Approximately 20% of all American adults experience chronic pain. Some 8% of us experience pain severe enough to interrupt daily life. That amounts to millions of people either way. Unfortunately, one of the most common complaints among chronic pain patients is that their GPs don’t do anything but write prescriptions. When that’s the case, it’s time for a patient to see a pain management specialist.
Pain medicine is now a fully recognized medical specialty. It is all they offer at Lone Star Pain Medicine in Weatherford, TX. The doctor’s at Lone Star know their stuff. Their understanding of what causes pain is second only to their knowledge of the latest cutting-edge treatments.
Here are the top five reasons Lone Star recommends seeing a pain management specialist to help manage chronic pain:
1. Root Cause Diagnosis
To an internist, pain is a symptom of an underlying injury or illness. It is a symptom to be treated. But to a pain management specialist, every experience of pain has a root cause worthy of being uncovered. Find the root cause and you better understand how to treat. That is the main emphasis.
If you want root cause diagnosis, you need a doctor actually interested in discovering the root cause. More often than not, that’s what you get with a pain management specialist.
2. Customized Treatment Plan
Internists have a challenging time creating customized treatment plans for chronic pain. It is not that they don’t care, it’s just that they tend to be bogged down with primary care to the point that they just cannot invest in customized treatments. Pain management specialists are in an opposite position. Pain management is what they focus on. They have the time, knowledge, and resources to develop customized plans.
3. A Variety of Treatments
Creating customized treatment plans gives a pain management specialist an opportunity to utilize a variety of treatments. It avoids the one-size-fits-all mentality that is so much a part of primary care. This is where patients benefit the most.
A pain doctor might recommend starting with anti-inflammatories and physical therapy to help an aching back. Depending on how the patient responds, there may be a recommendation for a sympathetic nerve block or some other treatment. One way or the other, a good pain doctor will leave no stone unturned in figuring out the best possible treatment.
4. A Reliable Prognosis
Pain medicine specialists have a unique advantage over internists in the sense that they are able to offer a more reliable prognosis following treatment. Knowledge and experience tell them what to expect from a given treatment. And based on how a patient responds, a prognosis can be offered. It might not always be what a patient wants to hear, but even a poor prognosis is better than none at all.
5. Future Injury Reduction
Living with chronic pain opens the door to future injuries. Pain management doctors know this. Therefore, they are equipped with the knowledge to advise patience on how to avoid such injuries. This preventative sort of care can help minimize the experience of pain while allowing a patient to take their life back.
Seeing your GP for chronic pain is certainly an option. Whether you are suffering from arthritis, fibromyalgia, facet joint syndrome, or any other chronic problem, your GP may be able to help. But if not, do not hesitate to ask for referral to a pain management specialist. Pain medicine is a recognized medical specialty that goes above and beyond what your GP can do in the office. Seeing a pain doctor could be the best thing for you.