Whether you’re recovering from surgery or an injury, or you have a chronic condition such as arthritis, you have pain. In fact, some 40-50 million Americans live with chronic pain. At Orthocenter, our staff understands that pain management is a critical part of a successful treatment or recovery plan.
However, pain management through medication is not always optimal. There are risks involved in taking opioids, and some patients simply don’t like the way pain drugs make them feel. Happily, there are non-pharmaceutical ways to manage pain.
First, talk to your doctor
If you’re having pain, it’s important to talk to your doctor, especially if the pain is new, worsening, or different than you expected. By discussing your condition with your doctor, you become a more informed patient, and sometimes knowledge can help you manage your pain.
Here at Orthocenter in Eastern New Jersey, we pride ourselves on treating each patient as an individual. Even if you and another person have what appears to be the same condition, we understand that your situation is unique, and we design your treatment plan, including pain management, with your individuality in mind.
Physical therapy often helps
Physical therapy doesn’t always relieve pain immediately. Sometimes, the work you do in physical therapy hurts while you do it. But it’s often a critical part of pain management.
Physical therapists are trained experts in helping you gain strength and flexibility exactly where you need it. They will help you increase your range of motion and provide advice about what you should do at home to ease your pain.
In some cases, injections can be a powerful way to relieve your pain. Depending on your condition, your doctor may suggest injections to numb an area, or to reduce inflammation.
Epidurals are a specific type of injection for pain. Your doctor injects steroids and an anesthetic into your spine to affect specific nerves.
A radiofrequency ablation uses a mild electrical current to create a small wound on a very specific nerve. The small wound blocks the pain signal that would normally travel along that nerve, providing you with some relief.
A host of other options can help you create a pain management plan that works for you. Like physical therapy, not all of them work immediately, so they require some patience. For example, some studies have found that meditation can be a useful tool in managing pain.
Another possibly useful practice is yoga, which improves flexibility and mobility as well as training on how to focus on breathing. You want to find an instructor who understands that you’re working toward pain management and that you may need alternatives or modifications for some movements and activities.
Pain is a complex and individual experience, but our team wants to help you learn to manage your pain levels so you can lead a full and active life. If you’d like to learn more about pain management, book an appointment at Orthocenter today.
We have four locations for your convenience. You can request an appointment using our online tools at the one that works best for you, or you’re welcome to call the location most convenient for you. You can also send a message to the team here on our website.