HEALING an alternative path to therapies that offer other options for pain relief


Alternative medicine therapies for pain management have earned a rightful place at the treatment table, with a wealth of evidence-based modalities and a history dating back 5,000 years. Ayurvedic practices of massage, meditation and herbs provide an ancient outline to what today helps millions of Americans relieve what ails them. Holistic, natural, functional, complementary and similar terms are unique in their respective technique, but common in their use of nontraditional means for healing.

Pain management, and the medications prescribed for alleviating chronic pain, hit more than $71 million globally in 2019 and is predicted to increase by 4%, to over $91 million by 2027. Similarly, the global alternative-medicine market was valued at $82.27 billion in 2020 and is expected to increase annually at a rate of over 22% from 2021 to 2028.

An array of non-traditional therapy options are available, giving hope to millions of sufferers. Many alternative medicine practitioners offer similar treatments; therefore it’s common to find intersecting care from office to office.

Hilton Head’s Novo Wellness, formerly The Pain Center and Regenerative Institute, offers various alternative treatments to help minimize pain. “We’ve seen phenomenal results, and with pain we’re always looking for that pain generator, not just to solve where the pain is,” manager Ron Reynolds said.

William Durrett, M.D. and staff offer several state-of-the-art services including the following:

REGENERATIVE MEDICINE: This method repairs cell damage through injections of mesenchymal stem cells. Cells are safely donated only from planned cesarean section placenta. The injections can differentiate to become bone cells, cartilage cells, muscle cells, or other types of cells, resulting in repairing damage to the affected areas.

MLS LASER TREATMENT: The laser can penetrate 2 -3 inches below the skin, on any part of the body. Muscles relax and inflammation is better managed.

RADIO FREQUENCY ABLATION: Minimally invasive, this procedure calms nerve endings and impairs pain signals from traveling to the brain. The painful area is numbed, then a guided needle passes radio frequency energy into the nerve, destroying the nerve fibers that carry pain signals to the brain and, in essence, destroying the pain center.

ACUPUNCTURE: “The majority of my practice is chronic pain,” says Doctor of Acupuncture, Beth Schoon of Integrative Pain Relief of Hilton Head. Acupuncture stimulates the central nervous system though energy pathways in the body. Any stagnation in these pathways is where pain and disease can develop. These biochemical changes stimulate the body’s natural healing abilities. An acupuncture treatment can reduce inflammation, release trigger points, and stimulate natural endorphins. Needles are approximately the size of a “cats whisker,” and barely felt. Treatments can promote peace and relaxation, affecting both the mind and the body. Dr. Schoon is also trained in myofascial release. Tissues surrounding and supporting the body can become sensitive and tight, which can throw off the body’s structure, contributing to overall pain. The combination of structural and energetic work creates a powerful pain relief therapy.

CHIROPRACTIC: A familiar medical intervention, chiropractors treated more than 35 million patients in 2021. Back, neck, shoulder and joint pain are common reasons for a visit, but any area of discomfort can be discussed for treatment. Chiropractic professionals focus primarily on musculoskeletal disorders. Body structure is key, and spinal manipulations are typical. Services vary by training, and can range from traditional chiropractic adjustments to advanced pain-relieving procedures.

APPLIED KINESIOLOGY: A specialized technique is used by some in chiropractic care. It involves performing manual muscle-response testing as a biofeedback indicator to identify stressors; it is a mind-body-energy system of treatment that helps a trained practitioner better understand the nervous and muscular systems, hence a better picture of where pain may generate from and how to better treat it.