A pain doctor has advanced training in diagnosing and treating acute and chronic pain. They can offer state-of-the-art treatments that your primary care doctor may be unable to provide. Pain management techniques include medications, procedures, exercise and therapy. They can be performed in a pain clinic, provider’s office or hospital.
Identifying the Source of Your Pain
Pain can interfere with a person’s life, preventing them from sleeping or eating well and making it difficult to get through the day. In addition, chronic pain can lead to mood changes and affect relationships with family members and friends.
Pain is a signal from the body that something is wrong, but it can differ from person to person. It can be dull, aching or stabbing, burning or tingling, or electric (like a shock). It can stay in one place or move around the body. It may also be a combination of sensations, like heat and cold or burning, tingling and throbbing.
When a pain doctor Jacksonville FL examines a patient, they will ask questions to identify the type of pain and how it impacts the patient’s life. The doctor will also review any available prior medical records and imaging studies, such as X-rays, CT scans or MRIs. They will also ask about the frequency of pain and whether it gets better or worse during certain activities.
Developing a Treatment Plan
Once the doctor has a clear picture of your symptoms, they can create a treatment plan. They will consider your pain’s type, duration and severity to determine what medications to prescribe. They may also recommend physical therapy or alternative treatments, such as acupuncture, to improve your quality of life and reduce pain.
The first step in reducing pain is being open and honest with your doctor. Tell them when you feel the pain, where it is and if it improves or worsens with certain activities. They will also ask if your pain is sharp, throbbing or burning and whether it radiates to other body parts.
Neuropathic pain occurs when nerves send incorrect pain signals to the brain and affect 7-8% of adults; it is also treated with medications, such as tricyclic antidepressants or serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors. These can be followed by pregabalin or gabapentin.
Managing Your Pain
Pain is your body’s way of alerting you that something is amiss. It can be a prick, sting, throbbing or burning sensation. It can come on suddenly (acute) or last long (chronic). It can affect your work, sleeping and family life. Pain can also make you angry, stressed or depressed.
It’s important to talk to your doctor about how you are feeling. Your doctor can recommend medications to help relieve your pain, such as NSAIDs or muscle relaxants. They may also prescribe epidural steroid injections, nerve blocks or joint injections to reduce chronic pain. They can also recommend counseling or other therapies to manage your emotions and help you cope with chronic pain.
For example, biofeedback and cognitive behavioral therapy can teach you how to control your pain reactions and change your thoughts. Counseling or treatment can also improve your quality of life and help you deal with depression or anxiety.
Preventing Future Pain
Pain doctors specialize in evaluating, diagnosing and treating many different types of pain. They work most often with patients who have chronic pain (pain that lasts more than 12 weeks). It’s important to understand the role of a pain specialist before you decide to see one.
These physicians have specific training and collaborate closely with the patient’s primary care physician to facilitate effective communication. They also provide a variety of treatments that are customized to each individual’s condition. This approach helps to improve function, decrease pain, and enhance quality of life.