How Family Members Can Deal With Your Chronic Pain_2

How Family Members Can Deal With Your Chronic Pain

Involvement of the family in dealing with the loved one’s chronic pain can be game-changer. In the United States, while around 43 percent of households have at least one person suffering from chronic pain, nearly 100 million Americans experience chronic pain.

The impact of chronic pain is not just limited to the person suffering, but it also alters the life of the family of the sufferer. If there is no significant hope for relief, the effects of pain on the patient and caregivers can be devastating. It may demoralize and depress the patient and his or her loved ones. 

Conversely, the response from the family can lead to profound effects on the patient suffering from pain. A type of family dynamics can result in either exacerbation or long-lasting recovery.

Family members of such patients may feel worrying or frustrating for not knowing how they can help them. Ultimately, they may feel helpless.

But good news — you are far away from being helpless. The fact is, even your moral support can do wonders in such cases. A study concludes that patients with a great support system showed improved abilities to deal with chronic pain symptoms. Some also showed reduced signs. 

What is Chronic Pain?

Simply put, the pain that lasts more than six months despite any treatments is chronic pain. It is different from acute pain, where the source of the pain is always identifiable. Chronic pain is not always the result of a specific injury. The worst part of this — lack of relief in chronic pain can be extremely exhausting. 

Support Is Crucial When In Chronic Pain

Patients with chronic pain often isolate themselves over time. They may feel depressed for not being able to get out with family and friends. Also, the thoughts of their symptoms limiting their abilities can frustrate them. Dealing with chronic pain every day can be emotionally challenging as well. It can make you feel drained and impact your mood. 

Any great pain doctor will suggest that when such patients are well connected with their friends and family members, they feel less alone. Ultimately, they don’t feel much stress and get better positioned to combat pain and related symptoms.

Stress plays a vital role in this process. The higher levels of stress can amplify the pain. With that being said, stress mostly comes from problematic relationships with partners, friends, or family. If you maintain healthy connections and be strong and supportive, it can relieve the pain of your loved one. This breaks the stress cycle and allows the patients to manage the pain symptoms in a better way.

Furthermore, support reduces the fear of the condition in patients. Most of such patients are scared to be a part of certain social activities which indirectly leaves negative impacts on their situation. If you are supportive, they feel less afraid. Plus, such things distract patients from the pain and encourage them to focus on positive things. 

Being in a romantic and happy relationship with a supportive partner can be very positive in recovery. It improves not only physical health but also nourishes mental health.

Our relations with others impact on our health way more than we think. If your loved one is dealing with chronic pain, your role in the process is very critical. You are never helpless in this case. In fact, just maintaining a good connection with the patient is what you have to do.

15 Ways To Help A Family Member Suffering From Chronic Pain

Maintain a Healthy Communication With The Patients

There will be instances when you will find it difficult to understand what the patient is feeling or what type of help they need. The best way to tackle this — ask them right away. 

The fact is, symptoms of chronic pain vary all the time. A patient may need your help for a particular task one day, and the next day, the patient can do the same job without any help. 

Open communication is the key to be on the same page with the patient. There’s one more thing — open up your feelings to the patient as well. Let them know what your take on this is. Understand that this is a two-way process. 

Please do not change your perception of the patient only because they are going through chronic pain. A person always remains the same, so make sure you talk about your routine life with them. Ask them how they are feeling and how it is to go through chronic pain. Don’t bombard them with questions. Instead, take their permission before you ask anything about the pain. In some cases, they might be keen on sharing their experiences, and sometimes they just don’t want to talk about it. 

Positive thinking has the power to heal anything. In chronic pain, patients can benefit a lot from a positive mindset as it helps manage pain and reduces the symptoms at times.

Positive Thinking Is The Key

Positive thinking has the power to heal anything. In chronic pain, patients can benefit a lot from a positive mindset as it helps manage pain and reduces the symptoms at times.

Chronic pain patients often catastrophize about their illness. This negatively impacts on their health and leads to emotional distress, pain-related thoughts and more pain. 

Patients with positive thinking are safe from such problems. They experience relatively less pain; they feel positive and are in control of their medical condition. 

You first have to develop a positive mindset to help the patient. It is important to make them understand that there is hope, and he or she can get out of the pain. You have to work on building self-confidence in them. At the same time, it is important not to dismiss their experiences and feelings. Remember that listening to them is caring. Therefore, understand what they are feeling and then gently encourage them.

Healthy Diet Is What You Need

A healthy diet is one of the most practical and restorative ways to take care of patients with chronic pain. Encouraging the habit of a healthy diet can be very positive with patients in the long run. 

Ask the patients to go shopping with you, plan meals together whenever possible, or cook your favorite recipes together. Such activities can be really supportive provided you are not forcing these things on them.

Gather Information About Their Condition 

Knowing the exact problem your family member is going through can put you in the best place to help them. Therefore, research about their health condition as much as you can. It helps you understand more about their symptoms and what kind of help they need.

In most cases, family members fail to cope with the medical condition their loved one is in. They do not understand this invisible illness and ultimately place guilt on the person who is suffering. This can be dangerous for the patients and their relationship with the family members. Educating yourself on chronic pain makes you understand that this is not just an “all in your head” thing. 

Research helps you know that such pain is real, and this can be your vital stepping stone in the direction of helping your loved one. When you know that chronic pain symptoms can vary every day, you can comprehend well with the patient’s struggles and understand what they exactly want from you.

Encourage Them To Exercise Daily

Sadly, most of the chronic pain patients think that exercising can worsen their pain. However, it’s wrong. Gentle and consistent exercises can reduce the symptoms of chronic pain. 

The lack of body movements or activities can promote increased isolation, physical deconditioning, and depression that amplify the pain.

Just like with maintaining a healthy diet, exercising daily can be easy if you have a partner. You can ask the patient to go for a walk with you, go swimming or gym together. This benefits in two ways — it helps patients maintain social interactions and carry out gentle exercises to reduce pain symptoms.

Remember, they may or may not be able to do as much as you can. Make sure you do not pressurize them for certain activities. Instead, let them carry on in their own way.

Respect Their Privacy and Boundaries

It’s essential to remember that the patient has his or her own life, and chronic pain does not mean that they are unskilled. Therefore, if they are not okay with the help you are offering, respect their opinion. 

Do not force your help on them and let them progress at their own pace. Just be there to help whenever they need you. Make them feel that you are just a call away if needed.

Reminding your loved ones to take their medicines and keep them engage with the prescribed treatment plan will help them recover from chronic pain.

Keep A Check On Their Medication

Patients often skip medications for various reasons. You have to remind them to take their medicines in such cases and keep them engaged with the prescribed treatment plan. 

