Millions of Americans experience chronic pain.
Doctors define chronic pain as pain that lasts at least three months. It can be a dull ache or a sensation of throbbing, stinging or burning. Pain also can take the form of soreness or stiffness.
For those who experience chronic pain, however, no definition is really needed. They know it when they feel it—and it can take all the joy out of life.
The thing is, understanding comprehensive pain management and finding a solution to pain isn’t always as easy as going to one doctor and getting something “fixed.”
Indeed, chronic pain can be a multi-faceted problem that requires input from more than one specialist. It also requires an individualized treatment plan.
As we all know, there are many causes of pain. Some of the more common complaints are neck and back problems, including pinched nerves and arthritis. Shingles pain can be a problem for many, while headaches plague others. Nerve damage and muscle spasms are also major reasons people end up at the doctor.
The great news is that, as technology evolves, there are more and more options to treat pain. Here are some that the physicians at Fisher-Titus Medical Center specialize in:
• Spinal diagnostic procedures (cervical, thoracic, lumbar)
• Epidural steroid injection
• Facet joint injection
• Radiofrequency treatment
• Spinal cord stimulation
• Selective nerve root block
• Celiac plexus block
• Stellate ganglion block
• Lumbar sympathetic block
The take-home message? Don’t sit at home and suffer because you think your pain isn’t treatable. Medicine is constantly evolving and improving, which means there likely are new options for conditions that—less than a decade ago—may have been difficult to treat.
There also are times when pain doesn’t call for a procedure at all. Instead, it’s something that must be managed through medication or lifestyle modifications.
One example: Someone who is experiencing diabetic nerve pain can reduce their symptoms by better controlling their diabetes. This can be accomplished by working with an endocrinologist and using exercise, nutrition, medication (or a combination of all three) to lower their blood glucose levels.
Another example: Many people don’t know that depression actually can cause significant and real physical pain, including headache, backache, stomachache, joint ache and muscle ache. Treating the depression can improve not just a person’s mental outlook, but also his or her physical well-being.
Physical pain can be caused by many different things. But there are also many different solutions. There also are a number of coping mechanisms—such as biofeedback and guided imagery—that many people find effective in managing their pain.
Why wait to feel better? Contact us today to make an appointment with one of our pain management physicians. First, we’ll figure out what’s causing your pain. Then, we’ll come up with a personalized treatment plan that takes all of your specific needs into account.