If you haven’t visited a pain management clinic before, rest assured, knowing that it’s common to have many questions about available services and treatments. Smart patients are informed about their options for medical care, and you should always ask these questions during your consultation and beyond.
Our team at Kentuckiana Pain Specialists is here to help with the full-service treatments you need. We understand that you will have questions along the way. Our goal is to ensure that you feel comfortable asking these questions when you want additional information.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pain Management
Today, we are answering some of the most common questions about pain management services and treatments. This information gives you a foundation, so you understand what we do in our clinic – and how many patients benefit from these services.
What Are 3 Different Types of Pain?
Effective pain management services are customized based on the three main types of pain:
- Nociceptive Pain: This pain happens because of the stimulation of pain receptors (known as nociceptors). Examples include bone fractures, sprains, inflammation, bruises, burns, myofascial pain, and more.
- Neuropathic Pain: Symptoms occur due to a dysfunction or structural damage affecting the nervous system. Often, it results in widespread issues throughout the body, making the pain challenging to track. One example of neuropathic pain is Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD).
- Mixed Pain: There are situations where patients are experiencing a combination of both nociceptive pain and neuropathic pain. An injury or nervous system dysfunction might initially trigger the pain, causing neuropathic inflammation. It’s common for patients to experience changing symptoms that might include throbbing, burning, and/or tingling. Myofascial pain and migraines are examples of mixed pain.
Once a pain specialist understands the type of pain you are experiencing, then they can customize a pain treatment plan to help you achieve the best results possible.
What Do They Give You for Pain Management?
Medication tends to be the go-to treatment when a patient is experiencing pain. But it’s important to understand that these treatments are temporary. You might experience immediate relief, but it doesn’t offer the longer-term benefits you desire.
There are instances when medication makes sense. For example, your doctor might recommend medication to manage immediate symptoms, then you can have the relief necessary to move forward with other treatments that offer longer-term benefits.
If you are using medication for pain management, then it might include one or more of the following.
- Acetaminophen: This over-the-counter medication can be helpful for many types of pain, especially when the levels are mild or moderate. It shouldn’t be used long-term because acetaminophen can contribute to the risk of liver disease.
- Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): This category of medications includes ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin. They help to reduce pain and alleviate inflammation at the same time. As with other medications, there are potential side effects from long-term use.
- Opioids (Narcotics): Due to the risk of addiction, narcotics are only prescribed on a short-term basis for moderate or severe pain. Examples of opioids include morphine, oxycodone, and codeine.
- Other Medications: Depending on the type of pain you are experiencing, there might be other types of medications that can be helpful for pain management. Examples include local nerve blocks, antidepressants, muscle relaxants, anticonvulsant medications, and more.
Most pain specialists agree: there are often times when pain medications can be helpful. But these treatments aren’t sustainable. Remember that pain medications only offer short-term results, and the symptoms will return when the medication wears off again.
What Is the Most Common Form of Pain Management?
Medication tends to be the most common form of pain management in the United States. When general physicians don’t have experience or training for managing different types of pain, then the default treatment is to use medications to alleviate the symptoms.
When managed correctly, there’s no question that medication can be an effective solution for short-term pain management. Patients can manage their pain at home with over-the-counter options. Or, when more intensive pain management is required, then a doctor might provide a prescription for stronger medications.
Surgery is often the second most common form of pain management in most medical circles. This treatment is used when a physical issue is identified, such as back surgery, to correct a bulging disc so it is no longer pressing on a nerve.
But many patients are hesitant about going under the knife. If you want to reduce medication dependency and avoid surgery, rest assured that many other minimally-invasive treatments are available from an experienced pain management clinic.
What’s the Difference Between A Pain Clinic and Pain Management?
Even though “pain clinic” and “pain management” are often used as synonyms, there are actually differences between these phrases.
- Pain Clinic: The office you will visit for pain management services. This clinic is a location where doctors, nurses, and specialists work. You can schedule an examination and consultation at a pain clinic.
- Pain Management: This phrase refers to treatments that alleviate or reduce pain. When you are accessing pain management, it means that you have a variety of options to feel better, including medications and other available treatments. Pain management services are available at a pain clinic, as well as from other medical providers.
How Often Should I Take Pain Medication?
Popping a pill can be an effective solution to provide the relief you need. If you need to alleviate the symptoms quickly and easily, a pain pill might be an effective option.
But many doctors and patients agree: pain medication doesn’t offer a long-term solution to reduce the symptoms. You will only achieve temporary results from medication. The pain symptoms will return as soon as the medication wears off.
So, the frequency of pain medication used depends on your unique needs. Talk to your pain specialist about how pain medications can be paired with other treatment options to help you achieve both short and long-term results.
How Pain Management Can Help You Avoid Other Medical Complications
Often, visiting a pain clinic is an alternative to scheduling surgery. Since surgical interventions have potential side effects, patients want to know the alternatives to find relief without going under the knife. Seeking pain management services might be an effective way to reduce the risks of complications associated with surgery.
Additionally, pain management is another way to reduce symptoms while avoiding certain medications. There are serious consequences from addiction to narcotic medications. Instead of depending on a pill to feel better, consider other treatments that will help you find relief without the addiction.
Should I Schedule a Pain Management Consultation?
If you are living with chronic or severe pain, now is the best time to schedule a consultation to learn more about pain management services. Our team at Kentuckiana Pain Specialists is just a phone call away, offering full-service and comprehensive support.