This strengthens your bond with the patient and helps them recover as fast as possible. But remember to balance your help without being condescending.

Invite Them On Social Outings

Chronic pain patients withdraw themselves socially in most of the cases. As a result, friends and family members stop inviting them, thinking they will refuse to come. You have to understand that they say no for a reason, and even if they continue to do so, you have to ask them out socially. This can be extremely positive for the recovery of the patients. 

With time, you will see them say yes when they are ready to go out. Even if they say no, they feel wanted because you asked. Such small gestures can mean a lot for someone battling the pain.

Listen To What They Say 

When you are going through chronic pain every day and struggling to complete even the smallest tasks, having someone to express your feelings can be beneficial. Patients need someone who can listen to them without making any judgements. So, be there with them if they want to talk as this is more supportive than you could even anticipate.

Share Your Struggles With Them

Any relationship works in two ways. We understand that it is common to feel that your loved one is already going through a lot before sharing your problems with them. However, you have to remember that having chronic pain does not mean that they cannot be there for you. 

We all have certain troubles in our lives, and it is not right to invalidate anyone’s troubles. Therefore, share your thoughts with them and let them be there for you as you are there for them. 

Don’t Forget To Look After Yourself

Never overload yourself by being always there for your loved ones. You cannot help anyone if you are not physically and mentally sound. Needless to say, it can be emotionally hard to see your loved one struggling with pain each day. 

It is therefore vital to take good care of your own health (both mental and physical). If you can be there for yourself first, then only you can help your loved one. So, keep in mind that your health is as important and valid as that of the patient. 

You may feel a bit selfish for putting yourself first. However, it’s never a bad thing. In fact, it is your right to act in your best interest to keep yourself in good health.

Conclusion

Pain doctors know the importance of family dynamic in treating patients with chronic pain. This is why they include family members in pain treatment programs.

Dealing with pain can be overwhelming for both patients & family members. However, if you practice the steps mentioned above, you can expect better outcomes from your ongoing treatment.

Does Cold Weather Influence Pain

Does Cold Weather Influence Pain?

Have you ever heard someone say that winter is coming because they feel a little achy in their joints? Cold weather can be painful for those suffering from inflammatory medical conditions like arthritis and more. In short, it can worsen the pain in the already vulnerable body parts. In this article, our experts tried to explain the link between cold weather and joint pain.

Temperature is one of the standard features of nature, and it is crucial to know how it impacts chronic pain conditions. Cold weather can amplify the pain and slow the healing. Thus, you should be well-prepared before the winter approaches to prevent the damage.

Sadly, winter and chronic pain go hand in hand. However, specific steps can help you minimize the impact of cold weather on your pain. While many people and even the doctors think cold weather is the main culprit behind the increased pain during winters and rainy seasons, research on the connection between these is not so detailed.

How Does Weather Influence Our Body?

Pain conditions in every patient are different. However, the following factors are common with our body’s reactions towards the weather prediction.

Cold Weather

Naturally, our body always tries to keep us warm, but the blood flow in the body changes during winters. Cold weather causes rerouting of the blood flow from our limbs to major organs such as liver, heart, and lungs. As a result, the required warmth does not reach our joints, and this leads to discomfort. Moreover, the fluid inside our joints gets thicker due to cold weather that causes stiffness.

Barometric Pressure

Barometric pressure is the air pressure in our surroundings. Expansion and contraction in muscles, tendons, and scar tissues are typical during such times. 

Like the precipitation, humidity, and weather, the air pressure can also cause discomfort for joint pain patients. During winters, the air pressure drops. This wears away the cartilage that cushions bones inside joints. Ultimately, nerves in the exposed bones experience increased pain. 

Furthermore, a drop in barometric pressure results in swelling of inflamed body parts such as shoulders, hips, elbows, knees, and hands. This disturbs the nerves in the bones and results in more pain. 

Lack of Activity

Winters limit our movements causing stiffness in our joints. Inactivity or lack of activities can be more painful for patients of chronic pain. Therefore, you should find ways to stay active during winters even if you are forced to be indoors.

Vitamin D

Winter means less daylight. As we all know, sunlight is the most significant source of vitamin D that benefits your bones and cartridges. With less sunlight, the chances of vitamin D deficiency increases. This can worsen the pain significantly in osteoarthritis patients. 

We all know that our body’s natural temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit and the most favorable environmental temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Extreme changes in these two figures can be very uncomfortable for us or even cause death.

When the environmental temperature drops, our body adjusts metabolism so that it can compensate for cold weather. It also burns more calories than usual to maintain warmth inside the body. Ultimately, you either end up with weight loss or increased appetite. 

It is natural to want to be inside your home during winters as the weather conditions outside are not favorable. Staying inside the house means limited physical movements. Cold temperatures stiffen your ligaments, muscles, and tendons, which can be painful. Maintaining an exercise routine is the best way to tackle this problem. Winters and lack of movements together cause more damage to the affected body parts. Conditions such as fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis can get worsened during such times and affect your nerve conditions. 

Connection Between Brain And Cold

The weather has a lot to do with our mood. According to one study, one out of five Americans feel depressed when the winter or fall arrives. This condition is called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Health experts believe that this illness’s probable cause can be a mixture of long nights, heredity, and environmental changes. However, the research on this topic is still minimal. You can visit a well-known pain clinic near you to know more about it.

Whether you experience symptoms of SAD or not, pain conditions get worse during winters. When chronic pain is accompanied by depression, it can make life difficult for the patient. Both of these conditions reinforce each other as the same neurotransmitters are involved in depression and pain cases.

Which Health Conditions Are Mostly Affected Due To Cold Weather?

Which Health Conditions Are Mostly Affected Due To Cold Weather?

Drop in temperature affects the arthritis patients more than any other. Such patients experience breakdown in bones and cartridges in the joints, which leads to intense swelling, decreased range of motion, and pain. 

Several other health conditions can be affected by cold weather such as migraines, gout and some trigeminal nerve conditions. Such nerves are responsible for the sensations we experience in the face. Cold wind stimulates such nerves that cause pain.  

How You Can Beat Cold Weather And Pain

Dictating weather is impossible. However, you can certainly follow the given steps to minimize its impact on your health and pain:

Drink Plenty Of Water

Maintaining internal fluid level is extremely crucial to keep your bones healthy. Bones have significant watery precipitation around them, and dry air in winters can take a toll on it. Our body loses the internal moisture during this season that is why drinking more water is recommended. Remember to stay away from alcohol and caffeinated drinks as they dehydrate your body faster.

