Cutting Edge Regenerative Medicine for Pain Patients

Cutting Edge Regenerative Medicine for Pain Patients 

Join the AANMC and Dr. Casey Seenauth – Staff Physician at the Neil Riordan Center for Regenerative Medicine at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (SCNM) for an informative webinar on naturopathic approaches to pain management through the use of regenerative medicine. Learn how he and other naturopathic doctors treat acute and chronic pain, sports injuries and musculoskeletal conditions.

Here’s what you can expect to learn:
– Common causes of musculoskeletal pain
– Definitions of regenerative medicine and prolotherapy
– How regenerative medicine fits in with the therapeutic order
– Considerations for creating a comprehensive naturopathic approach for pain management

Learn More About Becoming a Naturopathic Doctor

Receive information from the accredited schools of your choice located across North America!

Cutting Edge Regenerative Medicine for Pain Patients

Join the AANMC and Dr. Casey Seenauth – Staff Physician at the Neil Riordan Center for Regenerative Medicine at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (SCNM) for an informative webinar on naturopathic approaches to pain management through the use of regenerative medicine. Learn how he and other naturopathic doctors treat acute and chronic pain, sports injuries and musculoskeletal conditions.

Here’s what you can expect to learn:
– Common causes of musculoskeletal pain
– Definitions of regenerative medicine and prolotherapy
– How regenerative medicine fits in with the therapeutic order
– Considerations for creating a comprehensive naturopathic approach for pain management

*Webinar does not qualify for CE

Register Now!

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To view the archive of past webinar recordings, please click here.


About the Presenter

Dr. Casey Seenauth is a 2013 graduate of the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and a licensed naturopathic physician in Arizona. He has a passion for treating acute and chronic pain, sports injuries and musculoskeletal conditions. Dr. Seenauth uses several modalities in his practice, including homeopathy, physical medicine, nutrition and botanical medicine. He has a special interest in regenerative injection therapies and prolotherapy. Dr. Seenauth completed his BS in biology/pre-medical sciences at Florida Atlantic University, where he also minored in Italian language.

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*The information you submit in this registration will be used to inform you of updates to this event and will enroll you in the AANMC newsletter. The AANMC values your privacy. Please see how we protect your data in our privacy policy .

Dr. JoAnn Yanez on KCAA 09/11/19

Dr. JoAnn Yanez, AANMC executive director, joins KCAA’s NBC LA affiliate On the Brink to discuss the importance of getting to the root cause of pain whenever possible, before treating with opioids.

 

 

 

 

 

Full Transcript of Interview Below.

Topics Include:

  • Understanding and addressing the root cause of pain
  • The financial and intangible costs of pain
  • Personal and health expenditures of pain
  • Pain as a leading cause of disability
  • Pain as a symptom
  • Natural approaches to pain
  • And more…

Erin Brinker: Welcome back. I’m Erin Brinker.

Todd Brinker: And I’m Todd Brinker.

Erin Brinker: And we are On the Brink, the morning show on KCAA and I’m so excited to welcome back to the show Dr. JoAnn Yanez. She’s the Executive Director of the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges. She joins us once a month to talk about health and wellness and just overall positive living from a naturopathic physician’s perspective. Dr. Yanez, welcome back to the show.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Thank you. Good morning.

Erin Brinker: Good morning. So, are you a betting person?

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: I am not.

Erin Brinker: I’m not either. I’m just kidding. I don’t even play the nickel slots or whatever.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Yeah, no. “Not I,” said the fly. No, I am not, but I understand that lots of folks are and it can cause people pain. I think that was what we were here to talk about today.

Erin Brinker: Absolutely. Absolutely. Absolutely.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: How’s that for a segue?

Erin Brinker: There you go. That’s perfect. So how do you … We all hear about this, the opioid crisis, and certainly there have been deaths nationwide from people who’ve become addicted to opioids and then find themselves taking off the shelf stuff, heroin, fentanyl, and it’s been devastating for families.

