Are you trying to find a pain management doctor near you? There are a variety of pain clinics and pain management doctors offering alternative approaches (such as acupuncture, yoga) and advanced pain management solutions. Click here to learn more and to find a pain clinic or pain specialist in your area.
Acute Vs. Chronic Pain
Pain is a complex issue that can affect multiple systems of the body. Everyone’s health and bodies are unique, which make managing pain an individualized issue. Pain is typically categorized as either acute or chronic.
Acute pain is pain that comes on suddenly and can be caused by an injury such as a broken bone, or sudden illness. Acute pain is usually described by people as sharp or severe pain that comes on all of a sudden. This type of pain is temporary and treatable with short-term medical management.
Chronic pain is pain that people feel over a long period of time. Chronic pain is persistent and can get better or worse over time but is typically present every day for more than several months. Some people with chronic pain suffer from back problems, illnesses such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, or cancer, and even nerve damage caused by conditions such as diabetes. Oftentimes, chronic pain can be difficult to treat, which is why a doctor will want to identify the underlying cause of the discomfort before prescribing pain medication.
Finding Pain Management Doctors & Clinics Near Me
There are approximately 1.5 billion people in the world who live their lives with chronic pain. Chronic pain persists for longer than twelve weeks. It’s a pain that lasts for months and sometimes years. It affects day-to-day life. Finding a pain management clinic can help with finding the right treatment plan. But before you start looking for a pain management doctor or clinic near you, take a moment to understand what you might be looking for.
What Are Pain Management Clinics?
A pain management clinic is a healthcare facility whose focal point is on diagnosis and chronic pain management. Here, pain management doctors are known as pain management specialists or pain medicine specialists, and work with individuals living with chronic pain. There are 2 types of pain management clinics. One mainly focuses on procedural specific kinds of pain. (i.e. neck or back pain)
The second type take a non-procedural approach to treating chronic pain by looking at the person as a whole. This would include psychologists, nutritionists, nurses, and physical therapists. By offering medication in conjunction with behavioral, physical and psychological therapies. These pain management clinics may offer alternative medicine in a treatment plan.
Pain Management Doctors
Pain medicine specialists are osteopathic or medical doctors who treat pain. A lot of these doctors are physiatrists or anesthesiologists. Pain medicine specialists take care of all kinds of pain. Acute pain and chronic pain.
Pain management specialists are doctors with special training in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating various types of pain. This covers an extensive range of disorders like chronic pain, acute pain and cancer pain, etc. It is very important for pain management specialists to obtain specific knowledge and specialized skills to treat such pains.
Either specialist will work with you to create a treatment plan that suits your specific needs.
Look for board-certified pain management doctors and pain management clinics that offer services specific to your needs. Your local hospital or doctor’s office may have the resources to refer you to a great Pain Management Clinic.
Chronic Pain Management
To better understand the correlation between chronic pain and high-impact chronic pain (i.e., chronic pain which regularly limits the quality of life) in the United States, the CDC evaluated the 2016 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data.
They found that 20.4 percent (50.0 million) of Americans had chronic pain and 8.0 percent of Americans (19.6 million) had high-impact chronic pain.
The Top 4 Types Of Common Forms Of Chronic Pain Are:
- 4% - Facial pain
- 15% - Neck pain
- 15% - Migraine pain
- 27% - Lower back pain
According to a 2004 survey by the National Institute of Health Statistics.
It is more likely for women to experience one of the four types of chronic pain listed above, and 2x as likely to deal with migraines or severe headaches than men.
Individuals age 18-44 were less likely to suffer from lower back pain than people 45+, according to a CDC survey.
Lower back pain affects over 26 million Americans, 20-64 years of age. And 7% of recurrent lower back pain cases progress into chronic pain.
Approximately 20 percent of Americans (42 million people), state that pain interrupts their sleep at least a few nights a week, as stated by the Sleep In America poll.
Chronic pain is responsible for contributing an estimate of $560 billion annually in disability programs and direct medical costs.
How To Manage Pain Using Alternatives To Opioid Medication
Opioids are highly effective in treating pain, but the downside of opiates is that they are highly addictive. People living life with chronic pain may need to medicate long-term. So, finding an alternative to opioids may be valuable. This is a conversation worth having with qualified pain management doctors.
Luckily, there are a series of options available for treating chronic pain. They differ with the kind of chronic pain. However, generally, medications can range from both oral medications and topical therapies. There are also ointments and creams, other available over-the-counter (OTC) pain meds and then there are prescriptions.
Other alternative options for treating chronic pain, for example, is acupuncture. Another example of an alternative method for pain management is Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) therapy.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
TENS therapy offers short-term pain relief. It utilizes electrothermal therapy and electrical nerve stimulation to alleviate pain caused by several different conditions as well as back pain. TENS is a pain-free therapy even though its name can be intimidating. TENS can be used to treat some chronic pains like diabetic neuropathy too.
Finally, there are some procedures and techniques involving injections around or into various areas of the spinal region. From injections directly into specific painful muscles, known as trigger point injections. Next, are surgical procedures from outpatient surgery to invasive surgery.
There are multiple procedures that range from epidural, facet injections and back injections. Additionally, anti-seizure medications are effective for certain types of nerve pain. More alternatives to opioids for chronic pain are marijuana, acupuncture, and chiropractic therapy.
Advanced Pain Management Techniques
Treatment for abdominal pain depends upon the cause and may include anything from observation, medications, and procedures that include endoscopy, and surgery. Pain due to a sick gall bladder can be relived by the surgically removing the gall bladder.
Musculoskeletal pain affects ligaments, muscles, tendons, and bones. This type of pain can be because of repetitive wear and tear, or trauma such as fractures, car accidents, sprains, etc. Musculoskeletal pain can be treated with over the counter anti-inflammatory pain medicine, physical therapy, acupuncture, or injections.
Some musculoskeletal pain surgical procedures are Ankle fracture repair, ACL Reconstruction and even Carpal tunnel surgery. Carpal tunnel surgery is an outpatient procedure done by endoscopy.
Outpatient Orthopedic Shoulder Surgery
Shoulder pain from some injuries can be fixed by using less invasive shoulder procedures. This procedure is called shoulder arthroscopy. Shoulder arthroscopy can treat fractures, rotator injuries, and dislocated shoulders. The majority of these operations are done as an outpatient procedure.
Intradiscal Electrothermal Therapy (IDET)
Intradiscal electrothermal therapy (IDET) treats low back pain due to intervertebral disc issues. Discs can get damaged which can cause chronic pain. IDET employs heat to alter spinal disc nerve fibers and to extinguish local pain receptors. This treatment uses a wire, termed an electrothermal catheter. Electrical currents pass through the wire. IDET is also an outpatient procedure.