Pain Management can gain control over their lives again. These centers do not focus as much on the pain itself as they do on the whole person.
What Do These Centers Do?
One thing they all have in common is assigning a team of health professionals to each patient. Each person on that team has a specific area of expertise they focus on and they work together with the same goal of getting the patients relief from chronic pain.
The team of healthcare providers at pain management centers will include doctors and non-physician professionals. Specialize in diagnosing the cause of a patient’s chronic pain and determining the best process to manage it. The group of providers involved with a patient may include physical therapists and psychologists.
The team may also include alternative and complementary therapists like acupuncturists or massage therapists. Work together and compile a pain management program for the patient.
Pain Relief and Pain Management Strategies
At pain management centers, a patient’s therapy plan is tailored to the specific needs of the patient. Things taken into consideration are the patient’s individual circumstances and preferences.
The treatments recommended by the team will be dependent on the cause of the patient’s chronic pain.
The various treatment options can include any of the following:
Patients are often prescribe medication treatment before they receive any other form of therapy. Those medications can include:
These drugs were originally intended to treat patients experiencing depression. Research has found they are also helpful in relieving some types of pain. One of the doctors on the pain management center team may prescribe antidepressants to help a patient with chronic pain sleep.
It is a prescription-only drug that physicians on the team may prescribe for patients with severe inflammation.
These would be drugs like acetaminophen to relieve minor pain and could be combined with other medications for greater relief of pain.
This is an OTC such as ibuprofen or naproxen which is for treating inflammation and pain. One member of the health team may also prescribe a stronger version to the patient.
Opioid: This is a pain medication that is a morphine type of drug that a member of a patient’s team will prescribe for the short term if the patient is having acute pain, such as experienced by cancer patients.
Five Ways to Better Pain Management
Pain Management patients leave their doctors’ offices with unanswered questions about their treatment. There was also a recent study that show that patients in the United States are being undertreated for their pain.
You can see between studies that 1st of all patients are having difficulty getting the care they need, 2nd of all having difficulty getting all their questions answered, and 3rd, when they are getting treated the pain, is often going undertreated.
Five ways of providing better pain management care to patients
Working with primary care doctors-over 60% of pain management is still handled by primary care doctors or other practitioners such as nurse practitioners.
There often is an educational gap in the knowledge of primary care doctors when it comes to intricate pain management.
This may lead to frustrations with treatment as the patients potentially do not get better and end up with tolerance issues needing higher dosages.
It can lead to improper dosing and even fear of licensing issues from regulatory agencies or medical boards.
In the pain medication epidemic problem in this country, primary care doctors are often ambivalent about prescribing schedule narcotics due to fear of being investigated despite their best intentions.
Decreasing the stigma of pain management patients-there are currently primary care doctors who simply refuse to work with pain management patients because they’re deemed to be too needy.
This is not to mention the increased risk that the doctor undertakes by prescribing controlled substances.
The survey from the American Pain Foundation showed that 14% of chronic pain adults avoid reaching out to their doctor because they do not want to be labeled as a drug seekers.
The paradigm for pain management in this country is typically a retroactive approach. Patients come in with pain.
They are treated with medications and other services to get better. This is fine, however, what would be better is more of a wellness-type approach to hopefully keep pain at a certain baseline that will not continue to progress.
Better communication with patients-chronic pain tends to be a volatile issue.
It means that a patient may have ridiculous amounts of pain for a few days and then may settle down.
To return with a vengeance a week later worse than before. There are various tools being devise to help with the communication between patients.
A notebook that essentially will provide a history of the pain waxing and waning.
It may help substantially on patient visits to the doctor rather than simply having a mental snapshot of whatever the patient can remember.
Getting answers to patients-one regarding the issues in the survey that many patients had unanswered questions regarding medication side effects.
When the patients followed up with phone calls to ask about side effects along with treatment duration.
Cost issues typically most practices simply have messaging services for an on-call doctor who knows nothing about the patient’s case.
What this means is that doctors’ offices should realize that patients often have either unanswered questions.
Questions even after they leave their appointment and hopefully will have sufficient resources to field these phone calls.
Setting up a plan for emergency pain issue-it is well known that pain patients have acute exacerbations of their pain from time to time.
Anyone who has handled the phones on a Friday afternoon in a medical practice that handles narcotics for patients.
The typical response now is to let the patient know that either needs to go to an emergency room for urgent care for assistance in those situations.
A prophylactic idea is to have an emergency plan in place that would provide an avenue of treatment when the acute pain exacerbates.