June 21, 2019
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To the medicine, and beyond
In a pain specialist, we are often looking for methods of interventional pain management or palliative care. While that is a completely necessary and useful tool in the arsenal of a pain specialist, it is one of many. Pain physicians may consider drug therapy to be an effort to be saved for later, or temporarily while healing is ongoing. While some patients may need drug therapy and pain management for the rest of their lives, this is not the case for many patients who seek the treatment of a pain specialist. It is important to see the patient as a whole person and not a set of symptoms, and this will be reflected in the care you receive.
More Than Drugs
Something that may be a good indicator is if anything other than drug interventions are ever discussed. Some patients go years with pain conditions that are wholly treatable with physical therapy, because some physicians will prescribe for years with no discussion of any kind of medicine other than the kind you get in a pharmacy. This is the opposite of what you should be looking for in a pain specialist.
You want someone who will truly treat your pain, which means treating the source of the pain whenever possible. While you may not want a pain specialist who shies away from using interventional pain medicine and drug therapy, a physician who exercises a certain level caution before going to opiate pain management is not a bad thing.
While opioids definitely have a legitimate use in pain management, and while some patients may require opioid treatment their entire lives, that’s not the case for many people. Many people only need interventional pain management while in recovery from an injury. A pain physician attempting to utilize all forms of evidence-based medicine, such as physical therapy or occupational therapy is probably trying to treat your pain at the source. This can get you back on your feet and in recovery faster, reducing the need for long-term opioid treatment.
Mental As Well As Physical
Many pain specialists may also feel it is important to work with mental health professionals to help develop cognitive skills to help sufferers deal with pain. Working with these professionals can also help to deal with the many emotional implications that come with suffering from chronic pain. It’s no secret that people who suffer from lasting physical pain often have problems with depression or anxiety related to their chronic pain. Seeing someone specializing in mental health can definitely help treat how you deal with pain as a whole person, and improve your overall well being.
In summary, there are many different pain specialists, and by nature, different styles of pain management. Finding a physician who works well for you is the most important thing. With Riverside Pain Physicians, you can find a doctor to taylor-make a plan just for treating your pain so you can get back to life. Talk to your doctor about a referral and let us help you live pain free.
Tags: chronic pain, pain specialist