he first step in pain management is always consulting a doctor to determine the cause of your pain. Knowing that you have addressed any underlying medical issues will put your mind at ease which actually allows for easier pain management.
Where to Start?
Always begin by seeing your physician. From there they can point you to one of the pain managament clinics in Scottsdale. Be very clear when you have your initial appointment that you explain that you are looking for an option that doesn’t include injections. Communicating this from the beginning will ensure you aren’t spending time with a doctor who wants to convince you otherwise. Be clear as to why you don’t want injections and what you are willing to do instead.
Understanding and Describing Your Pain
Knowing how to describe your pain will help your doctor understand what the best treatment option for you will be. Occasional sharp pain is very different from constant dull aching. Practice a descriptor including frequency and location. the more information you provide, the more easily your pain can be addressed. List things that your pain keeps your from doing. For example if you have painful arthritis in your fingers you might list opening bottles or gripping the steering wheel of a car. It’s also helpful if you remember when the pain began.
Options for Medical Pain Management
When helping patents deal with chronic pain physicians will often suggest a medication such as:
- NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) in tablet form or cream
- Acetaminophen in tablet form
- Sometimes antidepressants are used to help a patient to sleep which sometimes alleviates pain
- Anti-seizure medications for pain related to nerve damage or injury in tablet form
- Steroids, like dexamethasone and prednisone, to alleviate inflammation and pain also in tablet or cream
Alternative Treatment Options
Dependent on age, diagnosis and general health some additional pain management methods that are non-invasive are:
- talk therapy- it is amazing what relief talking to a professional can provide
- mindfulness or meditation
- visual imagery
- hot/cold therapy
- massage therapy with an RMT trained to help manage pain
- Some physicians know little to nothing about alternative options however a doctor who has your pain management as their top priority should be open to any potential pain reliever.
What to Avoid
Accupuncture, cortisone and patient-controlled analgesia all require a needle of some type. Nerve blocking is sometimes recommended for chronic pain but this is also an injection to deaden nerves.
Remember, not having a pain management solution that involves injections doesn’t mean you will have to live with pain, you just might need to try a few more options until you find your recipe for relief.