Exercise Regularly

Winter is the best time to get that stationary bike or wrights at your home in action. If you are not fond of cycling or gymming, even some basic calorie-burning exercises can work. Experts suggest to carry out routine stretches and core-strengthening exercises to keep your body active.

Move To Warmer Climate Area

This option is only possible when you have the resources. Moving to a place that does not have cold weather can be a great deal to avoid consequences. If you are up for this option, make sure to move early enough so that you do not experience winter-related pain while travelling. 

Keep Yourself Warm

Wear warm clothes during the day to avoid the impact of cold. Nights during winter can be more brutal, so using electric blankets and heated mattress covers is a wise idea to prevent complications. When you are struggling with a particular pain condition, a sound sleep must be your priority. Cold can disrupt it; that is why you have to take extra care during nights.

Take Hot Water Baths

It isn’t easy to provide warmth to all of our body parts. A hot water bath can be an excellent way to fulfil this need. Warm baths, an ideal remedy to pain sufferers, offer much-needed relief to all the body parts. 

Eat Healthy Diet

A balanced and nutritional diet has many benefits as it helps you gain some extra pounds. It not only takes the stress off your joints but also prepares your body to combat cold weather.

Use NSAIDs

 Have a word with your pain doctors about NSAIDs. These non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs prevent inflammation and provide relief. Some examples of these drugs are aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen. 

Apart from all the given ways to fight cold weather, there are a few more. You can apply ice packs in case of swelling on the affected areas. Or, choose massages to relax muscles that surround the vulnerable areas. And lastly, be extra protective while you are out of your home during winters. Cold weather means icy surfaces where the chances of slipping or falling are more. Ensure to wear sturdy footwear and walk carefully to prevent further damage to your joints. Do not perform activities that strain your joints, such as lifting heavy items. 

If you are suffering from consistent pain that does not go away, consult with your pain doctor as he or she can identify the source of the pain and recommend the right remedy to get rid of it. While every pain case is different, your pain treatment plan may include surgery, specific lifestyle changes, and physical therapies.

Some Other Winter Hazards That Can Affect The Pain Conditions

Several external problems related to winter can intensify your pain conditions. Winter is full of risks, and therefore the proper care and precautions are recommended to avoid harm to your body. Keep the following things in mind as you go about your daily routine during winters.

Flu And Cold

If you are a chronic pain patient and contract influenza or cold in winters, the situation may worsen. Avoid such damaging complications by getting your yearly flu shot and being extra careful while eating, working, and roaming outside. Eat well, and keep yourself hydrated. Also, wash your hands regularly to avoid infections.

Vehicle Collisions

Winters are difficult for drives, and as a result, the cases of vehicle collisions in winter are common. Such collisions can lead to severe injuries and fatalities. In the United States, around 76000 people get injured every winter because of poor driving conditions. Therefore, avoid driving if possible during such times and keep your vehicle in its best condition to stay away from similar risks.

Hypothermia

Cold is followed by hypothermia. Even this seems to be the US’s apparent problem; many Americans fail to keep themselves warm enough during the cold weather. You can avoid this by covering your body as much as possible, whether you are in or out. Remember, frostbite can be dangerous for your already existing pain condition. So, be smart to ease the shock of a temperature drop on your body by dressing in layers.

While we can do very little about the cold weather, small changes in the lifestyle can benefit many suffering from pain.

Final Words

While we can do very little about the cold weather, small changes in the lifestyle can benefit many suffering from pain. Even a few sips of hot tea or hot chocolate every morning can be a game-changer to keep suffering at bay. 

Even though there is no clear evidence that describes the connection between cold weather and joint pain, one thing is sure — the drop in temperature can significantly contribute to joint pain. If not properly treated, it can cause substantial damage to your joints, cartridges, and nearby bones.

When Should I See A Pain Doctor for Abdominal Pain?

When Should I See A Pain Doctor for Abdominal Pain?

Pain in the abdomen is common. However, it can sometimes be challenging to decide if you should visit a doctor, go to the emergency room or just wait in such cases. Needless to say, if the abdominal pain is unbearable and debilitating, don’t wait! Find medical assistance as soon as possible.

According to a report from the US National Library of Medicine, stomach pain is the most common cause of patients’ admissions to emergency rooms. When you or someone you love is experiencing abdominal pain, and you are unsure of what to do, call your doctor or nurse. This is the smartest way to decide your next step.

This blog will share some insights on common causes of abdominal pain, including those that need immediate medical assistance. But before that, let us understand what abdominal pain is, where it occurs, and how severe it can be.

Belly pain can be a result of even small problems such as indigestion and constipation. While it is not always something to be alarmed about, you should never take it lightly. The exact location of the pain can reveal a lot about its severity. However, small or big, all of such matters should be diagnosed by your gastroenterologist or a reputable pain doctor.

What Is The Location Of Abdominal Pain?

Let us first discuss where this pain exactly occurs. The fact is, several major organs including heart, large intestine, gallbladder and appendix are a part of your abdomen. When the pain radiates down from your lower chest, causing a heartburn sensation, it can be a red flag for a heart attack. If you or your loved one feels lightheadedness and shortness in breath along with the heartburn, get medical help immediately. 

If your abdominal pain is concentrated on any side of your stomach, it may signal problems with specific organs. Do not overlook such kinds of discomfort, even if it is mild. Call your doctor and make an appointment. They can identify if the problem is with your gallbladder or appendix.

Understanding The Severity Of Your Abdominal Pain

Luckily, most abdominal pain cases are not severe. Even a small problem like an upset stomach can cause pain for a couple of hours until your body automatically gets rid of it. The burning or cramping in the stomach can be a result of gas and bloating. If you are suffering from diarrhea, it means that your body is trying to throw the toxins injected by you. Note that diarrhea can get severe if left untreated; thus, make sure you treat it before it causes any significant damage.

Abdominal pain linked with kidney stones occurs in waves, and it is severe. It is mostly intermittent. Even though kidney stone issues are not life-threatening, the pain related to them can be extremely debilitating. You should seek help from medical experts in such cases.

Issues such as indigestion or gas do not usually cause major problems. It hits when your digestive system is fighting with the infected food and then vanishes when the food is either digested or thrown out through the large intestine. If the gas problem is consistent and you are taking antacids daily, consult with your doctor as antacids are not favorable in the long run. 

Major Causes of Severe Abdominal Pain

Some of these pain types fall under medical emergencies. Most of them need medical treatment from your doctor. Contact your doctor or seek medical help if you experience any of the following:

Diverticular Disease

When pouches protrude outward from the colon and become inflamed or infected, the diverticular disease occurs. This process can be excruciating and medically known as diverticulitis. 

