Approximately 25 percent of Americans suffer from chronic pain, which can be described anywhere from intermittent and mild to persistent and severely debilitating. The underlying causes of chronic pain are vast in nature, and include normal aging, inflammatory and degenerative processes, nerve injury and damage, or due to numerous diseases such as arthritis and fibromyalgia, cancer, multiple sclerosis, diabetes mellitus, and AIDS.
How do we experience pain?
Pain is a response formed in the brain after stimulation to the sensory nerves. When we touch a hot stove, the nerves in our hands send a pain signal up to the brain. The brain processes the signal and suddenly we feel the heat of the hot stove. While this type of acute pain typically doesn’t last long, neuropathic pain can be persistent. But, a person does not even need the hands to feel pain in the hands as we know from phantom limb syndrome.
Damaged nerves (neuropathy) often result in chronic pain because the nerve is no longer functioning properly, resulting in a lack of communication to the brain and the rest of the body. There are a few types of neuropathic pain, including neuropathy to motor nerves, neuropathy of sensory nerves and diabetic neuropathy.
Damage to motor nerves can cause impaired sense of touch, temperature, and pain. This also includes the involuntary muscles controlled by the autonomic nervous system, which control digestion and breathing, and regulatory processes in the body. Symptoms of damaged autonomic nerves would include bladder incontinence, irregular heartbeat, and inability to regulate blood pressure.
Sensory neuropathy can arise as a result of sudden trauma, stress, metabolic and endocrine disorders, as well as chronic conditions, such as autoimmune diseases, cancer, infections, toxins, and genetic predispositions.
Diabetic neuropathy is a result from uncontrolled hyperglycemia, or chronic high blood sugar, and affects 30-90 percent of diabetics. Painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN), is damage to the nerves typically in the lower extremities. Diabetics suffering from PDN will most commonly experience pain, numbness, or tingling in their feet that may eventually progress up their legs, followed by hands and arms.
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is another type of chronic pain condition that affects one of the arms, legs, hands, or feet. There are two types CRPS, type I and type II. Type I requires a soft tissue injury or immobilization of an extremity, but type II occurs as a result of well defined nerve damage. Both type I and type II have similar symptoms that include chronic pain, hyperalgesia, allodynia, edema, color and temperature change of the skin, and motor dysfunction of the affected region. CRPS maybe linked to an NAD+ deficiency and symptoms may be alleviated by NAD+ therapy, but more research needs to be conducted on the subject.
Treatment of chronic pain will be most effective if the underlying cause is addressed first. Treating infection, toxicity, vitamin deficiencies, autoimmune disorders, and other causes can allow the nerves to recover or regenerate on their own. Certain lifestyle changes, such as exercise, a non-inflammatory diet, supplementation, and avoiding toxins including consuming alcohol and smoking, can reduce the symptoms of neuropathic pain. Diabetic patients can also practice good hygiene to prevent wounds and infection to help mediate some symptoms.
Prescription Pain Killers
Doctors often prescribe painkillers to help their patients find relief from surgery, injury, or other types of conditions and diseases. Unfortunately, many of these prescription painkillers are highly addictive and can lead to an accidental addiction to opioids. The opiate epidemic is sweeping the nation, and it is no surprise that 75 percent of those who are now addicted to opioids started with opiate painkillers. The demand for non-addictive therapies and techniques is increasing by the day as more and more opiate painkillers are prescribed.
Conversely, long term opioid use may lead to intense chronic pain, as well as mimic old injuries and diseases. Opiate induced hyperalgesia is a common side effect often seen in opioid users in as little as three months. However, pain receptors proliferate after the first dose of opiates, which can alter one’s sensitivity to pain.
Non-addictive Therapies for Pain
Another therapy shown to manage chronic pain is specific pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF), which is currently being used in a more widespread manner to help relieve symptoms of pain. The electromagnetic fields are used to enhance circulation and increase blood flow to reduce discomfort. Studies have shown promise in PEMF being used to regenerate nerves in animal models. They discovered that rats treated with PEMF showed greater nerve regeneration compared to those who did not receive therapy. PEMF technology, such as BEMER, is being utilized at the NAD Treatment Center.
EEG biofeedback, also called neurofeedback, is a noninvasive, progressive method to train the brain to work more efficiently. Neurofeedback works by monitoring the patient’s brain waves and simultaneously playing them back to the patient, inducing a self-regulation effect on the brain. Neurofeedback has been used to help with a variety of disorders such as ADHD, PTSD, anxiety, and chronic pain.
According to Siegfried Othmer, Ph.D., neurofeedback can help with chronic pain because it is able to counteract the brain’s hypersensitivity. Neurofeedback training, combined with other treatments, is being used to treat several chronic conditions at the NAD+ Treatment Center.
A third approach to treating pain without causing addiction, withdrawal, or other harmful side effects is intravenous supplementation with nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+). Intravenous NAD+ therapy is all-natural, holistic, and has been shown to provide outstanding results. NAD+ acts as a coenzyme involved with cellular regeneration through the activation of enzymes. NAD+ is being utilized in clinical trials to test its efficacy as a treatment for chronic pain.
Doctors and other health providers would agree that pain is often caused by low grade and chronic inflammation. Diet, stress, exercise, environmental toxins and certain medications are just a few factors that can lead to inflammation within the body, along with enhancing energy metabolism and cell vitality. While there many factors that cause inflammation and pain, researchers have identified key enzymes involved with the regulation of inflammation.
Sirtuins are a class of NAD+-dependent enzymes that mainly function to turn on or off gene expression. Many of these genes are linked to regulating inflammation, along with enhancing energy metabolism and cell vitality. Sirtuins are known to play a protective role by reducing inflammation, especially in CRPS and neurodegeneration. The metabolism of NAD+ is responsible for the activation of these important Sirtuins and thus reducing inflammation.
Changing lifestyle factors, such as diet, supplementation, exercise and stress reduction, are natural and effective ways to reduce inflammation.
NAD+ has been studied for reducing inflammation and its role in protecting the cells. NAD+ is a promising therapy for chronic pain, as well as other chronic conditions and detoxification from chemical dependence, especially opioids.
For more information on our innovative NAD+ therapy protocols, call 1-866-NAD-PLUS.
NAD+ qualifies as a supplement under the Food and Drug Administration guidelines and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.