For occasional pain, you can usually take a dose of ibuprofen or ice the sore area. For mild pain due to an ongoing issue, like a sore tendon, you can usually get a prescription from the doctor. But there are times when neither of these approaches are ideal. There are times when seeing a doctor at a specialty pain clinic is your best solution, long-term. So, when should you head to the pain clinic? Here are some key situations when this treatment is warranted.
You have moderate to severe pain that will not go away.
If you find out you have a chronic condition. A chronic condition will probably cause you pain for the rest of your life. If this is the case, it's wise to go to a pain clinic. They will make sure the treatments you are prescribed offer a good balance between keeping you comfortable and minimizing long-term side effects. They will also help you explore non-medication strategies for managing your chronic pain, which will prove important if there ever comes a time when medication, alone, is not cutting it. Patients with hip arthritis, rheumatism, lupus, and fibromyalgia are examples of those with chronic conditions who should see a pain management specialist.
You have been using opiate pain relievers for more than a week or two.
Opiates can be really effective at managing pain, but they are also quite addictive. If you have been using them for longer than a week and you still feel you need pain relief, then definitely head to a pain management clinic. They can help find you a less-addictive or non-addictive pain management solution, and if needed, they can also help wean you off the opiates or get down to a lower dose.
Your current approach is not managing your pain sufficiently.
Maybe your primary care doctor or an orthopedist did give you a pain management regimen, but it's not working as well as you would like. Seeing a pain management specialist is a great way to get a second opinion. They might make some tweaks to the protocol your doctor recommended, or they might recommend an entirely different approach. Doctors at these clinics have extra training in pain management. They are better equipped to manage the tougher cases better than the average primary care physician.
Pain management clinics treat patients with a wide range of conditions. If you are struggling with any sort of chronic pain or the tactics to manage it, make an appointment soon.