Although this is not a medical emergency, our experts suggest visiting your doctor to get this treated as soon as possible. The following are the most common symptoms of this disease:

  • Severe pain in the abdomen
  • Cramping
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
An obstacle in the intestine can be a severe problem as it prevents the body from expelling the waste.

Blocked Intestines

An obstacle in the intestine can be a severe problem as it prevents the body from expelling the waste. While some obstacles partially block the intestine, some block them entirely. A complete blockage can be a life-threatening issue.

Medical conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, tumors, and hernias can cause blockages in the intestine. 

What’s more, a condition called volvulus is the most hazardous cause of the blocked intestine. When the colon twists around itself, volvulus occurs. If left untreated, this can lead to tissue death or ruptured intestine.

If you notice one or more of the following signs, it may be the indication of intestine blockages:

  • Fever
  • Racing heartbeats
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Swelling in stomach
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Cramps in stomach

There’s one more life-threatening infection called sepsis. It comes with some additional symptoms such as vomiting, fatigue, weakness, and high fever.

It can be challenging to identify the intestine blockages with the symptoms alone. But if you think that you have a blocked intestine, especially along with other issues like tumors or hernias, you must get admitted to the emergency room.

Issues With Pancreas, Liver, And Gallbladder

The pain right under the ribs is the indication of issues with gallbladder, pancreas, or liver. Problematic gallstones can be dangerous and need to be treated immediately. Otherwise, it can lead to blockage in the bile duct that causes functionality problems in the liver. This can infect the pancreas or rupture the gallbladder.

Problems with gallbladder cause severe pain in the upper right part of the abdomen. Vomiting also can be seen in some patients. Porcelain gallbladder is one such condition caused due to the development of calcium deposits in the gallbladder. 

While this type of pain usually goes away after 4-6 hours, you should go to the emergency room if the pain comes with one or more of the following:

  • Yellow skin or eyes
  • Intense illness feeling
  • Pale or white stool
  • Extreme fever

Dehydration

Medical conditions like diarrhea and vomiting can take the fluids out in significant amounts and lead to dehydration. This problem is common in older adults and children. This is not so severe until the problem does not persist. Otherwise, you have to take the patient to the hospital for the intravenous fluids. Dehydration’s most common symptoms are dry mouth, rapid heart rate, no urination, dry skin, and chapped lips. 

Ruptured And Bleeding Blood Vessels

Our abdomen contains many blood vessels. Even the largest blood vessel of the body, aorta, is in the abdomen. When the bulge in this vessel breaks, it causes a dangerous medical condition called a ruptured aortic aneurysm. If any blood vessel sustains a cut or puncture, it can cause death. Therefore, understanding the symptoms of a ruptured vessel is critical. The significant signs of this medical condition are:

  • Sudden and severe pain in the abdomen
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid heartbeats
  • Shortness in breath

Patients with an existing abdominal aneurysm should never underestimate even mild pain in the abdomen. They must go to the emergency room immediately and let the doctor know about their aneurysm problem. 

Kidney Stones

If you feel intense pain in the lower abdomen that goes till the middle part of your back, it is probably due to the kidney stone. Even though this issue is not life-threatening, the pain associated with this can be extremely severe. You have to seek medical assistance if the pain is unbearable. Some other symptoms of this condition are lightheadedness, dizziness and pain that radiates to the groin.

Infection In Appendix

This medical condition is commonly known as appendicitis. If you experience pain in the middle of your stomach that radiates to the right side, it’s probably due to appendicitis. If not treated on time, the appendix can rupture and lead to even severe problems. 

This is not the only type of pain you may face. Sometimes, it can start with a dull pain sensation around the umbilical area and then worsen as it moves to the right part of the stomach.

Immediate medical treatment is suggested for appendix-related abdominal pain. In most of such cases, the doctors remove the appendix and prescribe the course of antibiotics.

Some Other Signs To Look For

Abdominal pain is indeed a tricky condition even for the doctors to diagnose. However, if you are going through such pain and it makes you think you should visit a doctor, see a doctor. Nothing can beat the right advice from a medical expert. With that being said, we will now discuss some other signs that may give you a hint of what is happening in your abdomen.

When You Have Intense Cramps In Your Lower Abdomen But Your Feel Better After You Poop

When You Have Intense Cramps In Your Lower Abdomen But Your Feel Better After You Poop

This is a vital sign of IBS — Irritable Bowel Syndrome. This disorder makes your gut more sensitive and changes the way your muscles contract. Ultimately, it leads to a myriad of issues such as bloating, constipation, diarrhea, persistent stomach pain and more. 

Reduced stomach cramps once the motion passes can be a sign of constipation. As even the IBS results in constipation (and some other problems), identifying its exact cause can be tricky. If you have not faced similar issues in the past, this is more likely to be normal constipation (which is still worth seeing a medical expert). 

When The Pain Occurs Especially During Your Periods And Has Been Getting Worse With Time

Cramps are common (and irritating) during periods. If yours are incredibly severe, we hope that you have already visited your doctor. Here, if you notice that such cramps have got worse over the past few years, it’s worth scheduling an appointment with your doctor. If your cramps are worse than the last year ones (and even worse than the ones before that), it’s a sign of endometriosis. This condition occurs when the tissue that lines your uterus grows outside the uterus, probably on the other organs. This leads to intense pain and comes out in many ways such as stomach cramping during periods, pain while peeing, chronic pain in the pelvis and lower back, pain during sex, heavy bleeding, and more.

Note that endometriosis can affect differently from person to person. Some people may feel throbby or dull pain while some can go through severe crampings. It is always smart to get in touch with your doctor if you or someone you love is facing this condition.

Final Thoughts

Abdominal pain is common yet incredibly uncomfortable and irritating. In most of the cases, it points towards some minor medical issues. But if several other symptoms (discussed earlier) accompany it, that can be a red flag for more severe illness. 

Symptoms alone cannot help to identify the reason for the stomach pain. Plus, the severity of the pain does not always correlate the intensity of the illness. For example, you may feel intense pain due to gases, but it goes away after a couple of hours without any significant damage.

It’s always wise to follow the preventive measures and visit your doctor for persistent abdominal pain.

What You Should Know About An Epidural Steroid Injection

What You Should Know About An Epidural Steroid Injection

Epidural Steroid Injection is a medical procedure primarily performed to reduce pain in patients suffering from the one or more of the following:

  • Spinal stenosis (narrowing)
  • Spinal degeneration
  • Disc herniation
  • Disc protrusion

Basically, this reduces the pain and inflammation related to nerve root compression. Illnesses like bone spurs, spinal stenosis and herniated discs can compress the nerve roots. Ultimately, inflammation occurs, and it leads to numbness, weakness, tingling and pain in nerves, this condition is commonly known as radiculopathy. The central role of the epidural steroid injection is to reduce the inflammation in spinal nerves.

