#AskDrP – Submit Your Questions

If you’d like to submit your questions in advance to make sure Dr. P answers them, please leave them in the comments below!

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Posted in Blog, In the News, Recent Posts, Top Pain Reliefs.


  1. What particular skills should a person with muscle-skelatal pain look for in a physical therapist? I have been to a number claiming they do pelvic pain therapy, but only after trying the 4th one did I learn that physical therapy could be so effective! What a waste of time and money and prolonged pain.
    This has also been true of my back pain. Besides the necessity of low dose Lyrica, PT has been the single most important treatment I have received. Bless the good ones!

    • Hi Pat.
      Glad to hear that you are doing so well. I would make sure that the physical therapists are trained in techniques related to the specific area of pain. For example, you mentioned pelvic PT. I work with Physical Therapists who specialize in pelvic PT because not all of them are comfortable with such invasive manipulations. Try to have your doctor determine if the therapists have a particular focus or expertise before attending the sessions. Or, you can contact the therapists in advance in order to determine whether they are skilled in treating pelvic pain, nerve pain, or neck pain, for instance.

  2. How do wevas a community advocate for treatment that used to be classified as “complementary” that has shown efficacy in relieving pain symptoms? In my opinion, the pharmaceutical industry should have to make reparations for creating an opioid crisis along with the doctors that went against all professionals standards.

    • Hi Barbara,
      More and more doctors are seeing the value of complementary therapies, especially as we see more evidence for their effectiveness. Some patients of mine find these therapies expensive if their insurance does not cover them. Also, other patients prefer more traditional therapies such as medications (non-opioids first), or injections/ Nerve Blocks. It may be a combination of techniques such as acupuncture and nerve blocks that provide the best relief, rather than just one treatment. For advocacy, talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about referring you for treatments such as acupuncture, yoga, TaiChi, and mind-body therapies. There’s a large section devoted to Integrative Therapies that I think you’ll find useful in my book.

  3. What do you make of the Sarno approach, incl. followers Schubiner, Hanscom and Schechter? It seems to me that a larger number of folks respond to it miraculously than to any other intervention, yet it’s currently unclear what proportion of those who try it respond well to it. It’s completely psychoeducational, negating structural factors basically. I

    • Hi Charles,
      I have not seen patients of mine benefit from it, but I do believe in the psychoeducational approach to relieving pain. Techniques such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) have a good scientific evidence base and can transform the perception of pain to lessen its intensity. I’ve seen patients benefit from that particular technique. Some causes of back pain are structural & can benefit from Physical Therapy, specific medications, Nerve Blocks, & surgery. A lot of non-specific low back pain can be eased w/ exercise and postural correction. I talk about the value of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in my book, Aches And Gains: A Comprehensive Guide to Overcoming Your Pain. I also have a compelling segment on CBT on my radio show.

  4. Hi Dr. Christo,

    – Are there proven/measured results of “Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) ” application in terms of PNP treatments, specifically in reference to muscle weakness?

    – What type(s) of “Physical therapy”, other than walking, would you suggest, again in terms of improving the muscle weakness?

    • Hi Faut,
      TENS involves the use of device that applies electrical currents to the skin for pain relief. It’s safe and non-invasive. Research on this device has found variable results for managing chronic pain. Several studies have shown benefit for managing Musculoskeletal Pain, but others haven’t. I find that TENS helps some patients with low back pain or neck pain, and others with Neuropathic Pain. I don’t know the data on the effect of TENS on muscle weakness, and I’m not sure that the current would be strong enough to change muscular development. Physical Therapy directed toward muscle strengthening with light weights can help build muscle strength. These may be focused activities for the legs, arms, or back. Ask the Physical Therapist to provide you w/ a strengthening program for areas of muscle weakness. My book, Aches And Gains: A Comprehensive Guide to Overcoming Your Pain, covers TENS.

  5. Has there been any research done on the life expectancy of an individual suffering from Chronic Pain? Being that pain affects all of the body’s systems (⬆️BP, GI issues, etc…), having Chronic Pain really grinds & tears-up these systems over time. My assumption is that Chronic Pain can shorten one’s life due to the body always “running a marathon, without being able to rest”. Is there any evidence-based research regarding this matter? Thank You! Happy Holidays!

    • Hi Babs,
      Some of the research related to life expectancy highlights the very sad risk related to suicide. For example, people living with pain are twice as likely to commit suicide. Some of the factors leading to suicide include depression, isolation, overdose, and disability. We’re also seeing patients surviving HIV, cancer, & cardiovascular disease are now able to live longer lives, but find themselves living a poorer quality due to continual pain from their disease or from interventions needed to treat the disease, such as chemotherapy.

  6. I have had chronic pain for 6 years. I had the second shingles shot on October 10 and since that time have not felt well and have terrible burning itching pain in my right leg which was never painful before the shot and other strange symptoms plus increased lumbar and sacral pain.
    No one seems to know what to do. I am not improving. The drug company has a line to answer questions from my doctor but they never return the calls. I definitely had a reaction to the shot but am getting worried because it isn’t abating and the neurologist, pcp, and emergency room docs have no idea what to do. I have done a bit of research and it looks like I have shingles although the rash I got was on my chest and around to the back of my neck. I also have some burning on my right arm. I am not taking opioids but need some help this is unbearable.

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