Do you have chronic pain? The National Institute of Health (NIH) defines chronic pain as any pain lasting longer than 12 weeks. Has any part of your body been hurting for more than 3 months?
If so, you’re suffering not from the normal pain associated with an injury or sudden illness—called acute pain. You’ve got long-term pain that is best dealt with in the setting of a pain management clinic. Never heard of that? Let’s find out what it is and how it may help you or a loved one suffering from chronic pain.
The Beauty of Pain Management
If you don't have chronic pain, you may not be aware that such places as pain management centers, or pain centers, exist. If you do have chronic pain but didn’t know about such places, welcome to the first day of the rest of your pain-free life.
Pain centers, according to WebMD, are all about solving the pain at its source. And not all pain centers are alike. In fact, most of them specialize in different parts of the body. Take the Center for Spine Joint and Neuromuscular Rehabilitation in Nashville, TN for example. This pain center focuses on chronic pain relating to the spine—so anything to do with muscles, nerves, and bones.
But it’s more than just about what part of the body your pain originates from. Pain centers employ a variety of health care providers to provide patients with several strategies to manage pain. For example, you might find that your physical therapist shares an office with a chiropractor and massage therapist. If your chiropractor refers you to physical therapy and prescribes some massage sessions and they’re all under the same roof, you know you’ve got a team of medical professionals at a pain center dedicated to getting rid of your pain. It’s not about medication or surgery or even one type of treatment at these facilities. The fact that different kinds of medical professionals are willing to work together—and that they realize not just one person has all the answers—should be a relief to most patients.
How a Pain Management Center Can Help Me
This rounded approach to pain management should mean a breath of fresh air to most chronic pain sufferers. Why? Because if you don’t learn how to manage your pain, you become susceptible to things like depression and constant irritability. Untreated chronic pain wears patients out, draining their energy and stealing their joy. Read more about what untreated chronic pain does here.
But pain centers can change all that. The holistic approach of many pain centers allows health care providers to tailor treatment to individuals. What does that mean for you? In most cases, that means you won’t see a doctor you don’t need; you won’t take medications that you don’t need; and you won’t suffer as much or as long. If you have arthritis, for example, a pain center can provide you with a team of medical providers, such as the ones on this list. In your visit, you might see two or three different providers in order to ensure that your pain is being properly managed.
As you can see, pain management means pain relief, which means mental relief to most chronic pain sufferers. If you’re dealing with long term pain, get over to a pain management center as soon as you can. Your quality of life is worth getting real pain management.
This article was provided by guest blogger: Sally Baggett. Sally holds a master's degree in literature and has been a copy editor and blog writer since 2009. Not only does she also teach writing at the college level, she is a busy mom to two precious little girls.