Pain is a multifaceted medical issue that can deeply affect your physical and mental health. Perhaps your life is characterized by constant, debilitating pain. In order to decrease your pain and suffering and return you to your optimal level of performance and restore your quality of life, you need professional help.
If you seek help from your doctor, he or she may refer you to a pain management center for evaluation where they may recommend one or more specific procedures, or a plan for ongoing treatment.
Custom Treatment Plan
Your treatment plan should be individually tailored to suit your unique spectrum of conditions, situation, priorities, and pain. It should take into consideration your personal objectives. Your plan may involve a single approach or a combination of medicines and procedures along with psychological and rehabilitation therapies.
Many pain patients have already used pain-relievers to try to manage their condition. The present concern for overdoses from opioids has opened the way for effective and less dangerous alternatives overseen by highly trained specialists.
Duration of Treatment
How long therapy will take is highly variable depending on the patient, the complexity of treatments and the combinations prescribed. In general, most plans run from three to six months. You may need to devote three hours per week to treatments at a pain clinic. Here are some of the more common procedures delivered at pain clinics:
Epidural corticosteroid injections
These are injections of cortisone-like compounds into the epidural space surrounding the spinal nerves in order to take down inflammation.
Intrathecal programmable pump
They may implant a pump to automatically deliver measured amounts of medication directly into the spinal fluid. This is particularly effective for relief from chronic pain and severe spasticity.
Temporary epidural catheter
When pain can be expected to resolve in two weeks, a tube placed into the epidural space may be used to inject measured amounts of pain medicine for a brief time.
Gasserian ganglion block
Trigeminal neuralgia is one of the most unbearable pain syndromes and a direct injection of local anesthetics into the nerve bundle that supplies the face and scalp can provide complete relief.
Depending on the nature and location of the pain, a nerve block can provide relief and help in the management of the treatment plan. For example, severe tension headaches and even some migraines can be halted by an injection to the nerves that supply the back of the head.
Injection into the plexus of nerves that supplies the arm is an effective treatment for some types of arm and shoulder pain.
A deeper nerve block to the bundle of nerves that supplies your lower abdomen can be one option for dealing with chronic pelvic pain.
The placement of a catheter into the intrathecal space is effective in pain originating from injury to the spine or nerve roots. Another option is an epidural port, which makes it possible to supply pain-relieving medicine to the spine over a longer period.