Todd Brinker: What shelf is that on?

Erin Brinker: Yeah. Well exactly. That’s my point.

Todd Brinker: Street drugs.

Erin Brinker: Street drugs, thank you. I was trying to … I don’t know what I was trying to do. Anyway …

Todd Brinker:  I know. I’m teasing.

Erin Brinker: But people who deal with chronic pain, they’re still left, having to deal with that pain. So how are they supposed to function?

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Well, I think that we have to look at pain from a number of different factors in this country. I believe we’ve talked about this maybe in different tangents before, but pain was classified essentially as the fifth vital sign, and so in addition to heart rate, blood pressure, et cetera, pain was also assessed at patient visits. And what happened, this is a good thing, because pain had been being undertreated, but it turned pain into, okay, well somebody reports something, now we have to do something for it.

I don’t have any problem with the fact that we were uncovering and addressing pain, but the key issue is that we really didn’t look at … in naturopathic medicine, we follow the therapeutic order, and I know I’ve talked about this before. The therapeutic order basically dictates that you start with the lowest hanging fruits first, the easiest interventions, the safest, the gentlest ones first, and then you go up in severity from there. For naturopathic doctors, we’ll focus on addressing the root cause and we’ll try and do it as naturally as possible. So, if you’re going straight to an opiate or straight to something very strong for pain without number one, finding out why the pain is there, and then number two, finding out if there’s a gentler approach, we’re doing patients a disservice.

And so fundamentally, I think that the system in some factions is broken and we really need to be looking at addressing the root cause of why someone is in pain and then helping them to understand the triggers for the pain, what they can do for pain naturally, and then there’s always medication. You can always go there. Nobody likes to see anyone in pain. In fact, yesterday I got the dreaded call from school to come get my son. He was at lunch crying in the corner, apparently teething, and his mouth was hurting him really bad, and so nobody wants to see anyone in pain. It kind of breaks your heart. The whole staff is sitting there like, “We wanted to cry. He looked so sad.”

Erin Brinker: Poor little guy.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: It doesn’t do anyone’s heart good to see anybody in pain, and so it’s very common in medicine. You want to take that away, “Okay, well I’ve got a way to make your pain go away. Let me do that for you.” Because it’s hard. It’s really hard to watch people in pain. However, we’re not, as you mentioned with the opiate epidemic, deaths by opiates, and the subsequent sequelae that happens with addiction, we’re dealing with a crisis and so we have to look pain in the face and say, “How do we do this better?” because I think as a country we can do better.

And so I’m part of a number of academic initiatives that look at pain, that look at the integrative approaches to pain. There are a number of different ways that medical professionals can work with pain patients, and obviously pain is a big bucket. There are so many different things that will fall in there. There’s acute pain, chronic pain, neurologic pain, things like fibromyalgia, which are a different beast. There are so many different diseases that manifest in pain symptoms: chronic headaches, migraines, GI complaints, back pain. Overall in this country, we spend, and this is a conservative estimate, between $560 billion and $635 billion on pain.

Todd Brinker:  Wow.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: In addition to all the personal and health expenditures, chronic pain really impacts the physical and mental functioning of people, quality of life, work productivity, and relationships, personal relationships. When you’re in pain, most folks are not too pleasant to be around.

Erin Brinker: No.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Pain is also the leading cause of disability. So, I think we have to look this in the face. This is the leading cause of disability. What do we need to do differently? When I was in practice, I saw chronic back pain patients, folks with sciatica, things like plantar fasciitis and different types of nerve pain and migraines, and there are so many alternatives that can be offered in addition to medication or in lieu of medication that often aren’t fully explored before medication is offered.

