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What is Pain Management ?

Pain management is a broad term that encompasses a wide range of techniques designed to alleviate pain, depending on what the cause of the pain is. The treatment of your pain will be determined by the history of the pain, how intense it is, and the structures involved in causing the pain, amongst other factors.Understanding pain management and what you should expect from a pain management doctor will be beneficial before seeking out treatment for your own pain.

  • Medication management
  • Interventional procedures
  • Physical therapy or chiropractic therapy
  • Psychological counseling and support
  • Acupuncture/other alternative therapies
  • Referral to another medical specialist

A pain management doctor will have an in-depth knowledge of the physiology of pain, and this gives them the ability to deal with complex pain problems, and help patients to alleviate their conditions. On any given day they may prescribe medication for pain problems, perform spinal injections, give nerve blocks, and perform other treatments.

Available treatments are increasing rapidly, with more drugs, techniques, and technologies becoming available each year. A pain management doctor has unique training that allows them to use these new treatments to safely and effectively treat patients. A pain management doctor will usually focus on a comprehensive treatment plan, ensuring they offer a combination of physical therapy, psychological therapy, and rehabilitation programs that help provide a holistic approach to pain.

Questions? We Can Help You

Questions? We Can Help You

Workplace Injuries That Can Cause Chronic Pain

There are numerous types of job activities that can result in a trauma or repetitive stress injury, which may leave us with near-constant aches and soreness that never go away. One of the top workman’s compensation injuries involves damage to the back. From strains to painful sprains, we hurt our bodies in the workplace when we lift incorrectly, repetitively perform the same physical activity, or move around in ways that can make us herniate a disc.

These experiences can change our lives dramatically and require a pain management doctor to plan and manage our discomfort for the rest of our lives. Sometimes, we can’t even return to our previous work commitments and end up taking light-duty or having to change careers altogether.

The type of duties we perform on the job can have inherent dangers we don’t even consider when first starting our positions. Some of these tasks could include harmful activities, such as:

  • Heavy lifting in a warehouse or construction environment
  • Repetitive motion tasks that can accumulate stress on our bodies like working on an assembly line
  • On the job accidents like chemical or heat burns, trips and falls, or having an object like a pallet full of product fall on us
  • Sitting at a desk or in a driver’s seat all day without opportunities to stretch can weaken back muscles

As you can see, even a light-duty work demand like driving a truck, can eventually break down your body and lead to injury and pain. A New York pain management doctor can help you understand what injury is causing your condition, and help you find relief so you can get back to enjoying life again.

How Does A Physician Usually Manage Chronic Pain

Most doctors consider pain lasting longer than six months as a chronic condition. Everyone has their own level of discomfort that they can live with, but for some, it’s unbearable. New York worker’s compensation pain management doctors recognize this has a disabling effect on the patient and will develop a care plan to put an end to the agony brought by workplace injuries.

Doctors in this specialty have a wide array of treatment options available to create the best regimen possible to help you recover. They will also coordinate with your regular physician to assess your full medical history and make sure everyone is on the same page about your condition and the progress being made.

Some treatment methods your workers’ comp pain management physicians recommend, include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Prescription and/or over-the-counter pain relief
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Surgery
  • Aquatic therapy
  • Therapeutic massage
  • Psychotherapy
  • Relaxation and meditation

The ultimate goal for patients who receive care from a pain management physician is to heal and return to work, even if only light-duty tasks are possible and pain medication mitigates discomfort. Typically, patients can expect to undergo a combination of these care options during the course of treatment.

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How Should You Manage Chronic Pain?

Attempting to manage chronic pain alone, without any medical intervention, can only achieve so much. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try holistic methods to improve your overall health and wellbeing. Whether you’re dealing with a work-related injury or an auto injury, knowing that you are doing all you can to manage your chronic pain should bring you some relief in itself.

Taking a holistic approach to your pain, using both free, natural methods that you can do yourself at home and the techniques/methods provided by a pain management doctor can provide the most effective form of relief for all types of pain.

