Living with Chronic Pain
4 Types of Pain Clinics To Know About
There are many different treatments for chronic pain. The type of treatment used for each person is dependent on many factors, and where they will get treatment varies, too. Pain management is a complicated medical discipline involving various medical professionals. Patients may need to see several different types of doctors for comprehensive treatment, but pain management clinics tend to specialize in one approach or another to pain management.
There are four main types of pain clinics: surgical centers, intervention-based clinics, long-term clinics, and rehabilitation clinics. Just because a pain center specializes in one type doesn’t mean they don’t offer any other therapies, but understanding the goal of each type of center can help you narrow down which clinic is right for you.
These types of pain clinics usually focus on neck or back pain. They specialize in spinal surgeries including spinal fusions, discectomies, and laminectomies. While surgery is their specialty, it’s frequently not a cure-all for chronic pain. Surgical centers sometimes offer complementary therapies and total pain management care, but their typical patient will be in need of spinal surgical intervention.
Intervention-Based Pain Clinics
These types of clinics specialize in therapies like epidural steroid injections, nerve burning procedures, and nerve blocks. They may also perform procedures to implant medical devices like spinal nerve stimulators or pain pumps. They employ anesthesiologists and physiatrists who specialize in these procedures.
Long-term Medicinal Pain Clinics
Long-term pain clinics usually take a predominantly medication-based approach to chronic pain relief. Rather than addressing the actual cause of pain, they simply treat it with medications that decrease pain. They often prescribe opioid pain relievers, often known as narcotics. This type of practice is relatively controversial due to the prevalence of opioid addiction in the US.
Pain rehab clinics focus on teaching patients to cope with their pain so they can get back to their life. They use many different types of therapy to treat the cause and effect. They use a combination of physical therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, exercise, and non-narcotic pain relievers or non-opioid pain medications to great effect. These types of clinics offer the best outcome rates for chronic pain patients getting on with their life.