Pain is something that we have all felt during our lives and thankfully for most of us it is never severe enough to warrant a hospital visit. Unfortunately, though, for some people pain is a part of everyday life and can affect their ability to go about their daily activities.
Prolonged, persistent pain is referred to as chronic pain, and according to findings by the CDC it is estimated that between 11% and 40% of the population in the United States are affected at some point in their lives.
Chronic pain can be difficult to treat because it often doesn’t respond well to traditional medications. It is for this reason that many doctors will refer their patients to pain clinics such as Utah’s KindlyMD. Here, patients will be assessed and treated by a team of pain medication physicians who specialize in diagnosing and treating a variety of pains. But how do these clinics work, and what can you expect if you are referred?
What Happens at a Pain Clinic?
The doctors that work at pain clinics are fully qualified physicians, just as you would find in your regular doctor’s office or in a hospital. The difference, however, is that these doctors have specialized in the field of pain. This means they have had additional training and are highly skilled when it comes to diagnosing and treating both acute and chronic types of pain.
Pain management physicians rely on more than just medication to help patients manage their pain. They typically work in outpatient clinics, where patients attend on a regular basis for treatment.
During your first visit to a pain management clinic, you can expect to have a full, in-depth consultation with one of the resident pain doctors. You may be advised to create a pain journal in the weeks prior to your consultation as this will give your doctor a better picture of what you are dealing with on a daily basis. It is best to do this whether you have been asked to or not. The more information your pain doctor has, the better able they will be to provide a suitable treatment plan tailored to you and your symptoms.
A pain journal should include details of the pain, such as the date and time and how severe it is. You should also describe the type of pain that you experience, such as a stabbing pain or a dull ache. The location of the pain and how long it lasts should also be included. Some people like to include information about what they were doing immediately before the pain began. This could be an activity or a food that might have triggered the pain. The information in your pain journal can provide invaluable to a pain physician and can help immensely when it comes to diagnosing and treating your pain.
What Treatments Do Pain Doctors Utilize?
As well as medication that you might not have been given before, you might find that a pain management physician recommends other treatments to help you manage your pain. These therapies might include:
- cognitive behavioral therapy
- herbal remedies
- nerve stimulation
- nerve blockers.
At a pain clinic, patients can expect to be provided with a treatment plan that is tailored to their individual needs. This plan will be monitored and amended as necessary, with treatments removed if not working and new ones added until the patient is able to effectively manage the pain.
To conclude, pain clinics are staffed by fully qualified doctors that have specialized in the diagnosis and treatment of pain. These doctors are able to provide care plans that include a variety of treatments, including medication and complimentary therapies.