Every one of us has been in pain more than one time in our lives.It could have been a headache, or a bruise pain that didn’t last too long.
But, there are several people around the world who suffer from pain every single day of their lives, which could be because of health problems like cancer, arthritis, shingles, or diabetes.
According to a survey, in America alone, around 100 million people, and 1.5 billion people around the world suffer from chronic pain.
Chronic pain can affect your daily life by making you miss out on the simplest enjoyments. Many people with such pains complain about not being able to sleep at night or being able to function properly during the day.
Before we talk about how you can manage your pain, it’s important first to understand about the kinds of pain.
Acute Pain and Chronic Pain
There are two kinds of pain, i.e. acute and chronic. A pain that lasts for a short time is called acute pain, which generally begins suddenly and goes away with time as your body heals.
This kind of pain usually occurs from an injury like an infected tooth or a broken bone, or after surgery. A pain that lasts for more than three months is called chronic pain.
This happens due to certain health conditions like shingles or arthritis. It is more common in old-aged people but there is no certain age for it to happen.
No matter what kind of pain you come across, living with it is a hard job and has an effect on your life. People who suffer from pain complain about having an effect on their daily activities.
Some others report having trouble with sleeping, disturbance in eating habits, anxiety or depression, etc. It keeps you away from enjoying time with family and friends.
If you are someone suffering from pain as a regular part of your life, then you need to seek pain management, which is possible through pain clinics.
What Is a Pain Management Clinic?
Pain management clinics are health care facilities that work on the diagnosis and management of any type of chronic pains. There are two kinds of pain clinics. One only focuses on dealing with certain kind of pains and only provide procedures to help those issues.
For example, there are pain management clinics that only cure neck and back pain while there are some others which only deal with chronic pains that occur because of diabetes. The other type of clinic deals with pain happening in any part of the body.
These clinics generally take care of the whole body’s pain management rather than focusing on a specific part of the body. These clinics are often known as interdisciplinary clinics.
Mostly a team at a pain clinic includes doctors, nurses, physical therapists, occupational and vocational therapists, psychologists, and nutritionists and dieticians.
They help the patient deal with their pain through medications and physical, behavioral, and psychological therapies. Many clinics also teach their patients about their pain and how they can deal with it in their daily life.
Some clinics also offer options for alternative medicine that includes:
- Acupuncture:A procedure that uses hair-thin needles to provoke specific points on the body to alleviate
- Biofeedback: This is a great way of helping one reduce one’s levels of pain and stress as it educates about controlling heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension, and other body functions.
- Cognitive behavioural therapy: A short-term counselling procedure designed to help patients reduce their reaction to pain.
- Water therapy: This therapy is recommended to people who have pain moving certain body parts. In this therapy the patient is provided a soothing setting that eases their body tension and allows slower yet easier movement
- Massage therapy: This helps in releasing tension occurring in tight muscles.
- Meditation: It is a combination of mindfulness meditation, body awareness, and yoga, which are designed to increase relaxation and reduce pain.
The primary goal of pain management clinics like Unique Pain Medicine NYC is to remove a patient’s pain and improve their quality of life. The treatments given here, help patients with chronic pain to manage their pain and make themselves capable of functioning in a better way.
How effective is pain management?
According to several studies patients who seek pain management help and practice it, have less physical suffering and emotional agony.
They are also able to perform their daily lives activities in a much easier manner.
How to find a pain management clinic and what to look for?
Finding a pain management clinic is quite simple. You can start with asking your primary doctor or a specialistor you can contact your local hospital or medical centre. You can also search online for a list of providers in your stateor you can seek help from a local pain support group.
When deciding which clinic is the best for you, here are a few things you should take into consideration:
- Look for a clinic with specialists who deal in the kind of pain you want to get treated for
- Make sure the doctors at the clinics are board certified in pain management
- Choose a doctor you are comfortable with
- Look for a clinic with good pain programs that meet your expectations
Treating or managing chronic pain is highly important for one to lead a life in a normal way. These treatments include medications and other measures, as discussed above.
The goal of most treatment plans is to reduce the pain and help the patient to carry out the daily activities in the best way possible. Make sure that whatever treatment plan your doctor decides for you, it meets your requirements.
The best way is to talk to your doctor in person, ask them about all the queries you have related to your treatment.
The more properly you stick with your treatment plan, the more chances you have of getting better early. You might have to try different treatment plans before your doctor decides what’s working for you.
Make sure to report any side effects. Once your treatment plan starts working, you will feel that your pain has subsided and your daily routine has improved.
Most common medicines used in treatment plans
The most common medications that most doctors prescribe in a treatment plan are:
- Acetaminophen: This medicine works for all types of pain, especially the ones that are mild to moderate. This is an over-the-counter medicine and available easily in most parts of the world. It is not recommended to people who have consumed more than three glasses of alcoholor those who have a liver disease.
- Non-steroidal: These are known as anti-inflammatory drugs, the most common ones naproxen, aspirin, and ibuprofen. Long term use of some non-steroidal drugs can cause side effectsthat is why only use them after referring to a doctor.
- Narcotics: These are only available on a doctor’s prescription, and are used for treating moderate to severe pain. Common examples for narcotics are, oxycodone, codeine, and morphine. These medicines can be addictive, and dangerous if taken with alcohol or some other drugs.
- Other medications: These include anti-depressants, local painkillers, anti-convulsive medicines, ointments and creams.
It is highly recommended to always consult a doctor before taking any medicine as the right dosage is very important. The risk of developing certain side effects from medications increases with age, so only take the amount of medicine your doctor has prescribed.
Mixing medicines with other drugs or alcohol is extremely dangerous, so make sure your doctor knows about all the medicines you take, as well as the amount of alcohol you consume.
If a medicine doesn’t work for you, don’t change it yourself, consult your doctor or a nurse before taking any such decision.
A doctor may do everything that is possible for them, but to get the best results out of a pain management treatment plan, there are some efforts that one has to make on one’s own.
Here are a few things that you can do on your own that can help you in a quick recovery:
- Maintain a healthy weight:Gaining extra weight can make your healing process slow and may even make some pain worse. Maintaining a good weight is important and can help people who suffer from pain in the back, knees, feet or hips.
- Be physically active:Suffering from pain on daily basis can make a person inactive, but this may only lead you to suffer from more agony and not being able to function. Being physically active can help you fight these issues.
- Get enough sleep:Having enough sleep can help in the process of healing, reducing pain sensitivity, and improving your mood.
- Avoid tobacco, caffeine, and alcohol:Usage of these can get in the way of your treatment and may also be a cause of increased pain.
- Join a pain support group:Sometimes learning about other people’s pain and being able to talk about how they deal with itcan help you a lot in managing your pain. It also gives you a chance to talk about your thoughts.
Few Things to Remember
- Not all kinds of pain can be cured, but they can be managed enough to help you live a normal life.
- Side effects of pain management medications are often manageable. Most people suffer from issues like drowsiness, constipation, or dry mouth, when they start a new medicine, but these problems can be treated, or they often go away once your body gets used to of the medicine.
- Talking about your pain will not make you weak, so make sure to discuss all your issues with your doctor.
- If your doctor is not able to treat you, consult a specialist.
- Using your medicine at the first sight of pain can help you control the pain later.
- If you feel any sort of pain, consult a doctor right away. Don’t wait that it might go away or it may be just a thing in your head, because it’s not.