Are you one of the over 50 million Americans that live with chronic pain?
If so, you know how uncomfortable, frustrating, and even isolating everyday discomfort can be. And, you’re already well aware of how this can impact your life, sapping your energy and making it hard to enjoy anything.
If you feel like you’ve tried everything and the pain just won’t go away, it might be time to see a specialist. A pain management doctor can help get to the root of your condition, treating pain at its source and helping you get your life back!
Read on to learn if this type of treatment is right for you.
What Is Chronic Pain?
This condition is defined as pain that lasts for weeks, months, or years, after an injury or as the result of an illness. If left untreated, chronic pain can develop into an even more serious condition called chronic pain syndrome or CPS. People living with CPS often develop symptoms other than pain, including depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
Sometimes, chronic pain is easy to diagnose or even expected. For example, following a major surgery or accident, or when dealing with a disease like cancer. But, that isn’t always the case. Chronic pain can sometimes take years to diagnose, especially in patients suffering from hard to understand diseases like fibromyalgia, endometriosis, cystic fibrosis, and Lyme disease.
So, if you’ve been dealing with pain for a long time and nobody can figure out what’s going on, it is absolutely time to see a specialist.
What Is a Pain Management Doctor?
When you think about pain management, you might automatically expect a treatment plan that relies heavily on powerful prescription pain pills. But, prescribing medication is only one part of what a pain management specialist does.
Doctors for pain management are trained to approach each patient’s symptoms differently, from diagnosis to treatment and beyond. They can apply a wide variety of treatments, most of which are non-invasive and don’t rely on dangerous drugs.
In addition to treating your pain, this type of doctor may suggest changes to your lifestyle. These commonly include weight gain or loss, exercise and physical therapy, and mindful practices like yoga and meditation.
In most cases, pain management doctors accept patients similarly to any clinic or hospital, working with most major insurance plans and accepting clients both as referrals and as walk-ins.
Pain Management Techniques
During your first visit to a pain management specialist, you’ll focus first on your diagnosis and then on a treatment plan.
Pain management specialists treat all types of back pain, as well as knee pain, joint pain, nerve pain, and more. So, each patient’s treatment regime will be entirely unique.
Common techniques to stop chronic discomfort include nerve blocks, anti-inflammatory injections like cortisone, stem cell and PRP therapy, and in some cases, prescription medication. Pain management can also include chiropractic care, massage therapy, acupuncture, and other bodywork to help relieve muscle tension and inflammation.
If you are dealing with CPS or symptoms beyond physical pain, counselling might also be suggested to help you cope.
Why Not Manage Your Own Pain?
Americans are in more chronic pain than ever before – a trend mirrored by the fact that the number of Americans addicted to pain killers has hit a new all-time high. In fact, it’s estimated that more than two million Americans abuse opioids. And, nearly 100 Americans die from an opioid overdose every day.
For most people, managing their own pain comes down to taking dangerous drugs that are addictive and potentially fatal. Attempting to treat your own pain can also delay important treatments like physical therapy, allowing your overall health to deteriorate in the meantime.
Other patients turn to holistic healthcare when mainstream medicine has failed to help mitigate their pain. While many of these natural treatments do work to some extent, few are backed by science. Other therapies that don’t rely on western medicine might mask your symptoms temporarily – but are unlikely to treat the root cause of your pain.
Is It Time to See a Specialist?
When was the last time you weren’t in pain? If it’s been a while, your pain is probably classified as chronic.
You can also use how much physical pain you’re feeling as a metric for when it’s time to see a pain management doctor. If your pain is interfering with daily life and regular routines like work and family obligations, you’ve probably passed the point where you can rely on regular treatment.
Still not sure that it’s worth it to see a specialist? Consider this – pain management doctors can do more than just treat your symptoms. They are able to coordinate treatment between multiple doctors and healthcare professionals, acting as an advocate dedicated to relieving your symptoms.
A pain management specialist might also be able to help patients who are living in pain but have not been diagnosed. They are often familiar with uncommon and uncomfortable medical conditions that regular MDs and family practitioners might miss the signs and symptoms of.
Pain Relief at Last
Now that you’ve learned a bit about what a pain management doctor can do for you, it’s time to perform an honest self-assessment.
Have you been in pain for weeks, or even months? If so, it’s time to stop the suffering! Leaving your pain untreated will increase your chances of developing CPS and other associated conditions.
Contact Colorado Pain Experts or call 970-473-7900 today. Our compassionate team treats all types of chronic and acute pain. We make it our mission to find the condition and stop it in its tracks while finding the initial cause of the pain.