Millions of Americans are living with chronic pain. If you are a chronic pain sufferer, it can feel like a very lonely road ahead. Sometimes, people, even doctors themselves, think you are exaggerating things when you try to describe your pain. Pain itself is very complex and can have physical and psychological contributors. It can be very difficult to untangle it and determine the underlying cause.
There is no other specialist that understands this better than a pain doctor. If you want relief from pain, ask for a referral to a pain clinic. With the right combination of treatments, you can experience relief and have your life back.
What Happens in a Pain Clinic?
A pain management clinic is a facility that focuses on diagnosing and treating pain. Examples of issues that doctors treat include conditions that cause chronic pain, such as cancer, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.
The approach of pain doctors is holistic — they look at the patient as a whole person instead of just treating a specific issue. Treatments at pain clinics are usually conservative or minimally invasive. Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment plan, and each plan is highly individualized according to the patient’s unique needs.
Evaluation and Diagnosis
Pain doctors start with a comprehensive evaluation. Your medical history, detailed description of symptoms, and medical imaging tests are part of the evaluation. The results of the evaluation help the doctor plan your treatment. The doctor makes a definitive diagnosis and establishes treatment goals with you. Examples of goals include relieving pain, improving function and mobility, returning to work or play, and improving quality of life. The doctor checks whether goals are being met during periodic follow-up appointments.
Will I Be Treated on The First Visit?
Many people wonder whether they will be treated during their first visit, and the answer is oftentimes, yes. The doctor will educate you on the cause of your pain and explain what may be exacerbating it and how to prevent it. The pain doctor could provide anti-inflammatory medication or start injection therapy for immediate relief. Your physical therapy sessions and injection therapy sessions may be scheduled on the first visit, as well.
Examples of Interventional Treatments Available at a Pain Clinic
Interventional pain treatments are minimally invasive techniques of relieving pain with the use of nerve blocks. Neck and back pain are examples of conditions that can be treated with interventional treatments, be it epidural injections, facet joint injections, sacroiliac injections, trigger point injections, radiofrequency ablation, or spinal cord stimulation.
The injections are named for where the steroid and anesthetic will be directed. Radiofrequency ablation involves destroying the nerve endings to prevent pain signals from being produced. Spinal cord stimulation is an implanted device that sends low-level electricity to the spinal cord to weaken signals that reach the brain.
To determine whether the current treatments are working, your pain doctor will evaluate your symptoms and activity level, and whether you have reached set goals, at follow-up visits. If you have returned to your job or normal activities and are sleeping well, it means the treatment is effective. If not, the doctor can make changes to improve your treatment plan.
Pain Clinic in Melbourne, Florida
Central Florida Spine & Pain in Melbourne, Florida, provides interventional pain treatments and minimally invasive therapies to patients seeking relief from pain. Find out what options are available for you. Call our pain clinic at (321) 802-5021 to make an appointment or use our online appointment request form.