And so that is just kind of my soapbox. It’s, “Okay, medication is there, but before we go there, have we exhausted the other options? Have we looked at everything else? Is that all off the table?” And if it is, sure, absolutely, go to the meds. But let’s check out some of the alternatives that do have data and that do have science behind them. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine has significant research behind it for the use in pain, relaxation and mind-body techniques, massage, physical medicine also are strong depending on the presentation.

I remember a number of years back, actually all the newborn pictures I have with my son, my husband was wearing a neck brace, and it turned out it was his glasses. He was having to tilt his head down with glasses that weren’t quite fit appropriately and was getting this chronic neck pain because he was on the computer all day long. And so it wasn’t until we tweaked his working environment, he tweaked his working environment, and got an ergonomic person at work to come in and help him out that the neck pain went away.

Erin Brinker: Interesting.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: They were already saying, “Hey, maybe you should go to surgery,” and all that kind of stuff. I’m like, “Hold the phone. Wait a second.” So, I think we really can do a better job at uncovering all of those other lifestyle factors, things that we can do from a preventative standpoint, to look at and address pain holistically before going to those harder, more life-altering interventions.

Erin Brinker: And all of those, the … I 100% agree with you. I’m baffled. I’m just shocked at this, the glasses and that figured out that his neck pain was caused by that and you were able to fix it. That’s just … It’s wonderful. But one of the challenges I think that doctors face with their patients is that the patient is in pain right now. Give me something that’ll fix it right now. And the expectation that it’ll be taken care of, and I understand why they expect it. Pain hurts. I mean, that’s what pain is, and perhaps we need to kind of …

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Pain is a sign. Pain is a signal. Pain is a symptom. When you have your car, I just had the little check tire pressure light went off this week, and you can pay attention to that signal and go take your car in and go get it checked, or you could unplug the light, and I think in some aspects, and I’m not saying that anything is wrong. There are times where pain is 10 out of 10 and you can’t function and you need to unplug that light. But you have to recognize that hey, maybe you’re driving with a nail in your tire.

Erin Brinker: Yeah. That’s a great analogy. Maybe you are driving with a nail in your tire.

Todd Brinker: Or in your back.

Erin Brinker: Or in your back.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: You can take that pain med. You could do all of that, but hey, let’s get the nail out of the tire.

Erin Brinker:  Yeah. So yeah. I …

Todd Brinker: Which seems perfectly obvious, but not, as you said, always the first choice.

Erin Brinker: Exactly. And I’m sorry. I know I’m having … I’m getting over a cold. I’m having a hard time getting questions out of my head, so I apologize. So, the key that is finding a practitioner, finding a physician, a naturopathic physician, or just an MD or DO that will take the time to sit with you and kind of figure out what’s behind the pain that you’re feeling.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Is it the glasses? Okay. Sometimes it’s crazy, like let’s get to the root cause. Let’s address what is really the cause of this. I’ve seen patients over the years, avid cyclists with sciatica, folks with just bad body posture, bones that are not quite aligned well, things that stressors, food even that is triggering abdominal pain and all of that. You’ve got to find the root cause, and once you can, there are times where the root cause may be structural and maybe somebody has to live with something chronic. But there are still ways of managing chronic issues that don’t always resort to opiates and very strong medications with strong side effects. That’s the key. They’re there when we need them. Thank goodness they are, but let’s not turn to that first if we can avoid it.

Erin Brinker: Wonderful. So how do people find out more information about you, about the AANMC and about naturopathic medicine in general?

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Absolutely. We are all on the interweb, AANMC.org. We have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram handles. Come check us out. Next week we’re hosting a webinar with Dr. Casey Seenauth, of the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine’s Neil Riordan Regenerative Medicine Center, and he’s going to be hosting a webinar on integrative approaches to pain management. I hope that if this is something that is interesting for folks, they can come and check it out and learn about the emerging field of regenerative medicine.

Erin Brinker: Well Dr. Yanez, it’s always enlightening to have you on the show. Thank you so much for joining us today.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Awesome. Thanks folks. Have a great one.

