For millions of people, living in severe pain pain is a way of life. Many suffer from headaches or chronic back and joint pain; others are recovering from sports injuries, car accidents, or surgeries.
Chronic pain interferes with normal daily function, interrupting a person’s work, leisure, and sleep. It can make activities which were once effortless close to impossible.
Fortunately, today there are more options than ever to manage and lessen severe pain. It is possible to return to normal daily activities and increase quality of life.
Continue reading to learn more about pain management and how to receive treatment.
What is Pain Management?
Pain management is a general term which covers many methods of alleviating pain and discomfort.
Treatment is guided by a number of factors, including the patient’s medical history, age, and lifestyle, the duration and intensity of the pain, its underlying causes, and aggravating or relieving conditions.
Severe pain can stem from a trauma, such as car accident or a fall, a disease, or the natural aging process. It is important to pinpoint the root cause of the pain in order to treat it effectively. A misdiagnosis not only fails to treat the pain adequately (it can resurface later), but it can also lead to additional health problems in the future. It is essential to address more than the surface-level pain in order to achieve health.
In order to diagnose the source of the pain, a healthcare provider can use a number of tests and tools. Imaging studies (such as X-rays, MRIs or CT scans) are often used to find the cause of pain. Some doctors can use their hands to carefully examine the patient to monitor subtle movements in tissues, central nervous system and fluids.
Types of Pain Management
Depending on the source of the pain, your healthcare provider will discuss a variety of options with you. Together, you can come to a decision on the best way to alleviate your pain.
There are both medicinal and non-medicinal options for pain management.
Opioids are often prescribed for people recovering from surgery or accidents, suffering from severe headaches and back pain, or experiencing severe pain associated with cancer.
Opioids work by chemically blocking pain messages sent from the body through the spinal cord to the brain. While this can effectively relieve or reduce pain, opioids come with risks and are highly addictive. Some side effects are mild, such as drowsiness, but other can by life-threatening, such as slowed heart rate and shallow breathing. In addition, your body can adjust to the original prescription, requiring the dose to be increased, which can lead to addiction. Patients are especially to developing an opioid addiction if they take medicine to manage chronic pain over a long period of time.
Other pain management methods are less invasive and do not present dire health risks. These include physical therapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic therapy.
Our Pain Management Services
At Virginia Integrative Practice, our goal is to treat the whole person in order to bring you to full health. Our focus is on regenerative medicine because we believe that your body is capable of healing itself, with some direction. Our integrative treatment allows us not only to relieve your pain but to cure its underlying causes.
Rejuvenation means optimizing your body’s innate ability to heal itself. Complex organs and nerves are able to heal themselves under certain conditions. We make it possible for this to happen.
Sometimes this involves stem cell therapy or prolotherapy that stimulates the production of new, vital cells and healthy tissue, to replace damaged tissue and nerves.
We treat a variety of painful areas, such as the head, neck, knees, elbows, shoulders, or lower back, using a variety of techniques including prolotherapy and trigger point injection. Prolotherapy, a well-tested method of stimulating the body’s own natural healing power, repairs connective tissue and stabilizes your painful joints. Trigger-point injection, directed against sources of pain in a variety of muscle groups, allows us to give you sustained relief for unrelaxed muscles, tension headaches, and fibromyalgia.
We also help cells to regenerate, which involves delivering specific types of cells or cell products to diseased tissues or organs, where they will ultimately restore tissue and organ function. This can be done through stem cell therapy. Regenerative medicine holds the promise of definitive, affordable health care solutions that heal the body from within.