In layman’s terms — back pain sourced from any disease or injury is mainly the result of inflamed nerves surrounding the affected body part. Epidural steroid injections are used to inject the medicine directly into the affected area. It helps to calm down the pain and lessen the inflammation.

Nowadays, you can avail this process in various types. The form of the procedure depends on how you inject the medicine. For example, if the injection is diagonally administered alongside the nerve sleeve, it is the transforaminal method.

If it is being injected at the bottom of the spine, through the sacrum vertebrae’s wedge shape, it is a caudal injection method. And if the area between two spinal vertebrae is the injection site, this method is interlaminar. 

What’s more, cervical epidural injections are given on the neck, thoracic epidural injections are given in the mid-back, and lumbar epidural injections are given in the lower back. 

Who Is It Suitable For?

Generally, the procedure or epidural steroid injections are ideal for chronic pain patients who have already tried physical therapy and medication, but they do not want to undergo surgery.

If patients are looking for a relief from herniated discs, spinal stenosis, or other degenerative disc diseases, epidural injections are great.

You have to understand that these injections do not cure the disease but calm the pain and offer much-needed relief. With them, patients can continue their ongoing therapies with ease to regain their healthy and everyday movements. Most importantly, they provide valuable time for the body to recover by reducing irritation, swelling, and pressure on the nerve root. 

How Are The Patients Prepared For Epidural Steroid Injections?

Doctors give specific instructions to the patients before coming for the procedure. In most cases, doctors advise patients to have a small meal a couple of hours before the injection. Unless the patient is not mainly on anti-inflammatory or blood thinners medication, they can continue with their current medicines.

Inform your pain doctor about all the drugs you are on before the procedure. This helps the doctors decide if you should continue those medicines or not.

When the patient arrives at the hospital or clinic, doctors place intravenous (IV) to prepare him for the epidural steroid injections. If needed, doctors may also give medication to relax the patient during the procedure. The patient is then placed over the x-ray machine to pinpoint the exact location in the back. The x-ray obtains a correct level of injection. Doctors then clean the skin and inject the medicine to numb the affected area. 

What Are The Drugs Used In The Injection?

The mixture in the injection is basically a combo of local anesthetic and corticosteroid. The steroid used here is mostly Dexamethasone. It soothes the irritating nerves in the affected area due to its anti-inflammatory properties. On the other hand, the local anesthetic is used for quick relief from pain. 

This procedure also includes a contrast dye which is primarily used to guide the doctor. A nonionic radiocontrast agent is the main content of this dye. This agent helps the doctor with the best visibility as it shows up starkly under the fluoroscopic X-ray.

What Happens During The Epidural Steroid Injections?

The doctors insert the needle once the affected area is numb and adequately prepared. The injection goes through the skin and directed towards the spine. 

Doctors may inject a minimal amount of dye to verify if the needle is on the right spot. An x-ray is used to locate this. Once the location is confirmed, the local anesthetic and steroid cocktail is inserted through the needle in the affected area. In the end, they get the needle out and apply the band-aid over the injection site.

Epidural steroid injections are the best alternative for that. It is less invasive and more cost-effective than surgeries.

What Are The Benefits Of Epidural Steroid Injections?

Surgeries are not so favorable for all. Epidural steroid injections are the best alternative for that. It is less invasive and more cost-effective than surgeries.

Plus, the recovery time in this procedure is significantly less. Patients are often released within half an hour with just a band-aid on the injection site.

While it is true that steroids may take a couple of days to work on the pain areas, many patients have reported instant relief that lasted for several days.

There’s another benefit of this procedure — the steroid injections offer comfort to previously suffering patients that help them heal in the absence of pain. This promotes recovery and may also eliminate the root cause of the pain.

What Happens After The Procedure Of Epidural Steroid Injections?

In most of the cases, patients are moved to the recovery room once the injection is given. Doctors monitor them for about an hour. If all the readings are in place, doctors allow the patients to leave. However, the patients should plan a day’s rest once they reach home. The best part is — they can eat or drink as per their choice. There are no such food restrictions. 

Patients should not operate any machinery or drive any vehicle for at least 12 hours from the procedure. 

Some patients may feel numbness, drowsiness, tingling, or weakness in the legs for the remainder of the day; however, it is entirely normal. This will gradually go away as the day passes.

What Are The Injection Sites For Different Types Of Pain?

This most significant factor used to decide the needle site for the injection is the type of pain the patient is going through.

If the patient is experiencing pain in the chest, rib, or upper back, the injection is given in the middle part of the spine or into the thoracic area. If the affected area is one of the neck, arms or shoulders, the needle is injected in the nerve roots’ sack.

These roots are located behind the topmost vertebra. As long as the pain in legs, hips, glute or lower back is concerned, the lumbar spine procedure is done, and the needle is inserted in the lower back area.

When Should A Patient Call The Doctor After The Epidural Steroid Procedure?

If you develop any of the below-mentioned symptoms after the epidural steroid procedure, seek medical advice from your doctor as soon as possible:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Improved pain levels
  • Skin reaction
  • Severe headache
  • Dizziness
  • Prolonged numbness or tingling

What Are The Side Effects Of Epidural Steroid Injections?

The corticosteroid used in the injection may take up to 7 days to work on the patient. During this time, the anesthetic may wear off, and the patient may experience the same or increased pain levels. Plus, the injection site may get tender or sore. Patients can use ice packs to prevent residual inflammation in such scenarios.

Generally, the epidural steroid injections are very safe, but there is a chance of some rare potential difficulties. The most common and the most prominent side effect is that the needed can cause a hole in dura if inserted too deep. Dura is the tissue that cushions the nerve roots and spinal cord. A hole in the dura can take the spinal fluid out in the body and result in headache. A simple blood patch or rest can treat this headache. 

In rare cases, a patient may experience allergic reactions due to the medications involved in this procedure. This can lead to swelling, drop in blood pressure, wheezing, or itching.

Neurologic injury is also a rare consequence if the needle touches the nerve root or spinal cord. The most common symptoms of this are tingling in the extremities and a feeling of numbness.

Do Patients Feel Pain From Epidural Steroid Injections?

Due to this procedure’s minimally invasive nature, the patients do not experience significant pain during this. Doctors use local anesthesia to numb the affected area. This ensures the painless procedure; however, patients may experience amplification, reproduction, or pressure during the process.