Erin Brinker: Thank you, you too. So with that, it’s time for a break. I’m Erin Brinker.

Todd Brinker:  And I’m Todd Brinker.

Erin Brinker: And we are On the Brink, the morning show on KCAA. We will be right back.

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Dr. Casey Seenauth – SCNM

“I love being able to offer patients a new perspective on their health care. Many patients come to my office after being told that they have exhausted all the options that conventional medicine has to offer.”

Laying the groundwork to become an ND

“In college, I knew that I was working towards a career in health care, but I struggled to find the right place. I was considering nursing or pharmacy. One of my mentors in college was a registered dietician who showed me the power of nutrition in addressing chronic disease. She steered me in the direction of naturopathic medicine, and I was fascinated to learn that there was an entire field of medicine based on the body’s innate ability for self-repair.”

SCNM as a springboard

“I knew that naturopathic medicine aligned with my personal philosophy towards health and wellness. What I didn’t know at the time that I decided to come to Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (SCNM) was if I would fit in. From my first week of orientation, I knew that I had made the right choice to become a naturopathic physician. I found myself in a community of like-minded individuals who were inspired to make a difference in the lives of patients and to transform how health care is provided.”

“SCNM caught my attention with the broad scope of practice being taught and the forward-looking stance on how naturopathic physicians can collaborate with other providers to change the future of healthcare. The deciding factor came down to the strong sense of community and school spirit at SCNM.”

“After graduation I completed a two-year general medicine residency at SCNM. During that time, I had the opportunity to train with pioneers in the fields of injection therapy and pain management. After residency, I was fortunate enough to be offered a position at the Neil Riordan Center for Regenerative Medicine, where I have been practicing since 2015. My education at SCNM gave me the foundations to launch my regenerative medicine practice.  It takes a strong understanding of anatomy and orthopedics to do injection therapy.”

Regenerative Medicine and Pain Management

“Coming from an athletic background, I have an affinity for anatomy, biomechanics and understanding how people move. As a self-professed geek, I’m inspired by research that seeks to unlock human potential. Regenerative medicine is both cutting edge and deeply aligned with the naturopathic traditions.”

“I treat patients every day for acute and chronic pain conditions. For most of these patients, a naturopathic approach is brand new for them. So much of my work is educating and empowering patients to stop being passive recipients of medical treatments and start being active participants in the healing process. I treat patients with prolotherapy, PRP, or stem cell injections alongside other naturopathic modalities: nutrition, homeopathy, botanical medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine.”

“SCNM has recently created an honors track program for students who are interested in learning about regenerative medicine. I work with a small group of fourth year medical students seeking extra education and training in regenerative modalities. We have a weekly journal club and once a month skills workshops in addition to the usual training they receive on shift.”

Dr. Seenauth invites everyone to join him for his free AANMC webinar – Cutting Edge Regenerative Medicine for Pain Patients on September 19th. Click here to register!

“People who tune in to this webinar can expect to learn how regenerative medicine can fit into a naturopathic medical practice. If you’re planning on creating a regenerative medicine practice, or if you’re just curious, you can learn the basics.”

Finding fulfillment as an ND

“Naturopathic physicians are such a diverse crowd. Each of us have our own niche as far as patients that we treat, modalities used, and treatment approach. This has been a great benefit for me, as it gives me a platform to express my creativity and practice the art of medicine.”

“I love being able to offer patients a new perspective on their health care. Many patients come to my office after being told that they have exhausted all the options that conventional medicine has to offer.”

Advice for aspiring NDs

“This is a tough road. Be sure that your heart is in it. Be prepared to face skepticism. There are great potential rewards and if you stick it out, you will have the opportunity to make a great impact on the health and well-being of those in your community.”

Learn More About Becoming a Naturopathic Doctor

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Can Naturopathic Approaches Help Win the Battle Against Substance Abuse?

