Chronic pain can wear you down and further degrade your physical and mental health. Your doctor can work with you to reduce your pain and improve your ability to carry on with your everyday activities.
Approaches to pain management have evolved over the last decade. Medical professionals increasingly put you at the center of all aspects of pain management, and that is a good thing. A common misconception is that pain medications such as opioids are the go to for pain management, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are many ways your doctor can help you manage your pain.
Your doctor can help you best by getting you actively involved in your treatment. By communicating openly with you, your doctor will involve you with decision-making and problem solving. Living better with chronic pain is the goal (after all attempts to correct the painful condition, of course), and this requires excellent communication between you and your physician, and your medical team. Communicative and caring physicians can empower you as a person, not just as a patient.
Listen and explain
Your doctor will ask you about how you experience your pain, and specifically, to describe your pain in everyday language. Because there are no specialized tests to assess where and how you feel pain, you are the primary source of information. Don’t hold back. You are your best advocate. Everybody has a different pain threshold, so it’s important to get a unique understanding of each patient.
In turn, your doctor can help you understand that even if your chronic pain has no specific cure, there are ways to manage it. Your doctor can provide you with resources such as easy to read information, referrals for physical therapists, and other therapeutic experts.
You doctor will talk with you about these and other options for your pain management plan:
· Medications including analgesics such as acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen can be of help with mild to moderate pain.
Stronger pain medications, including opioids, provide important relief for patients who have strong or severe pain. You doctor will work with you to ensure that you receive the appropriate and safe type of medication.
· Pain management procedures such as electrical stimulation, acupuncture, nerve blocks, or surgery may be appropriate if pain is not controlled by medications.
· Non-invasive treatments such as biofeedback, behavior modification, and psychotherapy are all important tools.
· Alternative or complementary medicine (CAM) include treatments such as acupuncture, massage, Tai Chi, mindful meditation, and relaxation techniques, all of which have been shown to be helpful.
Advise and support
Your doctor can suggest healthy lifestyle changes that will help you better manage your pain and improve your quality of life. Some suggestions your doctor may make include:
Exercise: Chronic pain caused by certain conditions such as arthritis shouldn’t stop you from engaging in physical activity. Natural painkillers or endorphins released by your body after exercise help reduce perception of pain, and exercise has been shown to boost mood. Of course, first discuss any exercise plans with your doctor to make sure they are safe and appropriate for you.
Diet: Eating regular meals rich in antioxidants and nutrients will help your body best deal with pain and stress. Eating fresh vegetables, fruits, and lean protein ensures you have the best fuel to repair and restore your health.
Reach out to us with any questions you have about how to manage your pain. call Advanced Medical in Wellington and Royal Palm Beach, Florida at (561) 434-1935 to request an appointment, or you can request an appointment online.