Everyone experiences physical pain throughout their lives, and sometimes, it can be hard to know when you need to receive medical intervention to help deal with it. In most cases, pain is due to a temporary condition and goes away when you heal. However, many people have to ensure chronic pain that does not resolve and they may not realize that pain management therapy from the Southeastern Institute of Restorative Medicine in Dothan, AL can help.
What Are the Signs I Should Consider Pain Management Therapy?
Everyday Activities Are a Struggle
This is one of the biggest signs that you may need medical intervention to manage your pain. If your pain is getting in the way of daily activities like walking, bending over, standing up, or any other movement, you should consider scheduling a consultation with a medical professional to learn how you can manage your pain so that your life can return to normal. This is especially important if you are unable to work or enjoy the hobbies you love.
Sometimes, chronic pain becomes a way of life for patients and they become debilitated without even realizing they are no longer able to do the things they once could. You don’t have to live with pain, especially with all the technologies and medical breakthroughs that have revolutionized pain control. Using these new techniques and treatments, you can get back to the life you enjoyed before your pain got in the way. Don’t waste any more time getting help.
Pain With a Specific Motion
If you have pain every time you perform a specific motion, you could benefit from pain management therapy. For instance, if you feel pain every time you lift your arm over your head, and that pain has been happening for months, pain control can help you regain your full range of motion. The goal of managing pain is to not only stop the pain but to find and treat the root cause of the pain, so it can disappear forever.
One such pain treatment that can help with specific motion injuries is Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injection, which has successfully helped relieve pain and halt inflammation in injuries like rotator cuff tears, ligament injuries, meniscal repairs, and more. This treatment involves injecting platelets from the patient’s own blood into the affected area to stimulate the body’s own regeneration and healing processes. This minimally-invasive treatment does not require a hospital stay, which is another added benefit.
Many times, pain is treated with prescription medications such as powerful opioids, which can become addictive if not taken according to instructions, or if taken too long. Relying on pain medication just to make it through the day is not a healthy way to live, and these drugs can cause more damage to your body than they help. There are many drug-free pain control options available these days, which can improve your quality of life without creating a dependency.
For instance, the PRP injections mentioned above are entirely natural since the blood used to treat your pain comes from your body. You aren’t injecting anything foreign into your body, nor are you numbing the pain rather than actually treating it with prescription painkillers. The same is true for Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT), which is a treatment that uses manipulation by hand to encourage the body’s natural healing processes through the realignment of the musculoskeletal system.
Radiating Pain, Numbness, or Tingling
There are different types of pain and not all of them require medical intervention, especially if the pain is localized in a single joint or body part. However, if the pain begins radiating from the origination point throughout the entire limb or back, your condition is worsening and you should probably get a specialist in managing the pain involved. This is an indication that your pain is not going to get better on its own and you need to take action.
Numbness or tingling in your extremities are also indications that there could be a serious problem in your body that needs to be addressed as quickly as possible. These strange feelings could mean that you have a pinched nerve or herniated disc that requires attention from a professional. These are conditions that will only continue to deteriorate as time goes on, so it’s better to seek assistance right away to limit the time you’re in pain.
Inability to Sleep
Everyone has a different pain threshold, so you might not think your pain is bad enough to get a medical professional involved. To standardize pain levels, most experts agree that if your pain is keeping you from getting sleep, you could benefit from a treatment plan to manage your pain. Not being able to sleep because of pain is likely having an impact on the rest of your life because sleep is restorative. Without sleep, your body isn’t healing.
If you are currently only able to sleep if you take a prescription painkiller, this is also an indication that you need a better treatment option. Your goal should be to get to sleep naturally without the pain interfering or requiring you to take a pill. Additionally, if you’re able to initially get to sleep okay, but are waking up in the middle of the night because of pain, this is worth a consultation with a specialist in managing pain.
