You may think that living with chronic Pain is impossible. That it will be hard to live a normal life. The invention of modern medicine has made great strides to solve many problems patients have and made pain clinics available to treat those issues. It is not a magic pill and does not offer a quick fix, but you may find some of the treatments valuable in dealing with chronic pain.
What is the definition of a pain clinic, exactly?
Pain clinics are designed to offer patients a way to treat their pain and improve their quality of life. They may be centered around a certain condition such as cancer or may cover various conditions. They don’t just offer one solution but work with you to develop a plan for your specific needs. You will have a whole team working on your behalf to make living with chronic pain easier.
How does a pain clinic work?
Pain clinics are all different but they have similarities in how they operate. Most often there are full-time staff available to assess patient’s needs and help them to create a plan for alleviating their chronic pain through a series of treatments. They may also have other clinicians and on hand – such as psychologists, massage therapists, and physical therapists to offer other types of treatment the patient may benefit from.
What types of treatments are available?
Every patient is different so not every treatment will work for everybody. The patient is assessed and a treatment plan is discussed, including options available that may be of benefit to the patient. Some of these treatments include:
Physical therapy is a common treatment for pain and is very effective. Most people think of it as just exercise, but it is more than that. Keeping your muscles working and moving prevents stiffness that can cause pain. This type of therapy also includes deep muscle massage, ultrasound therapy, and aquatic therapy for those who need the physical support that water offers.
Medication is often the second line of treatment if other methods are not quite as effective as intended. Many medications including anti-inflammatory drugs that can be combined with others to relieve pain, and maybe even some over-the-counter medicines are suggested. With these types of pain medications, you may also be prescribed other types of drugs to combat other issues such as antidepressants. It has been found that when treating depression, the medications used often help with pain relief as well.
Injections that dull pain around nerves and muscles can be helpful in preventing swelling, reducing pain as well. Local anesthetics can keep pain at bay for hours and help you to avoid painful walking from swollen joints. Sometimes entire sections of nerves may be treated by a local anesthetic in what is considered to be a nerve block. It can and does make a big difference.
No, you are not undergoing electric shock treatments. You are probably envisioning a guy in a white lab coat holding electrodes and laughing hysterically. No this is not what this is. It is used to stimulate the muscles and nerve endings. A tiny device is implanted underneath the skin and sends tiny electrical impulses to the nerve fibers. It is not painful at all.
If your pain keeps you from living life to the fullest, then you should make an appointment at a pain clinic and find out if there are treatments that can help. You’re not obligated to accept anything and getting the information will help you decide if this is right or you.
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