Chronic pain can affect your quality of life and impact your ability to enjoy everyday activities. It can even damage your self-esteem because you never feel like your best self anymore.
With chronic pain, it can have an isolating effect because the symptoms are not seen by others. However, pain sufferers want a solution – and the good news is that there are ways to effectively manage your chronic pain.
Let’s talk about some of the ways in which chronic pain can be stifled:
Pain medication includes those you can purchase over the counter (off the shelf) and those prescribed by doctors. Examples of over-the-counter pain relievers are acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen. These medications are effective at relieving mild to moderate pain on a short-term basis.
For severe chronic pain, doctors may prescribe pain medication that can only be obtained with a prescription. However, long-term use of these medicines can lead to unwanted side effects, and there is a potential of becoming addicted to prescription pain medications.
Implanted Pain Pumps
Chronic pain that does not respond well to conservative medication may respond to surgical implantation of a pain-relief pump. A pain pump is implanted underneath the skin, where it delivers a controlled dose of pain medication.
With this method, the pain medication is slowly released into the body on a continuous basis. This has been reported to provide immense relief in many chronic pain sufferers.
Spinal Cord Stimulation
A spinal cord stimulator is a device that is implanted underneath your skin in the middle of your back. It alters and interrupts pain signals before they have a chance to reach your brain. The device is the size of a pacemaker, and it delivers electrical pulses to the spinal cord.
A local anesthetic is injected into pain trigger points, which are usually within a muscle. Depending on what the doctor decides, the anesthetic may be combined with a steroid.
Not all chronic pain sufferers have trigger points. However, those with fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome, for example, usually do have trigger points – so this treatment can be very effective for those whose chronic pain is caused by those conditions.
Taken from traditional Chinese methods of medical treatment, acupuncture involves the manipulation of different points of the body. Thin needles are used to prompt the body to release endorphins, which can block the pain signals traveling to the brain.
There are also other therapies that can help to reduce your dependence on pain medicine, such as yoga, meditation, and physical therapy.
Pain Treatment in Palm Beach County
While there are many methods for managing your chronic pain, a trusted family doctor or nurse practitioner can provide you with the quality care that you need. Our health professionals can administer a combination of treatment methods if necessary to effectively relieve your pain symptoms.
Dr. Ishan Gunawardene of the Advanced Medical Clinic is a board-certified internist offering advanced and highly individualized treatment methods for chronic pain. His offices are conveniently located in Wellington and Royal Palm Beach.
If you have any questions about Dr. Gunawardene’s internal medicine services, please call our friendly team at (561) 434-1935, fill out our easy-to-use appointment request form online, or simply walk into our clinic to receive immediate medical attention. We look forward to seeing you here.