Chronic pain can be the result of many different conditions. The cause of the chronic pain may different but the frustration in getting help is the same. Chronic pain isn’t always as simple as handing out a pill and getting results. Chronic pain involves a set of problems that can be complex that include emotional, cognitive, physical, environmental and social factors. Pain Management needs to look at the whole picture in order to be successful. Pain management clinics are designed to do that. So if your doctor isn’t getting you the pain relief you need for your chronic pain, consider a request to a pain management clinic.
Pain management includes not just treating the pain but learning strategies and ways that can help you to live with your chronic pain. Your pain management should draw on the resources of many professionals to create the best treatment plan for you. Your pain management team will be made up of a diverse number of inter disciplinary health care professionals that will work together to ensure that you receive a comprehensive pain management regime that works.
Let’s look at some of the treatment options that your pain management team might incorporate.
• Occupational Therapy – The focus of occupational therapy is look at the various aspects that allow you to function in a ‘normal’ or as close to normal manner. This includes social, physical, spiritual and emotional manner and your occupational therapist will work alongside all of the providers of these services to ensure you receive what you need from each of these areas.
• Fitness – When a person is suffering from chronic pain, fitness can often become overlooked. However, it can play an important role in the management of your pain. Your physiotherapist will focus on teaching you ways to exercise that can help to bring you relief. If it applies, you will also be taught ways to strengthen your muscles to support surrounding joints and reduce pain. For example, this can be especially helpful with back pain.
• Medication Management– It’s important that you are taught about the risks and benefits of your medications, and that you are know how to get the maximum benefits from your medications. The pharmacist will help to educate you and they will also ensure they are aware of your medication history and any potential interactions.
• Social Work – Your family is often impacted by your chronic pain. There can be loss of income, disruption in routines, changes to living situations, communication problems, and much more. Chronic pain can take its toll on your family and part of the Pain Management Clinic’s duties is to address family issues.
• Psychology – The psychologist is there to help you deal with the emotional cost of having to deal with chronic pain. Many patients don’t even realize the toll it is taking on them emotionally until they’ve had a chance to speak with a psychologist, who will give you tools to help you cope better.
• Relaxation Therapy – Chronic pain may be part of your reality and learning how to feel calm and peaceful is very important in reducing stress and calming the sympathetic nervous system, which in turn can increase your pain.
• Nutrition – You are what you eat, and eating the right foods can actually help with reducing your pain. You’ll be taught what foods can make pain worse, which ones can help and how to stay healthy to help you stay strong.
Pain management involves taking a complete approach so that you get the maximum relief of your chronic pain.