When the pain is intense, you are desperate to find solutions to alleviate your discomfort. Often, pain management is a high priority for patients after an accident or surgery. These services are also crucial for people with chronic conditions.
Pain management requires careful planning and ongoing monitoring. A pain management team can help you find the optimal treatments that provide immediate relief and lasting results.
Pain Management Timeline
Most patients receive pain management services for 3 – 6 months, depending on their diagnosis and the severity of their pain. The timeline for your pain management program depends on your diagnosis and the underlying reasons for your pain:
- Acute Pain Management: In situations of acute pain, such as pain management after an accident or surgery, pain management is usually only necessary for a few weeks or months. The purpose is to help patients get through the recovery period.
- Chronic Pain Management: Some people experience chronic pain and need ongoing assistance for an undetermined amount of time to manage the symptoms. If you have chronic pain, you might be working with a pain management team off-and-on for years.
Pain management services vary based on the unique needs of each patient. So, it’s difficult to put a specific timeline on the length of time you will need these services.
The best solution is to schedule a consultation with a pain management specialist. Once we complete the diagnosis and understand more about your condition, we can offer insight into the length of time you will benefit from pain management services.
Why is Pain Control so Important?
Acute or chronic pain can seem to take over your life. Whether you are experiencing sudden, intense pain or always dealing with moderate pain that never goes away, it can be hard to get through the day.
While pain is unavoidable in life, it doesn’t mean that you have to be miserable. Pain can pop up from something simple like a toothache or twisting your ankle. Or, you might have a serious health condition that results in ongoing pain you are always trying to manage.
Effective pain management techniques can speed up recovery after surgery or an accident. Also, pain management is a critical step to help you avoid complications.
One of the biggest concerns if a person is in pain is that the discomfort hinders physical movement. When you can control the pain, it’s easier to participate in activities that can support your healing and recovery – such as light exercising and deep breathing.
Treating the Root Cause of Your Pain
It’s important to remember that pain offers a clue about things that are happening in your body. So if you are experiencing pain, then our goal is to get to the root issue. Not only will this reduce the pain you are feeling, but it also helps to eliminate underlying concerns.
Most of the time, pain symptoms can be treated using medications that cover up the pain signals. This temporary relief can be necessary in the moment, but it isn’t a long-term solution.
The problem with relying on pain medication is the risk of dependence on pills. If you can’t get through the day without pain medication, then you might need to talk to a doctor. Additionally, certain types of pain medication can be addictive, resulting in other health issues.
Instead of simply covering up the symptoms, our pain management team looks for solutions to treat the underlying cause of your pain. By getting to the root of your pain issues, there’s a better chance that you will experience long-lasting results.
Measuring Your Pain: Is Pain Management Necessary?
When talking to a pain management doctor, it’s important for you to communicate the symptoms and levels of pain you are experiencing. The more information you provide the better equipped the doctor is to treat your condition.
Often, medical specialists ask patients to rate their pain on a scale from 0 – 10. How do you know where your pain falls on this scale? Here is an overview to help you determine the severity and intensity of your pain:
- 0: You have no pain, and you are experiencing no discomfort.
- 1 – 2: You are experiencing a little bit of pain, but not enough to need treatment or pain medication.
- 3 – 4: You are starting to feel uncomfortable. The pain is moderate enough that you would take over-the-counter pain medications, if available, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
- 5 – 6: The pain intensity is high enough that you can only focus on specific activities for short periods of time. Over-the-counter pain relievers are no longer sufficient to take away the pain.
- 7 – 8: At this point, the pain is overtaking your thoughts. You can’t do anything else until you do something to reduce the pain.
- 9 – 10: The pain level is so intense that it’s difficult to talk, and you can’t participate in any other activities. It might be challenging to eat. You can’t wait and are feeling desperate for immediate help.
The treatment protocol will vary depending on how you are rating the pain. Also, your pain management specialist might ask you to track the pain levels so you can see patterns or cycles that are happening.
How Long Should You Wait in Pain?
If you are experiencing acute and intense pain, there is no reason to wait for medical care. Usually, pain management is offered immediately, and these treatments continue through your recovery.
We can monitor your progression and reduce pain management interventions as your body is healing. If the symptoms are lessening, then ongoing treatments might no longer be necessary.
The guidelines are unclear for chronic pain management. Usually, three to six months of ongoing pain falls in the “chronic” category, although this timeline varies depending on the medical specialist you are working with.
Healing time varies, which is why there isn’t a pre-determined length of pain management treatment. The most important thing is to continue communication with your pain management team. We will monitor your symptoms and make an adjustment to your treatment plan as needed.
Keep in mind that early interventions are often the optimal way to reduce serious pain and complications in the future. So, if you are experiencing any type of pain, there’s no reason to wait to talk to a pain management specialist.
Pain Management Services for Acute and Chronic Conditions
Whether you are recovering after an accident or dealing with a lifetime of chronic pain, our team is here to offer the assistance that you need. Call us at Kentuckiana Pain Specialists to learn more about our comprehensive pain management support. We are in the Louisville, Kentucky, area and provide a range of treatment options. Call us at your convenience at (502) 995-4004.