Can Naturopathic Approaches Help Win the Battle Against Substance Abuse?

Learn how naturopathic medicine can help patients manage pain and overcome addiction.
 

In 2017, 19.7 million Americans battled a substance use disorder, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Addiction is a serious issue that threatens lives on a daily basis; naturopathic medicine takes a whole-person approach to addiction management and recovery. NDs across North America are making an impact in natural approaches to pain management and helping patients avoid and wean off of addictive therapies for pain.

“Addiction is not just a mental problem, a physical problem, or a biochemical problem. It is very much all those things and more.” Turshá Hamilton, ND

NUHS Whole Health Center

“Pain patients treated with opiates have the same biochemical and neurochemical changes that addicts do on the physical side. Addiction may be seen as an attachment to the drug from the emotional side.” David Arneson, ND

SCNM’s World Addiction and Health Institute

Treatments vary depending on the specific patient, but NDs have a natural toolbox of possibilities.

 
“Acutely, the naturopathic doctor must consider what the patient is going through. Insomnia, elevated blood pressure, nausea and vomiting, and body aches are just a few of the symptoms during the first stages of withdrawal,” Dr. Hamilton says.

Recommendations for Initial Treatments:

  • nutrient IV therapy to replenish vitamins, minerals, and amino acids lost through addiction and the withdrawal process
  • acupuncture
  • hydrotherapy
  • homeopathy
  • herbs

“In this stage, it may also be necessary to consider prescribing medications to make the withdrawal process more tolerable (with the goal of using these drugs for as short-term as possible),” she explains.

“Some naturopathic doctors treat addiction by addressing alterations in brain chemistry that contribute both to addictive behavior and withdrawal symptoms. For example, amino acid therapies can be used to support restoration of neurotransmitter pathways that are depleted by long term drug use.” Casey Seenauth, ND

Neil Riordan Center for Regenerative Medicine

Dr. Arneson recommends amino acid therapies. “It is useful for the physician to understand that a lot of the drugs such as opiates or anti-depressants utilized for pain relief often lead to more pain, since these drugs lower the amounts of specific neurotransmitters over time,” he says. “These neurotransmitters need to be in sufficient healthy levels for our own endogenous pain system to work efficiently. This can be rectified by the utilization of specific amino acid formulas designed to bring these levels back into normal ranges once the drugs are out of the system.”

“Acupuncture, particularly, auricular acupuncture is very helpful to reduce cravings as well,” Dr. Seenauth adds. “The National Acupuncture Detoxification Association protocol is well-researched, standardized, and effective in dealing with many of the side effects of drug withdrawal.”

Dr. Arneson recommends a set of naturopathic protocols that he has implemented in the three in-patient treatment centers he co-founded:

  • treat aggressively with focused nutrition, intravenous nutrients, and specific amino acid formulas for the first month
  • ongoing 12-step program
  • intense counseling
  • intensive outpatient treatment

“85% of the patients that take responsibility for their recovery and follow these simple suggestions are clean and sober at the end of the first year of sobriety,” he says.

“In our experience, utilizing nutritional treatments, the initial repair work can be accomplished in three to six weeks on average. If we do not incorporate focused nutritional treatment this can take on the average six months to two years—or what we call post-acute withdrawal syndrome,” he says.

Dr. Arneson’s long-term approaches:

  • exercise such as yoga or Tai Chi
  • counseling
  • instilling responsibility for the recovery

Dr. Hamilton also has preferred treatments to employ after the initial stage of recovery. “In considering how to treat the person long term, the doctor, or team must address why they may have started using in the first place. I found many patients were self-medicating because of an underlying condition like depression, bipolar disorder, or they may have been abused or abandoned. Some may even have been addicted to a medication because they were in chronic pain and just trying to get some relief,” Dr. Hamilton says.

