Pain that continues for six months or beyond is described as chronic. Due to its persistent nature, chronic pain is physically and emotionally intolerable. It can be gentle or excruciating, consistent, intermittent or incapacitating. The right professional to see if you have this problem is a pain doctor. This medical expert has ample knowledge on how to treat pain that affects the neck, back, head, legs, arms or any other joint. Moreover, they can treat psychological factors that increase pain perception: stress, anxiety, frustration and so on. The right places to locate a reliable medical expert are the walk in pain clinics near me. These can be found online, starting with the clinic that Dr. Namrata Khimani works for.
What conditions can lead to chronic pain?
This sort of pain can affect any part of the body and is triggered by several different factors. One of the top causes of constant mild or excessive pain is degenerative conditions brought about by the natural aging process. These include osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia and so on. Chronic back pain can occur because of a range of factors: nerve, bone or joint damage, poor posture when working, wrong weight lifting or wearing high heeled shoes.
As a result, the pain doctor will first look for the source of pain and then prescribe the best treatment method. This will be a physical exam that will mostly include learning your medical history and testing your ability to move the affected limbs through a full range of motion. The doctors found in most walk in pain clinics near me will also be keen to note body postures that trigger pain.
Thorough neurological an mental exam
A physical exam is great but cannot adequately confirm the root cause of chronic discomfort. Since persistent or sporadic chronic pain can affect people’s emotions and mental health, the pain doctor will want to carry out a proper mental health exam. It may be done alone or with the neurological exam and the aim will be to learn if one suffers from mental health disorders like anxiety and depression. So, if you have been recording the behaviors of your pain, it will be wise to bring a copy of this record. By examining it, the doctors at one of the preferred walk in pain clinics near me will learn the following:
· How the intensity of pain has been changing
· Treatments you have sought before
· Drugs you have used to stop the pain
· How the pain has affected your activity levels
· How the pain has changed your moods and mental sharpness
· How chronic pain has changed your sleep patterns
After learning all the above, the pain doctor will then come up with a proper method of managing your pain. Further tests might be run to confirm the doctor’s suspicions. These are diagnostic imaging tests like MRI, EMG and CT scans. During a CT scan, the pain doctor can see a full image of your muscle tissue, bones and nerves. Hence, he or she can tell if the pain is emerging from a fractured bone, compressed nerve or strained muscle.
The MRI scan enables the best doctors nyc to view a full image of your bones, nerves and muscle tissue while an EMG is a test that only shows the current condition of the nerves. If one or more nerves are the root cause of chronic ache, the pain specialist will find out during an EMG test.
How can chronic pain be eliminated?
First, the pain doctor will get rid of pain based on the cause, intensity, and duration. Sometimes the pain can only be managed rather than eliminated for good. In such cases, the walk in pain clinics near me will create a logical chronic pain management program. It can entail physical and mental activities that can help the victim focus on something else but their endless discomfort. So, here are simple things that could be done to manage persistent pain.
- Physical activities – These entail certain stretching exercises and regular walks aimed at improving your flexibility and physical function. Physical therapy can be so beneficial as well; as, it can strengthen your joints, reduce mental stress and help you drop some weight. If it is combined with proper posture when working and taking frequent breaks to avoid straining your back and legs, physical therapy can provide pain relief.
- Lifestyle changes – Some lifestyles are known to aggravate pain. For instance, smoking is associated with back pain as it is one of those things that can dehydrate your spinal discs. Once these get dehydrated, the probability of developing a degenerative disc disease or disc herniation rises. Another way to alter a bad lifestyle is to eat a balanced diet and your pain doctor can direct you to a good nutritional expert. If you have been eating fatty and sugary foods, you should start eating wholesome foods that are full of beneficial calories. And as you start to eat healthy, you will shed weight and this will reduce the stress put on your spinal bones and joints.
- Stress management – As earlier hinted, chronic pain can increase your stress levels and affect your ability to sleep soundly. To cope better with pain, it will be wise to learn how to cope with stress. This can include a wide range of activities, including yoga, meditation, deep breathing, rhythmic workouts and physical activities.
- Alternative therapy –There are a number of ways to deal with chronic discomfort and pain. Chiropractic care is one of these techniques and it entails spinal manipulation. If you are going to try this, ask a doctor at one of the top walk in pain clinics near me to recommend a great chiropractor in your locality. As well as this spinal manipulation therapy, you may try acupuncture as it is known to considerably reduce pain. There is also cognitive behavioral therapy and meditation that will successfully reduce pain caused by migraines, osteoarthritis, and other health condition.
- Topical pain killers – As the name suggests, these are applied topically. So they are rubbed or sprayed into the skin to help reduce or end the pain in muscles and joints. These appear in different forms: sprays, creams, gels, and packs and so on. You can look for these online or get them from any walk in pain clinics near me.
