Seek Treatment for Chronic Pain During Pain Awareness Month
September 13, 2021
Chronic pain affects as many as 50 million Americans. To raise awareness about this major issue, every September, pain specialists and advocates celebrate what we can do, how we can help, and progress that’s been made during National Pain Awareness Month, started in 2001 by the American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA).
Throughout the month, and all year long, we hope to help in this effort by helping achieve a greater understanding of chronic pain, reducing the stigma associated with chronic pain, and breaking down barriers to effective pain management.
There’s much we can do at Southside Pain Specialists and at other practices throughout the country! There is hope for those who suffer from chronic pain.
What Is Chronic Pain?
It’s important to understand first and foremost what exactly chronic pain is. Chronic pain is a condition that describes persistent pain that lasts from weeks to years, typically more than 12 consecutive weeks. Chronic pain is most common in people between 40 and 60 years of age, and according to the American Pain Foundation, it affects 42 to 50 million Americans.
The causes of chronic pain are as broad as the condition itself. Some reported causes of chronic pain are illness, old injury, and genetic conditions. More specifically, some patients have established a correlation of their pain with arthritis, nerve damage, depression, motor vehicle accidents, and more.
More specific disorders or causes of pain include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Nerve or nervous system disorders that cause pain
- Stroke (post-stroke pain)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Spinal cord injury
- Headaches, including migraines
- Mixed pain disorders
- Neck pain
- Back pain
Chronic Pain Diagnosis & Treatment
Some kinds of chronic pain may have numerous causes. Back pain, for example, may be caused by a single factor or a combination of factors, such as:
- Years of poor posture
- Improper lifting and carrying of heavy objects
- Being overweight, which puts excess strain on the back and knees
- A congenital condition such as curvature of the spine
- Traumatic injury
- Wearing high heels
- Sleeping on a poor mattress
- Ordinary aging of the spine (degenerative changes)
This is just an example of why chronic pain can be difficult to diagnose and treat properly. It can also be difficult because pain is both personal and subjective. We rely on each patient’s “pain history” to determine the optimal diagnostic method. This history includes a description of pain (sharp, dull, constant, etc.) and the type, as well as location and severity. There are dozens of tests we can potentially perform to precisely locate the pain and hopefully uncover the cause.
While chronic pain may be effectively treated, very rarely is there a cure. You will likely need ongoing treatments for months, years, or an indefinite amount of time to manage pain.
How We Can Improve Chronic Pain
Pain is a complex problem, so it’s important to work with a physician who has specialized knowledge and skills to treat these conditions. An in-depth understanding of the physiology of pain and the ability to evaluate patients with complicated pain problems are two of the most important reasons to work with a pain specialist.
Seeking treatment for chronic pain no matter what the cause is typically beneficial for most people. At Southside Pain Specialists, we have a team of pain management doctors who will be with you every step of the way. We offer a comprehensive selection of treatment options to our patients dealing with chronic back, neck, leg, arm pain, and more.
We have a team of highly specialized, board-certified pain management doctors with decades of experience working with a variety of pain mitigation techniques. Our goal is to decrease the pain you experience and improve your quality of life. Several studies show that those who receive comprehensive pain management have less pain and emotional distress and are able to perform daily tasks more easily.
We are also able to play an important role in coordinating additional care such as physical therapy, psychological therapy, and rehabilitation programs in order to offer our patients a comprehensive treatment plan.
For those who have been putting off seeking help for chronic pain management, or if you have a loved one who fits into this category, Pain Awareness Month is the time to finally do it. While it may be a process, and it may take some time, we will work with you diligently to find solutions that will help improve quality of life.
Start your pain management journey by scheduling an appointment at Southside Pain Specialists
With highly specialized training and a multitude of pain relief options, Southside Pain Specialists follow the standards of the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, The American Board of Pain Medicine, and the International Spinal Injection Society. We work hard to provide patients with comprehensive, caring pain relief when they need it most. Check out our website or contact us today at 205.332.3155 to learn more.