An Injury Has Occurred
Sometimes, you don’t know why or how the pain began, but other times, you know it’s because you suffered an injury. People often wait too long before getting their injury assessed by a professional because they think it will heal on its own. Before they realize it, the damage has spread and the pain has only gotten worse. You don’t have to worry about being embarrassed because of an injury because all we’re concerned about it helping you heal from it.
In some cases, an old injury that hasn’t healed properly can start causing pain as you get older. You don’t have to accept that pain is a part of aging, especially with all the technologies and medical advancements that have come about since you first injured yourself. If an old injury starts flaring up and begins to cause you pain that you are unable to manage on your own, call in a professional to help get it back under control.
Current Treatment Stops Working
Perhaps you found a way to treat your pain that has worked for years; however, recently, you’ve noticed that your progress has stalled or the pain is starting to get worse. Unfortunately, our bodies are able to adapt to treatments and can become immune to their positive effects over time. It doesn’t mean you can’t continue to use this treatment, especially if it’s been effective before, but it does mean you may need to change things up a bit.
Our bodies like variety, and as such, they can get used to even the most effective treatments that can then stop working. However, experienced specialists in pain management can revitalize your body’s response by introducing other treatments that can help manage pain. Alternating therapies or halting your current treatment in favor of another one for a few months might be all you need to get back on track. Or, you might find that the new treatment works better anyway.
Plans Are Cancelled
Do you find yourself cancelling plans because you are in too much pain to participate in activities outside your home? Maybe you aren’t able to join your friends for golf on Saturday mornings anymore, or you can’t help your son fix his bike like you wanted to. Maybe you aren’t even capable of going out to your anniversary dinner because sitting for too long makes the pain unbearable. You don’t have to live like that.
You can get relief from your pain so that you can re-enter your life and begin doing the things you want to again. Certainly, your friends and family understand when you cancel plans due to pain, but wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to? Pain management specialists will listen to your goals, which could include not canceling plans, and come up with a treatment plan that will help you reach those goals.
What Holds People Back From Getting Help
Even once you know the signs that you should consider pain management therapy, you might still be hesitant for any number of reasons. It’s possible that you think your pain isn’t severe enough to spend money on a specialist. You might think that your specific pain is in a place that can’t be treated. Or you could be under the impression that you look stronger if you deal with the pain yourself rather than go to a doctor.
The truth is that your pain is severe enough if any of the above-mentioned signs apply to you. As far as your pain’s location, specialists can help treat pain in any part of the body. Most often, specialists see patients with pain in the back, neck, shoulders, ankles, knees, and other joints, but any moving body part can benefit from medical intervention. Moreover, it takes more strength to ask for help than it does to just deal with the pain.
Keep a Pain Journal
Whether you are still not convinced that you could use the advice of a specialist in managing pain or you are preparing for your first visit, keeping a pain journal can help clarify your treatment needs. Keep track of how often you have pain, when the pain is at its worst and at its best, and what seems to trigger the pain most often. You should also indicate the times when your pain prevents you from participating in an activity.
Whenever you experience pain, assign a number associated with your pain to indicate its severity. For example, on a scale of one to 10, mild pain would be one, and unbearable pain that keeps you from doing your daily activities would be between eight and 10. Nagging pain that is bothersome but not debilitating would be rated between a two and four, and pain that makes daily activities a struggle would be between a five and seven.
You can use your journal to help you make a decision about getting a specialist involved with your care. Additionally, if you decide to schedule a consultation with a specialist, you can show your journal to them to give them a better understanding of when your pain is interfering with your life and what causes it. Be sure to also note in your journal if there are things that seem to make your pain better, even if it’s only temporary.
Want More Information?
Most pain management specialists offer a free consultation to help you determine if a course of treatment is right for you. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about managing your pain and what techniques a provider offers. You don’t have anything to lose by just checking it out and asking a few questions. Call Southeastern Institute of Restorative Medicine in Dothan, AL today to speak to our helpful representatives and to schedule an appointment.