If you suffer from chronic pain and your family doctor has not been able to bring your pain under control, a visit to the Pain Clinic might be in order. Chronic pain can be caused by a number of conditions. The top reasons include:
• Arthritis, especially osteoarthritis
• Low back pain
• Multiple sclerosis
• Nerve damage (neuropathy)
The pain clinic will do a number of things starting with an assessment of your pain. They will determine how long you have been in pain, have you rate your pain, determine the type of pain, determine where the pain is located and whether it moves. The pain clinic will also take time to educate you about the pain you are suffering and give you some tools that will help you with managing your pain.
#1 Physiotherapy and Home Exercises
You will work with a physical therapist to determine an exercise protocol that can help you with some pain relief. This can include stretches, exercises for mobility and exercises for strengthening the muscle. Your therapist might also use tools like laser therapy, TENS, heat, massage, acupressure, etc. Your therapist will generally send you home with a set of exercises that you are to perform at home.
There are many different medications that can be used to treat chronic pain. The pain specialists at the pain clinic will determine which medication or combination of medications will most effectively treat the pain. There are numerous opioid drugs that can be used along with antidepressants, drugs that handle nerve pain, injections, nerve blocks, epidurals, etc. The focus is to eliminate the pain using the least amount of medication possible.
#3 Alternative Treatments
Biofeedback therapy, chiropractic treatments, massage therapy, acupuncture, and many other alternative treatments can be used in conjunction with pain medications as an important part of your pain management.
You may not think about nutrition as being important to pain management but eating a diet that’s high in fresh fruits and vegetables can ensure you maximize your nutrients. A recent Tennant 2011 study showed specific dietary changes can improve chronic pain, especially related to severe chronic pain. When a person suffers from chronic pain, many times their appetite is diminished and this can actually lead to wasting, which is yet another reason why the pain clinic will ensure your diet is sufficient to promote overall health.
Interestingly a study done in 2007 also showed that temporary fasting can provide temporary relief, yet another strategy that your pain management specialists might implement. Nutritional specialists will look at your chronic pain and your overall medical file and then determine the role that nutrition can play.
Why a Pain Clinic is Better
Your doctor can certainly treat pain but with chronic pain, simply writing a prescription may not be enough to resolve the pain issues. A Pain Clinic has a full team of pain management specialists that work together to eliminate pain. The resources they have available to them are many and the goal is to ensure you are pain free.