Some of the techniques that you can use to manage your chronic pain include:

  • Deep Breathing – deep breathing is quick, easy, and can be performed anywhere. It has been proven to reduce tension and tightness in the body, alleviating pain, and reducing stress. Many people do not realize that they breathe in a way that signals ‘stress’ to the body, with shallow breaths. Taking deeper breaths more regularly can have a plethora of benefits, especially for chronic pain. Practice this as often as you can, aiming to make your ‘out’ breath longer than your ‘in’ breath. The practice is key with this technique, as many people are so used to taking shallow breaths.
  • Meditation – this is a technique that can provide relaxation in both the short and long term, alongside other benefits. It can be a tough habit to get into, but there are many apps and YouTube tutorials that can be of help. It may seem like you are “doing nothing,” but the benefits after long term meditation practice speak for themselves. Many people report feeling less pain, enjoying better sleep, and even feeling more focused during the day.
  • Reduce Your Stress Triggers – stress increases the body’s sensitivity to pain, so figure out what your stress triggers are and work to reduce them. Perhaps you are taking on too much at work, or not getting help with the household chores. Stress triggers will vary from person to person, so pay attention throughout the day. Keeping a journal may help.
  • Sleep Well – your quality of sleep is impacted by many factors, including your bedroom temperature, mattress, pillows, whether you have technology in the bedroom, and more. Getting 8 hours of quality sleep a night can be a big help in managing chronic pain, so ensure you have the right environment to do so. Winding down before bed, and focusing on adopting a healthy sleep position can also work well when getting restorative sleep.
  • Cut Back On Alcohol – alcohol can worsen sleep issues, and therefore lead to stress and other problems. Find a different drink to relax with, such as herbal tea or juice.
  • Stop Smoking – smoking can worsen painful circulation problems, and cause many other health issues. Quitting is difficult, but it will be one of the best things you decide to do for your overall health.
  • Exercise – regular exercise provides natural pain relief and increased energy levels due to endorphins. Resistance training in particular, strengthens muscles, which can reduce the chance of further injury. You will also usually find you have a better quality of sleep after taking part in exercise earlier on in the day. Just 15 minutes per day can make a big difference in your pain, mood, and quality of life.
  • Get A Massage – regular massages can help to reduce tension and stress in the body, as well as provide relief to specific muscles, aches, and pains.
  • Eat A Balanced Diet – a balanced diet aids digestion, reducing the risk of heart disease, and helping weight management. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, grains, and healthy sources of protein and fat.
  • Find Distractions From The Pain – when you focus on your pain, it will seem much worse. Take part in many different hobbies, and find an activity that helps to take your mind off the pain.

What Does Pain Management Do For Back Pain?

The right pain management methods administered by a pain management doctor can help to alleviate back pain substantially, sometimes, eradicating it completely. This can improve a patient’s overall quality of life, even enabling them to work when they have previously been unable.

What Should You Do If You Are Discharged From Pain Management?

If you are discharged from pain management, you will need to find out why before you can appeal or take further action. Sometimes, you will be discharged if you are deemed a ‘noncompliant patient.’ For example, if you have not followed the doctor’s advice as laid out in your contract (if you signed one), or if you have not taken medications as described. You may also be discharged from pain management if you do one of the following:

  • Continue to smoke, drink, take drugs not prescribed by the doctor, or eat an unhealthy diet.
  • Do not provide the tests or diagnostic procedures as requested.
  • Fail to show up to your scheduled appointments.
  • Are abusive to staff members.

Ingrained behaviors can be challenging to change, which is why many physicians will cut patients slack. However, the prescriber must also look out for their own professional reputation and wellbeing. If they believe that continuing to treat you could put their job or reputation on the line, then they may refuse to do so going forward. Everything you need to know will usually be laid out in a contract beforehand, so you know exactly what to do and what not to do when dealing with a pain management doctor.

If you are discharged from pain management, find out why. If you can discuss this with the pain management doctor, find out if there is anything you can do to continue your treatment going forward. You may need to completely cut out alcohol, for example, or stop smoking. These behaviors can be difficult to change, but in the long run, the treatment provided by the practitioner will alleviate your pain and help you to live a higher quality of life – and you’ll be far healthier in general.

If returning to work with the pain management doctor who discharged you is not an option, you may need to find another pain management doctor to agree to work with you. This may be difficult if you have a record of not showing up for appointments or adhering to your physician’s advice, so bear this in mind. If you are serious about managing your pain, then you will need to be prepared to do whatever it takes to get the appropriate treatment from the beginning.