The good news — that’s only temporary and goes away once the procedure is done. If this concerns any patient, doctors may use IV sedation to make the process even more painless.  

Is It Necessary To Follow-Up With The Doctor After The Procedure?

Follow-up appointments are recommended in most of the cases. Doctors typically ask patients to schedule their visit between second to the sixth week after the procedure.

Such follow-ups’ primary aim is to monitor how the patient has responded to the injection and are there any other symptoms of nerve compression or any other pain.

Doctors may consider repeating the injection for the patients with persistent pain symptoms or those who have returned after a certain period. Most of the leading physicians do not advise more than 3-4 injections in a year.

Follow-up appointments are recommended in most of the cases. Doctors typically ask patients to schedule their visit between second to the sixth week after the procedure.

How Long Can Patients Go Between Two Treatments?

For the patients who need more than one injection, at least two weeks of gap is suggested between the two consecutive procedures because it is the ideal time for the injected cocktail to be entirely cleansed from the body.

The timings post these two weeks do not hamper the effectiveness of the next procedure. Note that most of the doctors recommend at least six months of gap after the third injection.

Does The Patient Have To Lie On Stomach For A Long Time During And After The Procedure?

This procedure does not take more than 10 to 20 minutes to complete. You have to lie prone to get the right x-ray fluoroscopy. Once the procedure is done, you can walk, sit, stand as usual just after a short period of body inspection.

Final Thoughts

This minimally invasive pain treating procedure is excellent for relief from leg, neck, arm, and back pain sourced from inflamed spinal nerves.

The pain relief offered by the epidural steroid injections may last for weeks or even years. It is the ultimate option if you do not want to undergo any surgery. With this procedure from a reputable pain doctor, you save yourself from costly surgeries, medications and stress.

Even if you have existing pain issues, this procedure offers relaxation so that you can resume your day-to-day activities and physical therapy treatments.

20 Things People With Chronic Pain Don't Want You to Know

20 Things People With Chronic Pain Don’t Want You to Know

Life is not straightforward when you are in chronic pain. Sadly, around 50 million Americans live with chronic pain, and most of them have shared their experiences to reveal how tricky it can be. The fact is, chronic pain may affect every aspect of your everyday life, such as sleeping, cooking, hygiene, and more. It can change the way you live your life. 

But the worst part about being a chronic pain sufferer is that your family member and friends often struggle to identify the pain you are in. This article is for all of those who have a dear one suffering from such kind of pain. 

You might try to sympathize, and your intentions would be all good, but this does not mean that sufferers will always welcome that. And for this reason, such people may try their best to hide several pain-related things from you, even if you are caring and supportive. From medicines they use to their struggle to find a good pain clinic, there are many things that they don’t like to talk about. Here are 20 things a chronic pain sufferer does not want you to know.

They Are In Bad Mood

Naturally, we all can let go of the bad mood and look at the “brighter side”. This is not the same case with people with chronic pain. It’s very challenging to focus away from something that is with you most of the time. As a result, they cannot always be positive. 

Even with a bad mood, they try to look cool because they don’t want to be treated differently or pitied. They also want to lead their lives in the best way possible, with that inevitable pain. This is their way of trying to accept this new version of normal. If we continuously pity them for their health condition, there will not be any space for the new normalcy.

They Are In Constant Pain

Most of the chronic pain sufferers try to look good in front of others. We do not know that they look good because of that makeup and multiple layers of concealers to hide pale complexions.

They intentionally make all the efforts to look OK and perhaps even try to appear extremely upbeat and happy. Many of us believe that people with pain have a similar, dreary kind of personality. However, that’s not the fact. They know how to alter their moods and they may be one of the ‘happiest’ people you know. They always try to stick with the positive things despite what they are experiencing inside. That’s perhaps they do not want to bring others down because of their illness.

They Are Masters Of “Cover-Up” Stories

You may find them making up different stories for avoiding social gatherings or even a family dinner sometimes. People who live with chronic pain go through various hardships that affect all the parts of their lives. With time, they learn how to stay away from such meetings to avoid attention. They mostly hate displaying their pain and never want others to feel that they are hitting a low point. 

They Are Perhaps Abusing Drugs Or Alcohol

Many chronic pain patients count on drugs and alcohol to deal with their everyday pain and emotional distress. Such use of substance to self-meditate is common with chronic pain sufferers in the US. Even under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they learn to behave normally like keeping up with family obligations, visiting pain doctors and more. Such people may isolate themselves, claiming to be busy at work or something else. They mostly do this because they are afraid of your reactions. In some cases, they hide this to stay away from legal repercussions or maybe they are just ashamed.

Their Sleeping And Eating Habits Are Often Abnormal

You may consider this problem as a minor one, but it can affect your day-to-day happiness. Sleep is one of the most vital factors for your body. People with chronic pain cannot get enough sleep, even though it seems like they are always taking a nap. Rest can alleviate pain even better than painkillers, and this is why they try to get optimal sleep. The same applies to the food — they either eat too much or too less. Chronic pain creates an unwanted lack of control, and this results in abnormalities in eating and sleeping habits. 

Their Condition Is Not Causing Them Financial Burden

Chronic pain is an invisible illness. Sufferers may seem pretty alright on the surface, but they might be suffering inside. Treating chronic pain involves various treatments, several visits to the doctors, medications and more. Patients may have to visit clinics after clinics to diagnose the exact cause of their pain. Needless to say, all such meetings, medicines, and treatments can be expensive. Plus, due to the debilitating pain, many patients cannot continue working that cost them income.

What Medicines They Are Using

Except for the doctors and family members, most chronic pain patients avoid sharing information about their medications. The main reason behind this is that people often try to underestimate their current medication and recommend something different. What’s worse, this draws negative perceptions about their ongoing medicines. People also come with some “my grandma with arthritis took this medicine and recovered overnight” kind of story that irritates the one who is in real pain.

They appreciate that people want to help, but the fact is, they have already heard about the alternative medicines you are talking about. They would have continued it if it had worked. Your constant attempts to suggest the ‘right cure’ for their pain depresses them as they know that this pain cannot be cured, but only managed.

They Sometimes Lack Motivation

Many people live with chronic pain for all their lives, and it seriously is a huge issue. It may take decades of constant trials, diagnosis, therapies and medications to heal. And staying emotionally strong is not always humanly possible. We all have our limitations, and it is just natural. For people with chronic pain, breakdowns or low points come when they have tried their best to stay positive. There come phases when they feel gloomy and depressed. Even though they appreciate support during such times, it does not mean that we have to keep pushing them to fight. Pushing themselves is something they have been doing throughout their lives. From eating to sleeping, from walking to showering, everything they do with a little push. They know how to keep things positive. Therefore, it is better to cut them some slack when they are upset at times. They are also allowed to feel a bit frustrated. 

