Bernard E. Filner, M.D., Pain Medicine, Rockville, MD
Treatment Approach

Lifestyle Changes

Diet

The way we live, such as what we eat and how we move, affects our bodies, sometimes causing pain. Diet, for example, plays a more important role in how we feel than we often recognize. For some, a high protein, low carbohydrate, adequate fat diet, along with exercise, helps avoid increased pain and provides overall pain control.

At the Pain Center, we will explore different dietary options with you to find one that you can comfortably follow and can help reduce your pain.

We will also examine any vitamins and supplements you may or may not be taking to determine which, if any, are right for you. With the exception of Vitamins B and C, most vitamins are fat soluble and should only be taken in recommended dosages. Excessive amounts have been known to cause significant negative symptoms.

Ergonomic Changes

The chairs we sit in at work and home, our driving position, our mattresses, and how we lift things (and children) all may adversely affect the amount of pain we feel and how we respond to that pain. Dr. Filner will help you adjust your ergonomic environment, based on your life requirements and specific pain pattern, to help relieve your pain. (see references to two government studies on ergonomics in the workplace in our Resources section).

Movement Therapy

We all have habits, some we’d like to change, and others that don’t concern us much. Our muscles learn habits too. These “habits” form when we keep our muscles in the same position for long periods of time; for example, the hours we spend gripping steering wheels waiting for lights to change, and peering at computers with our necks and heads tilted forward. These habits may contribute to our pain, and pain, in turn, teaches our muscles habits as we shift our weight trying to escape it.

Over time, muscles eventually tighten, so breaking those bad habits may take a little help. Many people have found movement therapy, which involves re-educating the muscles and nerves to return a person to normal movement (walking, standing, sitting, etc.),  helpful in reducing pain and restoring some of the body’s natural balance.  

A treatment plan may call for “relaxing” yoga and Feldenkrais® Movement Classes, as both offer the possibility of movement with less effort, thereby reducing chronic pain and tension. If your treatment plan recommends movement therapy, you may wish to consider working with Ms. Kim Thompson.

Kim specializes in the mechanics of body movement. Pain, stiffness and difficulty in daily activities are often related to how you move. Learning to move in harmony with your body's design can help you find comfort and better range of motion.

Kim has made this journey personally. A vehicle accident in 1991 left her with low back and neck pain for 10 years. After visiting many health professionals, she finally found relief in Yoga classes. Now certified to teach yoga, Feldenkrais®, Bones for Life®, and Sounder Sleep™, Kim helps others improve their ability to move freely and easily. Her clients range from stroke survivors to professional athletes, and from youths to seniors.

The Feldenkrais Method provides opportunities for the nervous system to learn through touch and movement. Clients can learn to distribute movement throughout the whole body for greater ease, strength and efficiency. By developing greater sensory awareness and exploring new options, it is possible to release chronic pain and tension, to enhance the performance of special skills, and to bring a new sense of ease to everyday activities. The process is gentle and gradual and does not require specific skills beyond the ability to listen and feel.

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