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Natural Awakenings Metro Phoenix & Northern Arizona

Pain Relief Options from a Natural Medicine Perspective: Naturopathic medicine can speed healing and reduce the need for multiple treatments, reports Dr. Boris Schwartz.

Jul 29, 2015 07:13PM ● By Dr. Boris Schwartz

When people develop pain such as headaches, migraines, low back, shoulder, elbow or neck pain, they might first use over-the-counter medications. If that fails, they often go to a primary care doctor and receive physical therapy for 30 days with possibly some prescription pain medication, and then continue to manage it with steroid injections, if necessary. The same approach is also used for pain after automobile accidents. This is considered to be the standard of care from an allopathic (traditional) medicine perspective—to treat the symptom.

The doctor of naturopathic medicine, on the other hand, may use injection therapy of homeopathic or herbal origin, depending whether the pain is new or old, the nature of the injury, if it is fresh and if there is a fracture involved or not. Chinese herbal medicine may be considered, but if faster healing is desired, different approaches could be taken depending on the nature of the injury or pain. Applications of heat and cold, electricity, light, hand or manual therapy, manipulation and acupuncture (different styles) can all be accomplished in one office, without the need to see multiple practitioners.

If X-rays or an MRI are needed, naturopathic doctors can order those services to determine the proper treatment. Also, oral or injectable homeopathics could be used, as well as mesotherapy or injections into acupuncture points. Scar therapy treatments and trigger point injection therapy for pain originating in a different area than where it is felt have been shown to be beneficial to relieve suffering (myofascial pain). Other treatment options may also be available, depending on the training of the doctor. Surgical intervention is still an option if relief is not achieved with these more conservative therapies.

Dr. Boris Schwartz is a naturopathic physician and the owner of Original Health Institute, in Phoenix. For more information, call 602-788-4333 or visit

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