By Mitchell Yass, M.D.

If you have pain in your neck, back or peripheral joint, there is a good chance that you are going to get some kind of medication or procedure designed to mask your pain.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as Advil, Aleve or the prescription strength Mobic or Celebrex, are given not because there is an inflammatory response in progress but because they have an additional analgesic affect acting as a sedative masking your awareness of your pain. Then of course there are the big boys of pain medication, Vikodin, Oxycotin and Fentenyl. These are oipoids, synthetic cocaine designed to mask the brains awareness of pain. Epidural nerve blocks are attempts to numb the nervous system. Acupuncture, chiropractic care and physical therapy are also palliative cares designed to simply minimize the experience of pain. Acupuncture is designed to key into the endorphin system of the body which helps to minimize the experience of pain. Chiropractic adjustments break surface tension between vertebrae freeing up motion of the back but does nothing to address an actual cause. Classic physical therapy provides ultrasound, electrical stimulation and massage to treat the pain signal.

Aanti-inflammatories such as Advil, Aleve or the prescription strength Mobic or Celebrex, are given not because there is an inflammatory response in progress but because they have an additional analgesic affect acting as a sedative masking your awareness of your pain. Then of course there are the big boys of pain medication, Vikodin, Oxycotin and Fentenyl. These are oipoids, synthetic cocaine designed to mask the brains awareness of pain. Epidural nerve blocks are attempts to numb the nervous system. Acupuncture, chiropractic care and physical therapy are also palliative cares designed to simply minimize the experience of pain. Acupuncture is designed to key into the endorphin system of the body which helps to minimize the experience of pain. Chiropractic adjustments break surface tension between vertebrae freeing up motion of the back but does nothing to address an actual cause. Classic physical therapy provides ultrasound, electrical stimulation and massage to treat the pain signal.

The reality is that the existing medical model of treating pain is to address the signal of pain not the cause of pain. Pain is a signal of a tissue in distress. The purpose of pain is to make the brain consciously aware of the distress of the tissue so an intervention can be performed to resolve the distress. Once the distress of the tissue is resolved, there is no longer a need for the pain signal and it simply ceases. If someone has pain from a kidney stone, most people would agree that the cause of the pain is the kidney and the treatment provided is designed to pass the stone, not treat the associated pain. If somebody eats bad fish and has horrible stomach pain, they don’t go to pain management. It is understood that the pain is being emitted from the stomach lining indicating the distress of the stomach. Treatment is designed to remove the fish from the stomach; not to treat the associated pain.


If the concept of treating pain by treating these causes is understood then why is the idea so confusing for treating pain at the neck, lower back or a peripheral joint. I know few people with shoulder, hip or knee pain who don’t leave the orthopedist’s office after their first visit without getting a cortisone shot.


The goal of treating functional pain is the same as that of systemic pain; identify the tissue that is in distress and resolve the distress of the tissue thereby eliminating the need for the pain signal. Over my 18 years of treating patients with functional pain utilizing my personally designed method, I have determined that in 90 to 95% of cases, the tissue emitting the pain signal is muscle. The pain is due to a muscle strain. Muscles work together and when one strains it causes another muscle to try to compensate but eventually over works, strains and ignites the pain signal. Resolving pain at the neck, lower back and peripheral joints usually evolves around finding out which muscle is igniting the pain signal and what muscles strained prior causing the painful muscle to strain. Targeted strength training is the modality used to strengthen the muscles thereby preventing them from straining and causing pain.


Don’t fall into the trap of being treated with medications and/or procedures simply designed to mask pain. It never addresses the cause of the pain and simply prolongs the inevitable; the need to treat the cause of the pain to resolve the need for the signal of pain.


AdministratorStop the Paincause,pain,treatBy Mitchell Yass, M.D. If you have pain in your neck, back or peripheral joint, there is a good chance that you are going to get some kind of medication or procedure designed to mask your pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as...Parenting Advice and Family Fun Activities