The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that chronic pain afflicts roughly 50 million adults in the United States. If you’re a statistic, one of your best bets to keep chronic pain from wreaking havoc on your mental health and interfering with your overall quality of life is to work with your family medicine doctor.
Read on to learn about the specific measures your family medicine doctor can employ to help you tackle your chronic pain.
Devising a Care Plan for Your Chronic Pain
Chronic pain has various potential causes. It could be caused by arthritis, fibromyalgia (a condition that causes widespread body pain), an untreated musculoskeletal injury, multiple sclerosis, or any other health problem.
Your family doctor can get to the bottom of your chronic pain by reviewing your symptoms, medical history, and current health status as well as ordering the necessary tests (e.g., blood work, diagnostic imaging, etc.).
If your family doctor deems that you need advanced treatment, they will coordinate your care with a specialist, such as a neurologist, pain management specialist, or orthopedic doctor, to determine the most effective intervention for your problem. Depending on the underlying cause, your care team may recommend surgery or ongoing treatment.
Recommending Additional Strategies for Chronic Pain
Your family medicine doctor may recommend any or some of the following strategies to enhance the efficacy of your care plan:
- Exercise program – Exercise can have a positive impact on both your mood and pain threshold. It is also especially beneficial if your chronic pain is caused by arthritis, as it helps increase your mobility by reducing joint inflammation and stiffness.
- Relaxation techniques (e.g., breathing exercises, mindfulness meditation, etc.) – These have been shown to help with chronic pain by stimulating the production of the body’s natural painkillers (endorphins).
- Joining support groups- This equips you with emotional support as well as useful information about your specific condition.
- Smoking cessation program (supervised by your doctor or another healthcare provider)- Studies show that smoking is linked to many health problems that cause chronic pain.
- Behavior therapy/ professional talk therapy– Your family medicine doctor may recommend either or both of these modalities to help improve your coping strategies.
- Nutritional recommendations– Your doctor may recommend a diet plan that includes anti-inflammatory foods, which can help with chronic pain.
Treatment for Chronic Pain in Wellington and Royal Palm Beach, FL
At Advanced Medical Clinic, our board-certified internist Dr. Ishan Gunawardene and our board-certified family nurse practitioner Shariffa Gunawardene are best known for their commitment to delivering the best possible treatment outcomes for the gamut of conditions—including those that cause chronic pain—affecting people of all ages. We will gladly collaborate with the right specialist to help you live well with or even conquer your pain.
To arrange a consultation with one of our providers, contact us at (561) 434-1935 or request an appointment by filling out this secure form.