Did you know chronic pain affects more than 20 percent of adults in the United States? Pain is one of the leading causes of disability and profoundly affects your quality of life.
But you don’t have to suffer silently, and seeing a specialist at a center for pain management is key to starting your journey to wellness. A pain management specialist not only looks at your pain but at the factors that contribute to it.
Keep reading this guide to learn about nine reasons you should visit a center for pain management today!
1. Find the Root Cause
It’s essential to find the root cause of your pain, especially if you’ve been suffering for a long time. If you’ve seen your primary care physician before but still are experiencing pain that interferes with your life, then it’s time to see a pain management physician.
The goal of pain management is to find the cause of what’s causing your pain. This is a collaborative effort between your primary care doctor and other specialists you’ve seen. A pain management specialist will ask you detailed questions about your symptoms and order diagnostic testing.
2. Manage Your Arthritis Pain
When you have chronic arthritis pain, it can disrupt every aspect of your daily life. Work, daily tasks, and even your social life can suffer. Pain management clinics can help anyone with chronic pain but can be especially useful for arthritis pain management.
Immobility can make your joint tissues more rigid and less flexible. Movement helps reduce the pain of arthritis, and the main goal is to reduce your pain enough so that you can begin to exercise regularly.
3. Alternative Pain Management Therapies
Pain management is so much more than just taking medications every day. Integrated pain management incorporates treatments that do not include yoga, acupuncture, mindfulness, exercise, and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Integrated pain management is especially effective for chronic low back pain, osteoarthritis, headaches, fibromyalgia, and post-surgical pain.
4. Aware of the Latest Research
Pain management doctors are up-to-date on all the latest research for effective pain management therapies. So when you go to a center for pain management, you’ll benefit from treatments you may not have heard of yet.
For example, platelet-rich plasma injections (PRP) are a treatment that is becoming more and more popular. PRP involves receiving injections with plasma cells from your own blood. Plasma contains red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Platelets are cells that make your blood clot and also play a huge role in healing.
5. You Receive Personalized Care
A pain management doctor provides you a customized treatment plan. No two people are the same, and the most effective pain management plan needs to be personalized. This is why it is essential to see a specialist.
A pain specialist will carefully evaluate other factors contributing to your pain like excessive weight, stress, depression, medical conditions, and poor posture. A plan for medication, other interventional therapies, and physical therapy are usually on the list as well as:
- Referrals to other specialists as needed
- Injections with steroids or nerve blocks
- Ongoing monitoring and follow up
6. Your Treatment Goals Are Most Important
Another great thing about pain management is that you guide the direction your treatment goes. Treatment goals vary from person to person, and your pain management doctor will talk to you about what you want to achieve.
Most of the time, looking deeper into the cause of your chronic pain can help to prevent future problems. In addition to medications, many people need to make significant lifestyle changes. Typically these changes start with:
- Diet changes
- Exercising daily
- Finding effective ways to manage your stress levels
- Getting enough sleep
- Quit smoking
- Quit drinking
- Reframe your mind to focus on the positive
Many times simple lifestyle changes like reducing stress and getting more sleep can make the most difference. And a pain management specialist has the expertise to help you manage these changes in the best way possible.
7. Extra Education and Training
Pain management doctors receive extra training in pain management after graduating from medical school. Typically a residency program and three additional years of anesthesiology, neurology, and psychiatry are included.
Pain management physicians are also board-certified and have to take special education and training courses to stay updated on the latest treatments throughout their careers.
8. Treat All Types of Pain
A pain management specialist can treat all different types of pain, including acute and chronic. Acute pain is severe, sharp, and lasts less than six months. Chronic pain typically lasts for at least six months or longer. Chronic pain can be mild to severe and is often the most difficult to manage.
Common conditions pain management specialists treat include:
- Joint pain
- Degenerative disc disease
- Back injuries
- Compressed discs or fractures
Many people also seek the care of a pain management specialist after suffering injuries from a car or high-impact accident.
9. An Accurate Diagnosis
The key to effective pain management is getting an accurate diagnosis. Even if you have had diagnostic testing in the past, you’ll likely need additional testing ordered.
Pain management doctors typically order x-rays, CT scans, and MRI tests to confirm the causes of your neck or back pain. If you have other symptoms, you may need bone scans or nerve conduction studies.
Pain management physicians also review your medical history and will give you a thorough physical exam. Questions they will ask you include:
- How would you rate your pain on a 0 to 10 scale
- When did the pain start
- Is the pain constant
- Does anything help to relieve that pain
- What medications have you tried
You’ll also be asked what prescription medications you currently take as well as any herbal supplements. Getting an idea of what works to help your pain and what doesn’t helps form an accurate diagnosis and gives you the treatment you need.
Center for Pain Management
When you suffer from ongoing pain, it changes your life. But you aren’t alone. A professional center for pain management like Colorado Pain Experts can help.
We offer comprehensive pain management, education, and treatment in the safest way possible. We provide pain injections, medication management, nerve blocks, and much more.
So make sure you contact us today for a pain-free tomorrow!