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A New Shot at Pain Relief: June 4, 2014

For millions of Americans, chronic pain gets in the way of enjoying- even functioning- in everyday life. So an increasing number are turning to pain management to take the stress off.

“A lot of times patients can’t be fixed, quite honestly. And what you’re trying to do is maximize their ability to lead a functional life,” explains pain management specialist Dr. Gene Mahaney. He is on medical staff at Lee Memorial Health System.

A frequently used option is injection therapy, which pinpoints pain at its source. Treatment was based mostly on steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs - until now.

“Sometimes homeopathic medicines can be used very efficiently to get good relief for patients’ pain,” says Dr. Mahaney.

People who have little response to traditional injections or are reluctant to use them may be interested in the growing trend toward nature-based injectables.

“They are naturally occurring substances that do not have any interactions with medications in the body,” Dr. Mahaney says.

“We use medications such as Traumeel. Zeel is another one that’s commonly used in Europe. Sarapin is a pitcher plant extract that is seemingly without any toxicity for the human body but seems to block a lot of pain receptors at the same time.”

Doctors find the naturally-occurring substances may relieve pain for longer periods of time than typical steroid injections. And while patients are getting relief, they are also getting peace of mind.

“Patients are very appreciative when we can use something that’s naturopathic or homeopathic that they don’t need to worry about will conflict with their existing medications in any way,” says Dr. Mahaney.

It is an option that might be worth exploring for people willing to take a shot at a new form of pain management.