Medical chronic pain treatments are also available. These can be used alone or with some of the methods we have listed above. These include:
- Medicines – One of the best ways to cure any form of pain is using medicines. As chronic pain is serious, it would be advisable to take prescription pain drugs rather than self-treat with OTC drugs. If you just want to feel better, then analgesic drugs will be the best pain killers. On the other hand, when you are dealing with a disease like arthritis that causes inflammation and pain, it will be best to take NSAIDs like ibuprofen. If pain persists, the pain doctor will have to prescribe something stronger, including opioids(narcotics), antidepressants, muscle relaxers and/or anticonvulsants. However, these drugs will be taken for short periods of time as they can be addictive.
- Steroidal injections – The pain experts, such as interventional pain specialists, may approach your chronic pain via steroidal injections. So they will inject you with steroids and drugs that cause numbing. However, this trick will be used when one is suffering from pain in the back, neck and other joints.
- Radiofrequency ablation – This method is normally combined with spinal cord stimulation. The two procedures are best performed by interventional pain management experts working in various walk in pain clinics near me. The two are less invasive techniques of pain relief and are great for alleviating neuropathic pain and are only used if any other technique we have described has failed.
- Surgery – The commonest types of surgeries are those performed on people with back and neck issues. If other cures fail, surgery can be done to remove pain and other neurological symptoms. One of the most popular surgical operations includes the decompression surgery and it is done to release a compressed nerve root. Such a nerve root can cause sciatic nerve pain (sciatica), the sort of pain that shifts to buttocks, back of thighs and legs. Laminectomy is also done to decompress the spinal cord and stabilization surgery is done to fuse the vertebrae. If one has a curved spine (scoliosis), the deformity can be corrected through surgery. There are other kinds of surgeries, including total joint replacement operations done when a whole joint is damaged. Whether you have back pain, knee pain or shoulder pain, sometimes the only way to cure or manage it is via a surgical operation to remove the cause. If surgery has been suggested, it will be best to have it done in one of the leading walk in pain clinics near me. This is where you can find thoroughly trained and experienced orthopedics and neurosurgeons that can operate on you successfully.
How to treat chronic pain successfully
Other than finding one of the top walk in pain clinics near me, it is also necessary to get ready to begin treatment and continue until the end. And as you get started, it will be prudent to set up a team of best doctors nyc who can best manage your pain. These should include the following:
- Primary care physician – This is a general practitioner that provides primary health care. He or she is the person that victims of chronic pain will visit before locating some of the best walk in pain clinics near me A primary care physician will examine your pain and direct you to the most appropriate medical expert if they cannot help.
- Interventional pain specialist – This is likely to be your first primary care doctor’s recommendation. A pain doctor has adequate training on ways to manage pain and can be a neurologist, psychiatrist, pain specialist or rheumatologist. If the pain is related to nerves, brain and spinal cord, a neurologist is the right pain doctor to work with. On the other hand, rheumatologists deal with joint and soft tissues conditions and psychiatrists cure mental and emotional issues. A pain specialist knows how to diagnose, manage and cure pain.
- Specialist doctors – These are orthopedics and neurosurgeons and are responsible for chronic pain management. A neurosurgeon does surgical operations that involves the spinal cord, brain and nerves whereas an orthopedic surgeon operates on muscles, joints and bones.
If your chronic ache is related to an organ disease or cancer, you might need special care from given pain doctor specialists. These are surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists and medical oncologists. Physiotherapists may be useful when it comes to offering pain management techniques like massage and muscle or joint manipulation. These can improve your condition via physical activities and lessons on maintaining proper postures. Physiotherapists also offer heat therapy, traction and ultrasound.
Regarding emotional and mental health, you need the assistance of rehabilitation counsellors at your preferred walk in pain clinics near me. Furthermore, a psychologist will show you how to cope with pain via cognitive behavioural therapy while an occupational therapist will help your body adapt to living with constant pain through creating a work environment that is best suited for it. A nurse may be needed during recovery from surgery or another type of treatment while a community support staff can help you join a group of other chronic pain sufferers where you can receive further pain management tips.
One thing you should know about pain is that it can be serious. It can even be an emergency situation that might require seeing a doctor quickly. For instance, if you feel sudden, severe pain in the shoulder, back or arm plus chest tightness or fullness, seek emergency medical help from one of the leading walk in pain clinics near me the soonest possible. If there is excruciating pain when doing normal joint movements and it is accompanied by swelling, it will be best to see a pain doctor. If your pain continues to mount and the affected area begins to redden, visit your primary care physician. He or she will direct you to an expert if the cause of pain is not something they can diagnose and treat successfully.