healing process takes place when you finally do the right thing for the human body.
DR. MIKE: From your perspective, the word chronic - and this is maybe a big point for my listeners – the word chronic, and in this case chronic pain, doesn't necessarily mean that there is not a cure for it or a treatment for it that will work.
DR. TWOGOOD: Right. It is a conundrum, basically. We don't give up hope. I think that, as a practitioner, I always give my patients hope. If what I'm doing isn't working, I have to try something else. But chronic conditions are conditions that, there are lots of definitions. They haven't gotten better in a reasonable period of time.
A lot of times, you'll strain your back working in the yard and you know that if you use some heat and rest it for a few days, that it is going to go away. Just like if you stub your toe or do anything else. We know how long regular pain lasts and we expect to hurt for a while. Perhaps we might have to do something. We might have to go to a chiropractor and wear a brace or have surgery or take medication or whatever the situation is, but we know that within days and weeks – well within 90 days - that we are going to heal from whatever that owie is. But chronic people they know, guess what? It has been weeks. It has been months. I'm not getting better. At first, they are waiting for it to heal and nothing is happening.
Then they start in to the doctor routine and they are going around in circles not getting better. Everything that I do in my work is based on my firm belief that the human body is a really well-built organism and it will heal. We have seen it. We have all seen it in ourselves thousands of times. You cut yourself open; you don't have to do anything. Amazingly enough, within days and weeks that wound heals. A scab forms; it goes away and you are good as new.
DR. MIKE: Good point.
DR. TWOGOOD: Chronic pain is basically failure to heal. Our job--my job--as a practitioner is to find out what is causing this failure in this really well-built system.
DR. MIKE: Let's talk about some of them. What are some of the causes for us to fail to heal leading to chronic pain?
DR. TWOGOOD: I go by a very simple concept. All pain is caused by a process called inflammation, which people are hearing a lot in the literature now. So, they know. Inflammation is a series of chemical events that happen in the body as our body's reaction to the various forms of stress. Injury, stress, or infection. Like, if you hit your thumb with a hammer, it becomes inflamed. And we know that if we stop hitting our thumb with the hammer, that inflammation is going to proceed to healing.
When that inflammation is raging, that is the beginning of the healing process and it causes swelling, heat, redness and it stimulates nerves in the area that send a signal to the brain that is interpreted as pain. Pain is caused by inflammation. Inflammation proceeds to healing in most cases. In chronic pain, that inflammation is run away and it doesn't stop. So, it is being fed by something. This inflammation fails to go away or it keeps coming back. That's what causes chronic pain.
DR. MIKE: How much does stress in our lives play a role in feeding this inflammatory process?
DR. TWOGOOD: The definition of stress has to be established here. Stress, in my research, is the cause of all pain and all disease. But stress, again, has to be defined. Stress comes in three forms. The one form that most people identify with when we talk about stress is mental stress – jobs, relationships, bills, your health, etc., etc. These mental problems that crop up all through life that cause you to feel stressed out. But it's the accumulation of the three forms of stress that causes the body to break down.
There is the mental stress that I just talked about. There is physical stress, like bending, lifting, twisting, falling, auto accidents, etc. And there is the one that everybody misses – the third one is chemical stress. That is our body's reaction to specific chemicals that enter the body through inhalation, ingestion or contact.
The human condition is most powerfully affected by what you allow into your bloodstream and that is usually through the mouth. That is the foundation of modern medicine, right? If you go to a doctor they are going to prescribe something for you to swallow, a specific substance.
DR. MIKE: What you are talking about here in this Chronic Pain Gone 90 Days is – because now you are addressing that chronic inflammation. You are going to address the stress and those three parts of stress in each individual person. In a sense, you are now correcting that healing process. And if you do correct it, most healing processes take 90 days. That is where you are getting the 90 days from, correct?
DR. TWOGOOD: Right, yes. That is the normal healing process. As a matter of fact, most chronic pain, most pain that we have experienced at all, it happens before 90 days. Ninety days is the outside. For a lot of people between 7 and 30 days, if you eliminate what is interfering with the healing process, they will heal in a normal fashion, like we've all seen. Ninety days is the outside. If we are doing the right things, if we are eliminating the things that are interfering with the healing process, healing will take place.
DR. MIKE: In your book, you mention something called generalized adaptation syndrome. What is that real quickly?
DR. TWOGOOD: The generalized adaption syndrome is your body's reaction to all of these different stressors. You have a reaction to some inflammatory, it proceeds to healing. What happens is, when you are exposed to a stressor like cold, you shiver for a while and then your body adapts for a while. Then, if you continue to be exposed to the cold, after a while your body can't adapt anymore and it fails and you get illness from it.
DR. MIKE: So. that is part of where the healing process is breaking down. We are not adapting the way we are supposed to be. When we come back. we will continue with this and I also want to get into some of the pro-inflammatory substances you think we should avoid.
This is Healthy Talk on RadioMD. I'm Dr. Mike. Stay well.