They May Be Less Optimistic Than Others

Chronic pain means a constant state of stress. This can severely impact a sufferer’s mental health, and ultimately, depression may arise. As a result of this, patients may exhibit a trait named depressive realism. This means that they may be more accurate and in control towards certain events than people without chronic pain. 

Furthermore, they may be more pessimistic about their views of the future. Being too pessimistic and realistic usually cut them off from their circle, so they try to keep such thoughts to themselves.

They Often Hide Their Knowledge From The Community

Whether it is about their illness, possible treatments, or anything else, they are less likely to share their knowledge with other people. Mostly, their past experiences make them do this. It is natural for people to try finding the quick and long-lasting fix. When such patients try to talk about their illness, many refer to something more useful (as they claim).

Many also send them articles, supplements, suggest lifestyle changes and more to overcome pain. But the fact is, such patients have lived most of their lives with the pain, and no one else can get that better than themselves. 

They Hide Their Different Attitude Towards Life

Constant pain and stress change the way you look at life. This changed attitude can either make it or break it. Through many medical treatments, they are trained to develop a certain mindset to combat pain.

Such patients use their mindset as their superpower and thus keep it from other people. Influence of different opinions and comments can impact their thought process. 

They Lack Some Abilities Due To Pain

The pain levels of chronic pain patients often change, and so do their abilities. You cannot measure that by what they were able to do in the last week. With chronic pain, some days are good, and some days are bad. People often try to push such patients to perform things they cannot. This adds unnecessary stress and makes the pain even worse. Moreover, such things can cost them their job or chances of finding a new one.

Doing Everyday Work Can Wipe Them Out For Days

Most chronic pain patients do not want you to know that they cannot complete all the tasks from their to-do list in just a single day. They may try to achieve the maximum work in one go and later spend the next few days in a lot of pain. They keep this to themselves because it may impact their work life. 

It Is Hard For Them To Focus Sometimes

Pain often gets all-encompassing, making the patients struggle to concentrate. As a result, they sometimes find it challenging to focus on several things they want to do, such as exercising, reading, writing, and more.  

Having Sex Can Be Challenging For Them

Sexual intimacy can be more painful for chronic pain patients, especially those with pelvic floor pain, nerve pain in legs, and headaches. They do not like to admit this as it can lessen the chances of getting into a relationship.

They Struggle A Lot To Keep Their Words

You do not see many chronic pain patients doing things as normal people do. They do not always make commitments to go out with friends or family members as it can worsen the pain. However, if they give you a word, they make sure to keep it no matter how badly they are in pain. They don’t share this as they don’t like to be dictated by their condition.

They Sleep A Lot

Firstly, it is quite difficult for them to get a sound sleep due to pain. But when they get it, they want to utilize that as much as possible. With unusual and untimely sleeping habits, their daily routine is not just like any other person.

They Sometimes Avoid Contacting Other People, Deliberately

It is human nature to talk about the hottest topic when in a group. Sadly, in most cases, your chronic pain or illness is a hot topic. No one lives to reveal their own weaknesses, and this is why you may see these folks avoiding your calls or making excuses to prevent outings.

They Don't Like Sharing Information About Their Pain Management Clinic Or Doctor

They Don’t Like Sharing Information About Their Pain Management Clinic Or Doctor

Finding the best pain doctor for your condition is already a tedious job, especially when you have so many options around. You are lucky if you find one. With so many people, come so many suggestions, followed by a lot of confusion. Ultimately, these patients don’t want you to know who their pain doctor is.

They Can’t Always Wear What They Want

You are less likely to see them in clothes with seams or elastic banding. This is more common with patients of fibromyalgia. A side seam on pants or waistbands can worsen the pain. Therefore, they mostly choose loose-fitting dresses, loose bras, and ideal shoes during pain days, even though they don’t like wearing them.

What to Expect When Visiting A Pain Doctor

What to Expect When Visiting A Pain Doctor

Around 50 million people in the United States suffer from chronic pain. Most of them struggle to concentrate on day-to-day tasks throughout the day and cannot sleep properly at night. The pain also affects their overall energy levels, and they, ultimately, cannot enjoy life like ordinary people. 

If you are one of them, and chronic pain has made your life miserable, a renowned pain clinic can get you much-needed relief. It can get your life back to being healthy and active. 

We understand that the journey to recovery and the choices you make to get relief is not easy. If you have already visited a pain doctor near you, and it didn’t work as per your expectation, being nervous about going to another pain management clinic is obvious.

No matter what kind of pain you are going through, you deserve relief, and it is your right to get the desired treatment. And we feel sorry for those who did not believe you and restricted you from getting adequate pain management treatment. 

A reputable pain clinic is always dedicated to provide you with compassionate, caring, and cooperative surroundings to make your journey to recovery more pleasant and smooth.

For this reason, we have come up with a detailed blog to help you understand what you can expect from your pain management program. We have covered everything from your primary checkups to follow-ups post-discharge so that you know what a qualified professional pain expert can and should offer you.

What Is A Pain Clinic?

A pain clinic is a healthcare facility where professional pain doctors help diagnose and manage chronic pain issues. There are typically two types of pain clinics. One deals with some specific kinds of pains such as neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain, etc., while the other type manages all types of health issues.

When you go for your initial consultation, a general physician will check you. Based on your chronic pain’s type and severity, you may have to consult with another doctor within the same clinic. Generally, such medical facilities have a team that includes:

  • Dietitians
  • Internists
  • Neurologists
  • Orthopedists
  • Nutritionists 
  • Psychiatrists
  • Rheumatologists
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Physical therapists
  • General Practitioners
  • Occupational and vocational therapists

Patients are given psychological, physical, and behavioral therapies to manage pain. Medications are also part of their treatment plans. Plus, guidance and coaching on pain and lifestyle changes are given by the experts. If needed, they use complementary and alternative medicine programs such as meditation, water therapy, massage, acupuncture, Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), biofeedback and more.

What Is A Pain Doctor?

A pain doctor is a medical specialist who first evaluates your pain severity and treats it with a mixture of medications and therapies. They help you eliminate all types of pain issues like headaches, back pain, chest pain, abdominal pain, leg pain and more. If your pain symptoms are minor, the doctor may discharge you the same day. 

Ultimate Goal Of The Pain Clinics

It is all about offering you long-lasting relief from the pain and increasing your quality of life. Pain treatments at such healthcare facilities focus on preparing you to successfully manage your pain symptoms and get your life back to normal. 

