Lifestyle Medicine is an evidence-based field of medicine that recognizes the direct link between our behaviors and health outcomes. This branch of medicine zooms out from the chronic illness itself to look at the whole person and examine how lifestyle may be causing or affecting disease. An increasing body of scientific evidence illustrates the power of lifestyle medicine to prevent, treat, and reverse chronic diseases.
There is a definite relationship between lifestyle behaviors and musculoskeletal health. Choices we make everyday impact inflammation and our experience of pain. Physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, stress, and poor sleep are just a few factors associated with musculoskeletal pain, its severity, and sustainability.
Lifestyle Medicine interventions involve making specific evidence-based lifestyle changes as key components to your individualized pain rehabilitation program. Our program rests on 6 evidence-based pillars of health, in accordance with the American College of Lifestyle Medicine:
1. Wholesome Nutrition
2. Physical Activity
3. Sleep Hygiene
4. Human Connections
5. Stress Resilience & The Mind-Body Continuum
6. Avoidance of Harmful Substances
Lifestyle Medicine interventions at Elevate involve the following:
- Analyzing the above 6 domains to uncover root causes and/or contributors to your pain disorder
- Understanding what motivates you and establish a vision for good health
- Investigating your readiness for change so that the consultation is targeted accordingly
- Setting long term and short-term SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented, Realistic, Timely) in the pillars that need the most focus
- Creating evidence-based personalized action plans with lifestyle medicine prescriptions
Establishing a Vision for Good Health
Elevate isn’t like other medical practices, where the patient is just a passive recipient of care. Our patients are active participants in their health. We regard changing unhealthy behavior as foundational to medical care. We recognize, however, that changing deeply ingrained habits can be difficult, and knowledge alone does not result in change. At Elevate, the journey to empowering our patients begins by helping them find “their why” for achieving better health. We work together to create short-term and long-term visions that inspire patients to persevere in establishing beneficial changes. We strive to understand what is meaningful to our patients, and their intrinsic motivators to help facilitate and sustain healthy behaviors.
Setting SMART Goals
Setting goals and completing them is an important component of building self-efficacy and confidence, and is the first step to change. At Elevate, we design SMART goals: evidence-based goals that are specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and timely. They will be suitable to the needs of the particular patient and aligned with how ready they are for change in the targeted area. The best goals are those that patients are motivated to achieve and believe they can complete. We will be setting SMART goals that are clear and are in alignment with an established vision. Goals will be created collaboratively, as we understand that one is more likely to follow through on a self-determined course of behavior change.
Preparing for a Lifestyle Medicine Intervention
Prior to your Comprehensive Initial Consultation, you will be asked to complete a health questionnaire through the online patient portal. We ask that you fill out the form as thoroughly as possible at least 3 days prior to your initial evaluation.
Lifestyle Medicine and Musculoskeletal Pain: The Rationale
With its profound effects on health, Lifestyle Medicine therapeutic approaches are at the root of building wellness and achieving sustainable pain relief.
- Lifestyle Medicine is validated by current scientific evidence as highly effective
- It addresses the root cause of the disease
- Has been proven to be safe and effective in the treatment and management of pain
- Helps modulate pain biochemically by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress
- Addresses the lifestyle behaviors and psychosocial aspects that directly impact pain
- Optimizes the body’s immunity and innate healing mechanisms
“The part can never be well unless the whole is well.” – Plato
Musculoskeletal pain disorders do not exist in isolation; rather they are a component of the dynamic interplay of the body’s systems. For instance, joint homeostasis and healing is a function of general health, which can be disrupted by any systemic condition. At Elevate, we recognize this and consider the whole person in our approach to medicine.
Whether pain is acute or chronic, it is a complex biopsychosocial phenomenon.
Pain management dominated solely by medications, surgeries and biomedical procedures, does not adequately address the lifestyle and psychosocial dimensions of the pain experience and is therefore limited in its long term efficacy. Lifestyle Medicine is a powerful therapy that when combined and coordinated with conventional interventions, can not only reduce pain and suffering, but restore health, vitality and overall wellness.
Why doesn’t handing someone a list of recommended lifestyle guidelines work? Because there is a science behind behavior change. Unfortunately, knowledge alone does not result in behavior change. Our program recognizes this and incorporates support mechanisms and strategies for success, unique to you.