If you’re one of the millions of chronic pain sufferers and your current treatment is less than effective, a pain management specialist at a pain clinic might be able to help.
Sadly, for more than 117 million Americans, chronic pain is a part of their daily lives. The physical and emotional toll that chronic pain causes, is tremendous.
In the last year alone, over 600 billion dollars were spent managing chronic pain conditions. The financial costs to the patient and their families can be exponential; leading many to file for bankruptcy because of the increased medical cost.
Not only are the financial costs associated with chronic pain staggering; it also increases the rates of hospitalization, re-hospitalization, emergency, and outpatient visits, resulting in lost worker productivity, a decrease in wages, and a stressed home-life.
A Better Perspective
The institute Of Medicine Committee (medical committee commissioned by Congress), found that chronic pain is not appropriately dealt with in the United States.
They recommended that in order to effectively treat chronic pain in patients, a coordinated effort on a national level was required to change the way society at large views chronic pain.
Who Are Pain Management Specialists?
Pain management specialists are physicians’ with specialty training in treatment of all forms of pain. Pain is the physical discomfort, caused by illness or injury, and covers several classifications, such as:
• Acute Pain – Acute pain is the effect of an illness or injury that has a sudden onset, and only lasts for a short period of time. Acute pain can have a variety of causes, such as: post-surgical pain, injury to the epidermis caused by a cut, menstrual cramps, stubbed toe, or an ankle sprain.
• Chronic Pain – Chronic pain is any pain that is consistent and lasts longer than three months. Chronic pain can be debilitating and can be caused by a variety of reasons; fibromyalgia, spinal cord injury, Crohn’s disease, or arthritis. Sometimes though, chronic pain can be the reason itself, with no known obvious cause. In cases like these, treating chronic pain at its root cause can be difficult.
Pain Management Clinics
Pain management specialists usually work in a pain management clinic; a specialized care facility whose single purpose is to treat pain and pain disorders.
These pain management clinics offer a multidisciplinary approach that focuses on the whole person. Oftentimes pain management specialists are able to locate the root cause of the patient’s pain, this allows the patient to regain control of their lives.
Offerings can vary from clinic to clinic, but usually involves a dedicated team of specially trained healthcare providers who are dedicated to helping you find pain relief.
These providers can include both traditional and non-traditional practitioners, and it’s not uncommon to see medical doctors’, physical therapists, massage therapists, chiropractors, and acupuncturists, all working side by side. By working together, this team of specialists are able to put together a pain management plan, tailor-made for your individual needs.
Pain Management Treatment Options
Depending on your type team of specialists, your type of pain, and your personal preferences, treatment could include the following:
Massage Therapy – Massage therapy has proven very beneficial in treating pain and can include both the Swedish, and deep tissue variety of massage.
Medication – Medications for treating pain are varied, and might include both homeopathic, as well as traditional forms of medication.
Glucosamine is a supplement that’s very effective in treating arthritis, back, shoulder, hip, and other joint related issues.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) are used to treat pain and inflammation, caused by a variety of health issues.
Non-aspirin pain relievers
Non-aspirin pain relievers are used to treat mild pain associated with headache and menstrual cramps, and can be beneficial for people who have a sensitivity to NSAID’s.
Corticosteroids are like cortisone and are usually used to treat inflammatory conditions.
Opioid pain medication
Opioid pain medications are narcotics that are used to treat moderate to severe pain for short amounts off time.
Nerve blocks are beneficial in treating nerve specific pain, and can cause relief for an extended period of time.
Antidepressants can help not only with depression, but also with sleep, and some types of pain conditions.