Natural approaches for chronic pain relief

  • teaching stress management skills
  • stretching, yoga, meditation, exercising
  • sauna or steam room therapy
  • volunteering to help deal with life, triggers, and past events that may have led to drug use
  • setting up a support system – both individual and group – to provide a place to talk through experiences

“As you can see, there is no one approach to addiction recovery. Each patient is unique so their treatment must also be unique and fit their specific situation and stage of rehabilitation,” Dr. Hamilton says.

Naturopathic medicine is a key tool in managing pain without pharmaceuticals.

“It’s my opinion that the best way that we can address the issue of addiction to opioid pain medication is through the proper and adequate treatment of pain,” says Dr. Seenauth.
“Where naturopathic medicine really shines is in managing painful conditions, helping the patient with diet and exercise recommendations, and supplementation when necessary.” Klee Bethel, ND

Neil Riordan Center for Regenerative Medicine

“We’ve seen that therapies that only include pharmaceuticals often don’t give the patient significant relief over the long term and can have very deleterious side effects,” says Dr. Hamilton. “By using medical nutrition, botanical medicine, mind-body medicine, hydrotherapy, acupuncture, and homeopathy, we can offer the chronic pain patient more options that may offer them relief, resolution, and hope in a future that has less pain and sickness, and more vitality.”

“Starting at a fundamental level, diet plays a huge role in treating pain,” Dr. Seenauth says. “Many painful conditions are aggravated by inflammation, which can be reduced and modulated through use of an anti-inflammatory diet, such as:

  • proper levels of omega-3 fatty acids
  • plant based foods
  • vitamin D supplements

“Diet is not a one-size-fits-all therapy,” he says. “Naturopathic physicians can help patients navigate which diet is appropriate for their individual needs.”

 

Dr. Hamilton recommends specific anti-inflammatory foods:

  • leafy green vegetables
  • vegetables that have rainbow colors like blueberries, bell peppers, squash, pumpkin
  • fewer processed foods (breads, pastas, muffins)
  • healthy fats (avocado, coconut, olive oil)
  • organically-fed, free-range, wild-caught meats

 

Regenerative injection therapies can repair injured tissues that are sources of pain such as:

  • prolotherapy helps to tighten ligaments and repair connective tissue that cause pain
  • tissue transfer using bone marrow or adipose can stimulate the damaged tissue to undergo cellular proliferation and repair
  • neural prolotherapy or perineural injection technique is a new therapy developed by Dr. John Lyftogt that targets neurogenic pain by injecting a dilute sugar solution near inflamed cutaneous nerves

In addition, homeopathy is very effective in treating pain. Dr. Seenauth’s recommended remedies include:

  • Arnica – bruises, soreness, tender to touch (commonly used after falls or other blunt trauma injuries)
  • Rhus toxicodendron – stiff, sore joints (pain is worse with rest and better with continued motion, pain improves with warm applications)
  • Ruta graveolens – strained ligaments, pain and stiffness in tendons

Herbal and Nutritional Supplements that Can be Effective:

  • turmeric (anti-inflammatory)
  • bromelain (anti-inflammatory)
  • boswellia (anti-inflammatory)
  • papain (anti-inflammatory)
  • ginger (anti-inflammatory)
  • John’s wort (for nerves)
  • milky oats (for nerves)
  • passionflower (for nerves)
  • lavender (for nerves)
  • peppermint (antispasmodic)
  • thyme (antispasmodic)
  • chamomile (antispasmodic)
  • magnesium (for tissue)
  • CoQ10 (for tissue)
  • calcium (for tissue)
  • potassium (for tissue)
  • vitamin D (for tissue)
  • B vitamins (for tissue)

Dr. Arneson also notes that “sometimes the simplest remedies are overlooked, such as ice or mild heat to the affected area to reduce inflammation or tightness of a muscle.”

Naturopathic physicians are uniquely trained to use a multitude of techniques and therapies to manage health and treat addiction. Click here to find an ND near you in the US and Canada.

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