How Can a Pain Clinic Help Me?

If you suffer from chronic pain, you aren’t alone; more than 100 million other Americans do, too. Unfortunately, because there is no way to objectively test or understand pain, most modern medicine isn’t particularly good at relieving chronic pain. If your regular doctor hasn’t been able to identify a viable long-term treatment, you might have to live with your pain – or you can visit a pain clinic.

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If you suffer from chronic pain, you aren’t alone; more than 100 million other Americans do, too. Unfortunately, because there is no way to objectively test or understand pain, most modern medicine isn’t particularly good at relieving chronic pain. If your regular doctor hasn’t been able to identify a viable long-term treatment, you might have to live with your pain – or you can visit a pain clinic.

What Is a Pain Clinic?

Simply put, a pain clinic is a health facility designed to assist patients with intractable pain.

More precisely, pain clinics come in various forms to treat different kinds of pain. Some target pain caused by known diseases, like arthritis and cancer. Others focus on locations of pain, like migraines or back pain. Still others, often called interdisciplinary clinics, attempt to diagnose and manage pain with a holistic approach, looking at your entire body to understand why you are experiencing pain and how it can be treated.

In truth, pain clinics have existed for nearly as long as other healthcare facilities. The living is anguish, as so many philosophers have written, and humankind has long struggled to find remedies to lasting pain. Unfortunately, as Western medicine developed in the 19th and 20th centuries, pain clinics began to develop poor reputations. In recent decades, unsavory doctors have used the cover of pain clinics to sell drugs, sometimes illegally, worsening the widespread view of pain clinics. However, most pain clinics are good-intentioned, legitimate, and beneficial, and as knowledge of chronic pain grows, positive opinions of pain clinics increase accordingly.

Who Are Pain Management Doctors?

Your general practitioner or family doctor might be struggling to provide relief for your discomfort because these types of health care providers aren’t trained to manage chronic pain; meanwhile, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals at pain clinic specifically examine causes of pain and methods of treatment. Pain is one of the most complex sensations in the human body, and it requires extensive study to understand. Some pain management specialists have unique certifications that prove their enhanced knowledge and skill with chronic pain.

In addition to doctors and nurses who specialize in pain management, a typical team at a pain clinic might consist of psychologists, physical therapists, nutritionists, and occupational therapists. This is because pain is not always the result of a physical disease; sometimes, pain arises from lifestyle problems or psychological disease – and sometimes pain is the problem in and of itself. A combination of therapies, including massage, meditation, medication, diet, and exercise, is usually more effective at treating pain than a single cure. Thus, several types of pain professionals are necessary at pain clinics.

Where Do I Find Pain Clinics?

You can ask for more information about local pain clinics by talking to your regular doctor, but you shouldn’t expect much. Though pain clinics are becoming more common and more respected within the healthcare industry, it is still unlikely that your regular doctor knows enough about them to provide a valuable recommendation. You can also inquire at your local hospital, which might have a pain clinic on-site, or from a local pain support group, who might have members with useful information. Fortunately, you should be able to find a nearby pain clinic no matter where you live, or you can travel to a renowned Michigan pain center. Different pain clinics offer different methods of diagnosis and treatment so you might consider inquiring at a few before choosing a program. Most pain clinics are eager to accept new patients, and enrolling in a program soon could save you years of discomfort.

Will I Finally Get Relief?

Unfortunately, no one can answer this question with any certainty. Though you stand a greater chance of developing a successful treatment plan with specialists at a pain clinic, some pain is impossible for modern methods to overcome. Studies show that comprehensive pain management dramatically reduces sufferers’ pain and distress, making daily tasks easier. If you have been experiencing pain for longer than three months, if your current physician is unable to diagnose or treat your pain, and if your pain is debilitating and controlling your life, you risk little by visiting a pain clinic – and you stand to gain everything.

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