WHEN SHOULD I SEEK HELP FOR MY PAIN?
Each individual experiences and tolerates pain differently. In addition, pain can be described in numerous ways such as stabbing, sharp, dull, aching, throbbing, burning, and more. It is time to seek professional help to alleviate your pain when:
- The pain lasts more than 4-6 weeks
- You cannot determine the source of the pain
- The pain is interrupting and preventing sleep
- It is affecting your physical, mental or emotional behavior
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ACUTE AND CHRONIC PAIN?
Acute pain is often limited in severity and improves over time. Relief for acute pain can often be obtained with prescription or over-the-counter medications. Chronic pain is often the result of injury or illness and lasts longer than six months. Chronic pain can be mild or excruciating, episodic or continuous, somewhat inconvenient or totally incapacitating.
HOW WILL TREATMENT FOR MY PAIN BE DETERMINED?
Pain treatment is dependent on determining the right diagnosis for the cause of the pain. To do that and to formulate an individualized treatment plan, we start with a few questions to assess the situation. Some of these would include:
- Where exactly are you experiencing pain?
- When did your pain start? Did it follow surgery, an accident or any other event?
- What does the pain feel like? How intense is the pain?
- How often does the pain occur? Does certain physical activity affect the level of pain?
- How long does the pain last?
- Do you have any numbness or weakness?
- Does the pain keep you up at night?
IS MY PROCEDURE FOR DIAGNOSTIC PURPOSES OR TREATMENT APPLICATION?
Some procedures are used for diagnoses purposes. These include x-rays, CAT or CT Scans, bone scans, MRI’s, and electromyography (EMG). Epidural steroid injections, facet joint injections and other injections can be used for both diagnosis and treatment.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER MY PROCEDURE?
We will provide you with special instructions to follow before and after a procedure is performed. Prior to a procedure you may be asked not to eat or drink anything, or refrain from taking certain medications. During the procedure itself, a local anesthetic or numbing medication may be used. Some procedures require you to lie on your back or you may be asked to lie on your stomach. Pain management procedures can take anywhere from 20 minutes to three hours. Following the procedure, the patient will require anywhere from one hour to a few hours of observation. Patients undergoing procedures involving the use of anesthesia will not be permitted to drive after pain treatment.
HOW MANY TREATMENTS ARE NECESSARY TO GET RID OF MY PAIN?
The number of treatments needed to alleviate your pain will depend on the type of pain, the longevity of the symptoms, and the source of the pain. Different conditions require different treatments – some a combination of treatments and others several treatments of the same type.