Understanding pain

Pain Medicine is a medical specialty dedicated to the relief of pain and restoration of normal function. At some point or another we’ve all had pain. Whether pain is in the neck, back, or in the joints, sometimes it doesn’t seem to go away; hour after hour or day after day. You lose sleep, you’re irritable, and it’s difficult to concentrate.

Pain usually functions as a warning system: to rest, avoid further injury, or seek treatment. This is called acute pain, a pain that occurred for less than 3 months. Fortunately, for most of us this type of pain eventually goes away. But what if it doesn’t? What if the pain continued for months, even years? This is called chronic pain. Unlike acute pain, chronic pain in most cases does not serve the body a useful purpose. Rest or avoiding activity can actually make many chronic pain conditions worse. Then a vicious cycle develops. But, this chronic pain doesn’t have to continue. You can do something about it. After a comprehensive pain evaluation, our patients with chronic pain are prescribed various pain management treatments. Treatments may include physical therapy, alternative and holistic treatments, medications, injections such as nerve blocks, relaxation techniques, biofeedback, and behavior modification. The goal is to avoid surgery when appropriate. As new scientific findings regarding the management and relief of chronic pain are discovered and established as safe treatments, we may employ these new treatments in the practice and care of our patients.