If you are experiencing any type of pain, don’t hesitate to contact our pain doctor today. By working to understand the source of your pain, we can treat the cause directly through a variety of methods, allowing you to return to a pain-free life without worrying about just masking the symptoms. We have helped numerous patients find relief from their chronic pain.
About 50 million people in the United States live with chronic pain. Being in pain on an ongoing basis can be frustrating, depressing, and extremely difficult in many other ways. This is where a pain management clinic provides hope for returning to a more active, full life.
What is a pain management clinic?
A pain management clinic, often referred to as a pain clinic, is a health care facility dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain. Pain clinics use a multi-pronged approach to finding the underlying causes of pain, then helping patients to take more control of their life by better managing their discomfort with the help of a pain doctor.
How does a pain clinic treat patients?
Within a pain clinic, a team of professionals work together to develop strategies for an individual patient’s pain management. This team may include one or multiple doctors and other health care professionals who specialize in diagnosing and managing chronic pain.
The field of pain management may include therapies from across multiple disciplines of medicine and wellness. Treatments may include psychological therapies, physical therapy, and even alternative therapies like acupuncture or massage. Individual patients are assessed by a pain doctor and a treatment plan is developed to suit their specific needs, with all facets of that plan working together for total body wellness and reduction of pain, if not freedom from it altogether.
Because pain clinics look closely at each individual’s causes of pain and how that pain manifests within the body, developed therapies are also individualized. Treatment plans are tailored to include one or more of the following pain management strategies:
Patients of pain clinics may be prescribed medication before other treatments or therapies by their pain doctor. Some of these pain management medications may include:
These prescription medications are similar to cortisone and are used to treat serious inflammation which may be associated with or causing pain.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
These over-the-counter and prescribed drugs, like ibuprofen and naproxen, are used to treat inflammation associated with pain, as well as the pain, itself.
- Non-aspirin pain relievers
Used alone or combined with other drugs for greater relief, acetaminophen is one example of non-aspirin pain relief.
Antidepressants have been found to be useful in treatment of some kinds of pain. They also promote better sleep.
- Opioid pain medications
These pain medications are like morphine and used for short-term relief of acute pain or pain resulting from cancer. They are sometimes prescribed for other pain not caused by cancer.
Non-Medication Treatments for Pain
Sometimes medication is not effective enough for a patient’s pain. There are other types of treatments which may be integrated into a treatment plan. These treatments may also help make pain medication more effective, as part of a multidimensional program.
Such non-medication pain treatments may include:
Local anesthetics may be used alone or combined with a corticosteroid for injection as part of pain management. Corticosteroids relieve muscle spasms, irritation and swelling when injected around nerve roots, into joints or muscles.
- Nerve blocks
A pain doctor may determine that a group of nerves known as a ganglion or plexus are causing pain in a specific area of the body. If this is the case, local anesthetics may be injected into that region to block the pain.
- Physical and aquatic therapy
A doctor specializing in rehabilitative medicine may prescribe an exercise program to help decrease pain and increase function for an individual patient. This can also be done by a physical therapist. Physical therapy aspects of pain management also often include deep-muscle massage, whirlpool therapy, and ultrasound.
- Electrical stimulation
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, also known as TENS, uses a small, battery operated device to pass electrical stimulation through the skin. This stimulates nerve fibers and reduces pain. There are also other implant devices used for patients of pain clinics. Those devices may use medicine, chemicals or heat.
Western medicine has long embraced acupuncture as an effective treatment for pain. This ancient Chinese medical treatment employs very thin needles inserted as specific points on the body. The needles are, themselves, relatively painless and their insertion works to relieve chronic pain.
- Psychological counseling
Pain can cause a wide range of emotions which can wreak havoc on the patient’s personal life. Anger, hopelessness, and sadness can become overwhelming and affect work, household obligations, family life, social connections, and other relationships. Coupled with medical pain management, psychological support can be very helpful in dealing with the pain and keeping it from affecting other facets of the patient’s life.
Relaxation training and biofeedback are two forms of self-help techniques which can be used to reduce stress and relieve pain. Coupled with counseling or other treatments, mental health experts can teach patients how to use these techniques for greater well-being.
Often the last treatment both patient and doctors desire, surgery may be the best option at some point in a patient’s program of pain management. When pain is unresponsive to other forms of treatment, surgery can provide relief at the nerves. Often, surgery performed by a pain doctor enables patients to return to a normal lifestyle as they had before the onset of their pain.
Contact our office today to schedule an appointment at our state-of-the-art pain clinic. You can feel free to ask any questions you might have about our methods for diagnosing or treating pain conditions. Our pain doctor has experience working with patients who have experienced a wide range of both acute and chronic pain conditions, and we look forward to working with you to find a treatment plan that fits your lifestyle.