We all feel pain from time to time, and it could be mild, moderate, or severe in its intensity. However, because everyone feels pain differently, and because pain is associated with both minor and severe health conditions, it can be difficult to know when one’s pain warrants a visit to the doctor or whether it will simply go away with time.
Should You See a Doctor for Pain?
There are times when pain is accompanied by other symptoms, which will give you an indication of whether you need to see a medical professional urgently. For example, if you experience sudden, severe pain in your chest that is not going away, you could be having a heart attack and need to see a doctor immediately.
If you have severe abdominal pain accompanied by vomiting or nausea, it could be gallstones, or if the pain starts at the bellybutton before traveling towards the right hand side, it could be appendicitis.
Other people will have pain that does not go away but is not accompanied by other obvious symptoms, and while not excruciating is strong enough to affect their quality of life. If this pain continues for more than twelve weeks, either continuously or on and off, it is classed as chronic pain and so you should consider seeing a doctor.
What Will a Doctor Do?
Whether you are visiting a doctor for acute (sudden pain relating to an illness or injury) or chronic pain, a doctor will want to assess your symptoms and evaluate the severity and type of pain you are experiencing.
It is likely that the doctor will ask about how strong the pain is and may ask you to compare it to another type of pain you have experienced before, such as labor or kidney stones. Many physicians will use a pain scale with a range of 1-10, with 1-3 being mild pain, 4-6 moderate, and 7-10 severe. Doctors like to know how the pain is affecting your ability to carry out normal daily activities as this gives them an indication of how severe the pain is.
Doctors typically assess patient’s and will ask about any other symptoms that they have. They will use the information to diagnose a specific health condition. Nevertheless, it is not always straightforward, especially when patients have no other symptoms except for pain. In this case, the doctor will be treating the pain and not really getting to the root cause of it. This can happen quite a lot for those with chronic pain. It is often the reason alternative therapies and methods are considered.
If you have chronic pain without any obvious underlying cause, your doctor might consider referring you to a pain clinic such as those at KindlyMD in Utah. Pain clinics are specialist facilities staffed by pain management doctors who specialize in the treatment of pain.
How Do Pain Doctors Differ from Regular Doctors?
If you have been dealing with ongoing pain for some time and your doctor cannot find the cause, or your pain is not responding to traditional pain medications, you might be referred to a pain clinic. The goal of those who work at these pain clinics is to get to the root cause of your troubles and to find ways of helping you to manage said pain.
Pain doctors are fully qualified doctors who have gone on to specialize in the area of pain management and have the knowledge and expertise to help find out the case of your pain. They utilize traditional pain medications with other treatments such as physical therapy, lifestyle changes, acupressure, and acupuncture.