Living with Chronic Pain

5 of the Most Frequently Asked Questions about Pain Management

Q1. What is chronic pain?

Chronic pain refers to a type of pain which occurs for more than six months after the expected recovery period for an illness. It continues for a long time because it's developed into a chronic condition. The pain may not be constant; however, it does interfere with activities and daily life.

 Q2. What is a pain management program?

A pain management program provides individuals with various skills to help them in managing the experienced pain better. A cure isn’t promised with such programs; however, the quality of life does improve. Moreover, the individual in pain can have more control of his or her life.

 Q3. How can I make others understand the pain I am in?

Since others can’t feel the pain you are experiencing, it is vital for them to know the role they have in assisting you to manage your pain. Learn about coping, support, and improved communication techniques that you can use to help others understand and empathize with your situation. Acknowledging the symptoms and emotions that you experience throughout your journey will help the healing process.

 Q4. What will happen to patients who depend on opiates for pain relief?

Since opioids can be addictive, the FDA has demanded a development of REMS – Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies. The program will give all of the patients and involved medical staff information about the benefits and the risk of opioids. The individual in pain will be given proper counseling, as well as drug guides. In many cases, the person in pain will feel isolated, concerned, and frustrated – if or when this happens, it is important to openly communicate with your pain management team or primary care physician, so they can evaluate other pain-relieving treatment options that are appropriate for you. No individual experiencing pain should be prevented from feeling better.

Q5. What can I expect from a visit with a pain management specialist?

You should go to the appointment prepared with a list of questions, detailed pain log, and summary report from previous doctors. The doctor will then be able to spending more time assessing your condition to come up with a treatment plan. The specialist may ask you about symptoms unrelated related to pain but are a related to your condition. Such symptoms include sleep patterns, stomach symptoms, emotional status, and bowel symptoms. 

He or she may also ask you to provide a blood test and get medical images after the physical and history exam is over. This will help to tailor a  treatment plan that is individualized according to the individual’s need. The plan can include possible procedures, medications, physical therapy, and help with emotions.

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