Pain is a complex medical problem that can have profound effects on your physical and mental well-being. The goal of pain management is to help you decrease your level of pain and suffering, return you to your maximum level of functioning and independence, and to help restore your quality of life.
Acute pain is of short duration, usually the result of an injury, surgery or illness.
Chronic pain is an ongoing condition, often in the back, neck, head, as well as neuropathic pain (nerve injury pain), musculoskeletal pain, and pain related to illness. Your physician may refer you to us because your chronic pain condition has not responded to conventional therapies.
Treatments for acute and chronic pain are generally quite different. In some cases, acute and chronic pain can be stopped or alleviated by a single procedure or series of procedures. Sometimes, chronic pain is part of a widespread disease process, and the specific cause may be difficult to pinpoint. Once we have identified the specific factor causing the pain, we may be able to treat it so that the condition no longer occurs. In some patients, the specific factor causing the pain–such as cancer–can not be changed, but we may be able to reduce the pain or help the patient to better cope with the pain through a combination of medical, psychosocial, and rehabilitation techniques.
Back pain is an easily recognizable problem that can bring on a number of sensations and movement limitations. Back pain can present itself in any location along the spine including ligaments, muscles, and shock-absorbing discs.
While there is a multitude of conditions that may lead to chronic pain, we have found the following to be most prevalent in our patients:
Muscle Pain (MYALGIA)
Post Herpetic Neuralgia (Shingles)
While drug therapies differ for each person, the most common are:
ADJUVANT PAIN MEDICATIONS, INCLUDING:
ANTIDEPRESSANTS, ANTICONVULSANTS AND MUSCLE RELAXERS.
OPIATES OR “PAIN KILLERS” ARE USED TO TREAT ACUTE PAIN OR CANCER-RELATED PAIN AND ARE OFTEN PRESCRIBED FOR CHRONIC PAIN.
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DRUGS ALLEVIATE PAIN BY REDUCING SWELLING AND IRRITATION.
There are alternative delivery methods for medications. Common methods used at the Pain Clinic are oral medications, topical creams, sublingual medicines, nasal sprays, injections, and patches.
Chronic pain can become so intense and overwhelm the body and mind to such a degree that it can affect all areas of life. People become so afflicted that they often cannot work. Their appetite falls off. Physical activity of any kind is exhausting and may aggravate the pain. Often, the person becomes the victim of a vicious cycle in which total preoccupation with pain leads to irritability and depression. Adding to these ailments is the fatigue sufferers experience from not being able to sleep at night.