Controlling pain in patients is perhaps one of the physician's greatest challenges. Pain is not a disease, but a symptom of an underlying imbalance. Because pain tends to be the greatest motivator for a person to seek medical care, this symptom often takes precedence over any others. Pain, as discussed in this chapter, refers to that which is derived from the physical realm (to separate it from mental, emotional, and psychologic types of pain). One of the main tenets of naturopathic medicine is "find the cause.'' However, this approach is easily overlooked by some physicians who help patients deal with symptoms of pain, regardless of duration. Many conventional pain medicines (many of which are derived from plant substances) offer strong and fast-acting modes of treatment and are quite useful in instances when pain is unbearable for patients (e.g., traumatic injuries, cancer).
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