Many patients reported that pain management programs at such pain clinics helped them experience significantly less pain. With increased abilities to complete their everyday tasks, such programs kept them from emotional distress.

What Kinds Of Pain Do Your Pain Doctors Can Treat?

Usually, these doctors are experts in treating three types of pain. The first type of pain is a result of direct tissue injury. The arthritis pain falls in this category. The second type of pain is sourced from specific nervous system disease or nerve injury, such as stroke. Lastly, the third type of pain comes from both tissue and nerve injury like the back pain.

Let us see examples to understand these three types of pain.

Type 1: Pain Due To A Direct Tissue Injury

  • Rheumatoid arthritis — It occurs due to autoimmune reaction and naturally felt in small joints such as wrists and fingers.
  • Osteoarthritis — it occurs due to severe tissue injury and felt in the bigger joints such as hips, knees, etc.

Type 2: Pain Due To Nervous System Disorder Or Nerve Injury

  • Spinal cord injury
  • Multiple sclerosis 
  • Stroke (pain that occurs after a stroke)
  • Neuropathy (pain that is related to HIV, shingles, diabetes)

Type 3: Pain Due To Both Nerve And Tissue Injury

  • Neck pain
  • Cancer-related pain
  • Back pain

The procedures for all patients may vary. Your pain doctor decides the treatment plan based on your condition. However, the following steps are expected for most of the patients. 

Finding Out The Root Cause Of Your Pain

It is impossible to set up the best treatment plan for your pain without diagnosing the cause of pain. Your pain doctor is trained to diagnose several causes of pain and identify the exact condition causing discomfort.

Pinpointing the source of pain is not as easy as it seems. Many types of pain exhibit similar symptoms, for example — the lower back pain. It can be musculoskeletal and occur due to irregular postures. It can also be due to spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, arthritis, or herniated discs. 

This is just one pain condition. There are many other examples like this. Fortunately, pain doctors are armed with multiple modern-day techniques to diagnose and treat various pain conditions. As long as your pain evaluation is concerned, they check your family medical history, access your lifestyle, conduct tests, or put you through some physical examinations. 

Pain specialists have access to advanced physical therapies that offer relaxation for pain patients.

Recommending Therapies That Can Offer Relief

Pain specialists have access to advanced physical therapies that offer relaxation for pain patients. If the conventional treatments haven’t worked in your favor till now, your pain doctor can conduct some trials and recommend advanced therapies. They know what’s best for you. Many great pain management doctors suggest interventional and pharmaceutical therapies, along with complementary therapies. This can help patients to lessen their doses of prescribed drugs. 

Depending on your condition, a doctor may include the following in your treatment plan:

  • Chiropractic care
  • Physical therapy
  • Diet changes
  • Acupuncture
  • Meditation
  • Massages
  • Exercises
  • Weight loss
  • Yoga

The prescribed medicines can include:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Antidepressants
  • Opioids 

And, your treatment plan may also include interventional treatments like:

  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Spinal cord stimulation
  • Neuromodulation
  • Nerve blocks
  • Joint injections

Just one remedy can’t work as a complete cure for your pain. A great pain doctor knows how to mix the therapies and medicines to get the best treatment and maximize your quality of life.

In rare cases, you may have to undergo surgery. However, this happens only when the other methods haven’t worked, and your condition is severely affecting your everyday life.

A Thing To Know About Medicines

You should be careful about the medicines you take throughout the treatment program. And most importantly, your treatment should be entirely dependent on the medication only. If this is the case with you, see a different pain doctor.

During this time, you might see multiple doctors and all of them prescribe different medicines. Make sure you inform them all about the other doctor’s prescriptions to avoid dangerous drug interactions. Sometimes, two specific medications can harm your body, and therefore, avoiding such practices is smart. 

What’s more, do not take more medicine than prescribed by the doctor. Otherwise, it can lead to some hazardous health problems or even overdose. If you think that your ongoing dose is not enough or does not help you heal, contact your doctor to discuss alternatives. It is highly imperative to frequently be in touch with your pain doctors for a safe and secure painkiller management plan.

You May Interact With Other Health Professionals

With every pain management program, you deal with different medical experts for various problems. Your pain doctor leads this team. For example, there will be scenarios when you have to deal with a counselor and therapist. This is how a comprehensive, holistic pain treatment plan is developed. 

When your primary pain doctor decides specific therapies for you, he or she coordinates your treatment with other doctors and medical experts. You have to remember that you must be responsive and committed to the treatment so that everything goes well.

You Can Expect Some Interventional Procedures

When needed, you can undergo intentional procedures such as neuromodulation and steroid injections. Your pain doctor determines if you need this procedure or not, and it ultimately depends on your health condition. 

As mentioned earlier, a great pain doctor combines such procedures and complementary therapies and medication to obtain the best results. A perfect combination minimizes the risks of side effects and improves your overall health.

Aftercare Is What You Will Always Need

It is sad but true that not all the patients can get the desired relief from the pain management programs. This is quite common with the patients of chronic knee or back pain, unfortunately. Most of the pain doctors believed even a 50 percent recovery as a success in such cases. 

For this reason, good pain doctors will always continue working with you so that you can receive more relief. They also engage you with mental therapies such as meditation and talk therapy to reduce emotional distress.

When Should You See A Pain Doctor?

When Should You See A Pain Doctor?

The following are the scenarios when visiting a pain doctor is a smart decision:

  • When the pain is severe and debilitating.
  • If you have already tried home remedies and therapies, but the pain won’t go away.
  • If the pain has taken over your everyday life and prevents you from completing even simple activities.
  • You are in pain for more than three months.
  • Your primary care medical expert failed to diagnose your pain.

What Should You Bring While You Meet Your Pain Doctor For The First Time?

The doctor first diagnoses the root cause of your pain. Therefore, you should carry the following things with you:

  • Prescriptions of your current medications.
  • A pain journal (if you are maintaining one). This includes all the information, such as pain intensity, triggers, symptoms, and more.
  • Insurance details.
  • Information about what worsens your pain or provides relief.
  • Your medical history.

Final Words

Let us be realistic. If a pain doctor does not believe that you are in debilitating pain, avoid that clinic. Find a pain management facility that encourages you and get you the best recovery plan. 

It is every great pain doctor’s job to take proper care of you and treat your chronic pain in the most empowering manner. There must be respect, care, compassion and consideration you deserve throughout the treatment. 

So, make sure to find the right group of people for your ever-lasting recovery. Remember — Even though the pain is unavoidable at times, suffering is always optional.