What to Know About Pain Clinics

Millions of people worldwide live with chronic pain in various parts of the body. The pain affects their energy levels, enjoyment of life and general quality of life, and they find it difficult to concentrate during the day or sleep well at night. If pain is part of your life and you've tried many pain treatments that don't provide relief, the Samwell Institute for Pain Management might be able to help you.

A pain clinic is a health facility that focuses on the diagnosis and management of chronic pain. There are two kinds of pain clinics; one focuses on procedures that deal with specific types of pain, such as back pain and neck pain, and the other takes a holistic approach to pain treatment, focusing on the whole person rather than just the area of pain. The latter is often referred to as an interdisciplinary clinic.

Purpose of a Pain Clinic

In addition to medication, pain clinics also provide psychological, behavioral and physical therapies to help you manage the pain. You may also be coached on making lifestyle changes, and using alternative treatments such as acupuncture, massages, meditation, cognitive behavioral therapy, and biofeedback. 

The team involves nurses, doctors, psychologists, vocational and occupational therapists, nutritionists and dietitians, among others.

A pain clinic exists for the purpose of cutting off your pain and raising your quality of life. Undergoing treatment at a pain clinic can equip you with the skills to manage your chronic pain on your own, and at the same time allow you to function properly so that you can return to work.

People who've undergone comprehensive pain management have been found to experience less pain and emotional distress and can carry out their tasks much more easily.

Finding a Pain Clinic

When looking for the appropriate pain clinic for you, ask your doctor for a referral. You can also ask around in your local pain support group, or call the medical center and local hospital and find out. Search The Center to Advance Palliative Care for a list of providers in each state.

On finding a pain clinic, try to find out what type of treatments and therapies they carry out, and which ones they are well known for. Find out if they organize support groups, which you can be a member of. If possible, talk to other people who have previously undergone treatment there.

Try to avoid clinics that mostly offer pain narcotics to treat pain. These medications can be highly addictive, may conflict with other things you're taking, and in the long-term, may do more damage than good. A good pain clinic should focus on the person, not just the pain.

Finding a Medical Specialist

When looking for a doctor, try to find a specialist who has experience with your specific type of pain. They must have had special training on it and be board certified in pain management. Try to find a doctor you're comfortable with and ensure you meet them in person before choosing them.

They can also help you come up with a good pain management program that will work for you, and monitor progress to tell how you're doing. The pain management doctor will treat your issue as they coordinate other types of care such as physical therapy, counseling, and rehabilitation.

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