About 20 percent of adults in the United States suffer from some kind of chronic pain. This means that millions of people in the country are at risk of having some form of chronic pain at some point in their lives. While it may be possible for some people to manage their chronic pain with the assistance of their primary care providers, some cases of chronic pain may call for the attention of pain management specialists such as Dr. Bart Gatz of the American Interventional Pain Institute. These doctors use a multidisciplinary approach to help people suffering from chronic pain to get relief and be able to lead normal lives. Below is a rundown of some top pain management techniques that pain management doctors may recommend.
There are several types of pain medicines that can be used to stop or manage chronic pain. The doctor may start with over-the-counter options such as Ibuprofen. If over-the-counter pain medication fails, the doctor may recommend muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory medicines, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, and even opioids, depending on the type of pain that is bothering a patient.
If the pain medicines fail to provide adequate relief, your doctor may recommend injections into the area that is hurting. Some common types of pain injections include facet joints injections and epidural steroid injections.
Nerve blocks work by interfering with how pain signals are transmitted to the brain. By blocking the process of pain transmission, these treatments can offer relief. Some common types of nerve blocks include lumbar sympathetic block, celiac plexus block, and stellate ganglion block.
Physical therapy is another pain management technique that is usually used alongside other techniques. It may involve training patients on how they can safely use their bodies in performing their day-to-day activities and exercising in a way that minimizes the risk of injuries and pain in addition to enhancing mobility.
In some cases, chronic pain can be aggravated by stress and depression. Therefore, in addition to offering other medical solutions, your doctor may recommend going for counseling to relieve mental stress and consequently reduce pain.
When all the more conservative treatments for pain do not seem to offer relief, then you may have to go for surgery. This is usually the case with some kinds of arthritis pain. For instance, if you have devitalizing arthritis pain in the hips joint, ankle, or shoulder, you may have to undergo a surgical operation to replace the damaged joints with artificial metallic implants.
Overall, it is apparent that chronic pain is quite a prevalent issue among American adults. Depending on the severity and the kind of chronic pain that a patient is suffering from, they may get relief by working with their primary care providers or alternatively seek the assistance of a pain management specialist. Pain management specialists use a wide range of techniques to reduce the pain that their patients experience or even to get rid of it completely.