Pain management can involve simple or complex interventions, depending on the cause of the pain, symptom intensity, patient health history, and other factors. Pain management does not always mean taking medicine or undergoing surgery. Many people can successfully manage their symptoms through lifestyle changes, noninvasive therapies like massage, or minimally invasive approaches like steroid injections and nerve blocks.
Putting off seeing a doctor doesn’t help matters. It may just prolong your suffering while the underlying condition causing your pain continues to worsen. Some may be afraid to see a pain management physician because of a mistaken belief that it’s all about drugs or, worse, that pain management techniques don’t work. Let’s put these myths to rest.
Here are five of the most common myths about pain management:
Myth #1: Pain Medication Will Take It All Away
It is common to use a prescription or over-the-counter painkiller occasionally or for limited periods of time. However, even then, depending on the severity of your pain and the condition causing it, it may not take away all of your pain. Pain medicine may be necessary to enable you to undergo other treatments such as physical therapy. It may be what you need to get you through an interim period before another, more permanent solution can be identified or performed.
In addition, it’s important to understand that any pain medication you take will not treat your underlying disease or injury – especially if you aren’t even aware you have an underlying problem.
Myth #2: Bed Rest Is All You Need
Some might say just rest, relax, get some sleep, and your pain will magically disappear the following day. This only works if fatigue or a lack of rest is causing your headache or other pain. Otherwise, this is just another way to ignore the issue and hope it goes away.
Myth #3: It Will Go Away On Its Own
This is likely wishful thinking more than anything else. “Just wait,” our friends and family might say. “I bet it’s gone in a few days.” But why put yourself through unnecessary suffering? If you have a degenerative condition or acute infection that is causing your pain, only prompt medical treatment will make it go away.
Myth #4: No Visible Injury = No Serious Pain
Not all injuries are immediately evident. And sometimes your symptoms are the result of referred or radiated pain – and the real issue is located in another area of the body.
Your doctor can assess potential causes of your pain through physical examination, review of your medical history, and discussion of your symptoms. Some diagnostic tests may be necessary to confirm suspicions. For example, if your pain management physician suspects a hairline fracture or nerve damage is causing your low back pain, X-rays or nerve conduction studies may be ordered.
Myth #5: Pain Medication Is Bad
Not all pain medication is the same. And, while opioids can be addictive, most respected physicians would not prescribe them unless they are needed – and even then, the medication is prescribed for a limited time and your doctor will monitor your condition before, during, and after the drugs are taken. Remember: if you are prescribed medication, it is very important to stick with the schedule your doctor recommends.
In addition, pain management does not begin and end with pain meds. Lifestyle changes, physical therapy, and interventional pain management methods (injections and the like) can be entirely effective at curbing your pain.
If you’re in pain, don’t prolong your suffering. Consult the expert general physicians at Kamerlink Pain Institute in South Florida to speed your recovery. Call (561) 404-7667 to find out more.