Frequently Asked Questions
What is pain management?
Pain is a complex medical problem that can have profound effects on your physical and mental well-being. The goal of pain management is to help you decrease your level of pain and suffering, to return you to your maximum level of functioning and independence, and to help you restore your quality of life.
When should a person seek a pain management specialist?
Seek out a pain management specialist when pain does not respond to the usual and customary treatments within a reasonable period of time. All too often, people see pain management as a last resort for pain, instead of a first stop on the road to wellness. Be aware of your body and take note when you are in pain. If that pain persists — contact your doctor or an accredited pain management specialist immediately.
What are the major issues surrounding pain?
Chronic pain can become so intense and overwhelm the body and mind to such a degree that it can affect all areas of life. People become so afflicted that they often cannot work. Their appetite falls off. Physical activity of any kind is exhausting and may aggravate the pain. Often, the person becomes the victim of a vicious cycle in which total preoccupation with pain leads to irritability and depression. Adding to these ailments is the fatigue sufferers experience from not being able to sleep at night.
In other cases of chronic pain, issues of secondary gain may arise. This may develop when patients associate pain with some form of benefit — as when a sufferer has a coworker help out at work, or a spouse is extra- supportive. In these cases, the sufferer may receive a benefit for not treating the pain effectively.
At Michigan Spine Institute, we will work with the patient to identify and alleviate these issues.
What medications are most commonly used to manage pain?
A: While drug therapies differ for each person, the most common are:
- Adjuvant pain medications, including: antidepressants, anticonvulsants and muscle relaxors.
- Opiates or “pain killers” used to treat acute pain or cancer-related pain, and often prescribed for chronic pain.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs to alleviate pain by reducing swelling and irritation.
- There are alternative delivery methods for medications. Common methods used at the office are oral medications, topical creams, sublingual medicines, nasal sprays, injections and patches.
Is pain management covered by health insurance?
A: Most policies provide for pain management. Please call our office for more information