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Chronic Pain

What is chronic pain?

Chronic pain isn't easily relieved and is classified as pain that has lasted at least six months. This type of pain usually comes from a previous injury or a disease. Chronic pain makes typical daily tasks more difficult and can affect your levels of activity, work, and overall quality of life.

Treatment for chronic pain

Treatment options for chronic pain may include a combination of the following:

  • Medications
  • Topical pain relievers
  • Trigger point injections
  • Physical therapy
  • Exercise
  • TENS units
  • Behavioral health
  • Acupuncture
  • Surgery

Finding an appropriate pain management plan

When determining an appropriate pain management plan, it is important to take the following steps.

Determining the stressor

When developing an appropriate pain management plan for chronic pain, the most critical factor is to determine the stressor and the cause of the pain. For example, if you are having back pain - where is the pain coming from? Is it related to your posture? Is it related to stress? Maybe you regularly lift heavy objects?

Short-term interventions

Once the stressor is identified, short-term interventions may be added to your pain management plan to help ease your pain, so you are comfortable enough to make adjustments to your lifestyle. Medications, injections, or surgery are some options that can help reduce inflammation. It is very important to know that opioids should not be used to treat chronic pain - they are not the answer for this type of pain. 

Lifestyle adjustments

The next step is to make lifestyle adjustments. These may include physical and occupational therapy to increase strength, daily exercise, massage therapy, chiropractic care, etc. Treatment with exercise will provide a long-term pain solution.

Inactivity leads to stiff muscles, decreased mobility, and decreased strength - all of these can worsen the symptoms of chronic pain. Gradually becoming more active will improve flexibility, reduce inflammation, and strengthen the muscles around joints.

The first step to finding an appropriate treatment plan for chronic pain is to talk with your primary care provider. If your provider finds it appropriate, referrals can be made to the Pain Clinic at Crossing Rivers Health.

Request a referral to the Pain Clinic


Providers:

Amarjit, Virdi, MD
Pain Management

Todd Schissel, CRNA

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