Pain Management Specialists Woodstock GA
An estimated 100 million Americans and more than 1.5 billion people live with chronic pain worldwide. If you are living with chronic pain, then it can be difficult to sleep at night and concentrate during the day, while also affecting your energy level and overall enjoyment of life. If pain has become part of your daily life, pain management specialists Woodstock GA can help you to manage it and ultimately, get relief.
Pain can contribute to depression and anxiety. Doctors often refer to “degree of pain” as the “fifth vital sign.” That is because pain can be a clinical barometer for what’s going on with your health.
Acute pain occurs or appears suddenly, usually in a matter of days or weeks. Subacute pain refers to pain that generally lasts between 6 and 12 weeks. Chronic pain is unremitting pain lasting beyond 12 weeks.
When to See a Pain Management Specialist
That constant, excruciating pain follows you everywhere and seems to hit at the worst times. You feel that unnerving pain during those important work meetings, while you are grocery shopping and even playing outside with your kids or grandkids.
But should you grin and bear your arthritis or joint pain, your aching neck or back, or pain resulting from an old surgery or injury? It might be time to see a pain management specialist.
Pain is traditionally considered chronic if it lasts for more than three months. This includes pain that involves the spine or joints, nerve pain, cancer pain, unusual pain of the limbs, prolonged abdominal or pelvic pain, or pain after surgery.
Finding the Real Cause of Pain
Don’t continue to suffer alone in silence! If you have been experiencing pain for an extended period, or if you were under the care of a primary or specialty care physician and are still experiencing pain, it is time to seek help from an experienced and reliable pain management specialist.
When somebody walks into the clinic, our primary goal is to identify and treat the underlying cause of their pain rather than treat pain as a symptom.
Finding the root cause of your pain is the primary goal of a pain specialist. It is accomplished by collaborating with your primary care physician and other specialists – and carefully listening to your complaints. This enables your pain management specialist to establish an accurate diagnosis that will help determine what is causing the problem so you can be treated accurately.
Your pain management specialist will create a multidisciplinary treatment plan that is unique to you. This may include:
- Use of medications
- Further diagnostic testing
- Involvement of a pain psychologist
- Referral to other specialists
- Physical therapy
- Injection procedures using steroids or nerve blocks
- Ongoing monitoring and follow up
- Implementation of advanced devices that send signals to interfere with pain transmission
What Are Your Treatment Goals?
Treatment goals vary from patient to patient and it is important to have that conversation with your doctor about what the end goal is. One study found that pain management specialists Woodstock GA may have adapted to avoid long-term opioid therapy while their patients continued to focus on reducing chronic pain intensity.
For every patient, the goal is to diagnose the problem, restore and optimize function, and decrease pain. In addition, every visit is an opportunity to address favorable lifestyle changes.
You and your pain management specialist at Advanced Health Solutions – GA Spine & Disc will look deeper at the original cause of your chronic pain. To take steps to help fix and prevent future problems, we recommend:
- Changing your diet
- Managing your stress levels
- Exercising often
- Quitting smoking
- Getting enough sleep
- Focusing on the positive
Simple lifestyle changes, such as learning how to cope with stress and good sleep hygiene, can lead to improvements in your level of pain and long-term quality of life. We are here to guide you through these changes as you acquire and embrace them as a part of your new daily routine.
While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all when it comes to finding pain relief, the sooner you see a pain management specialist, the sooner you will be on your way toward getting the help and relief that you need and the quality of life you deserve.
What Does a Pain Management Doctor Do?
Pain management is a critical component in the care of people with chronic neck and back pain.
Pain management specialists Woodstock GA are concerned about the patient’s ability to function and their quality of life. When pain is chronic or complicated by other medical conditions, the patient’s primary care physician may refer the patient to a pain specialist, such as a physiatrist.
Physiatrists are medical physicians who specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation with a special interest in musculoskeletal conditions. Some physiatrists have advanced training in Interventional Pain Management (IPM). IPM is an area of medicine devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of pain-related disorders.
A pain management specialist develops a treatment plan to relieve, reduce, or manage pain and help patients return to everyday activities quickly without surgery or heavy reliance on medication.
To make sure all the patient’s needs are met, the physician coordinates care through an interdisciplinary team of health professionals. Such professionals include:
- Physical Therapists
- Surgical specialists
- Occupational Therapists
Pain management specialists are most concerned with the patient’s overall quality of life. To that end, they treat the whole patient, not just one part of the body.
Diagnosing the Underlying Cause of Pain
Before the physician can treat your pain, he/she must identify and understand the underlying cause of the pain. In some pain cases, the cause may be obvious, such as a spinal fracture. In cases of chronic pain, the cause(s) may be elusive and make diagnosis difficult.
Pain management specialists Woodstock GA rely on the patient’s medical history, physical and neurological examinations. Additional diagnostic tools help to support or rule out a suspected diagnosis.
In-depth Patient Evaluation
You and your pain management specialist will talk in-depth about your current problem and medical history. The physician may ask when and how the pain started, for a description of the pain, about activities that increase or reduce pain, and current or past treatments.
Physical and Neurological Examination
A physical examination assesses your vital signs; pulse, heartbeat, respiration, blood pressure, and so on. A neurological exam evaluates your sensory (feel) and motor (function) capabilities including reflexes, balance, ability to walk, muscle strength, and muscle tone.
- X-Ray or Radiograph is a common test performed to reveal the condition of the body’s bony structures. Results may suggest more testing is necessary.
- MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is a powerful imaging tool. MRI is commonly used for musculoskeletal evaluation as it provides great details about bones and soft tissues.
- CT scan (Computed Tomography) is a 3-dimensional imaging study also used to evaluate bone and soft tissue. Each detailed anatomical picture resembles slices or cross-sections of a specific area of the body.
- Discography allows the physician to evaluate the intervertebral discs (one or more) as a possible pain source. The test evaluates the structural integrity of the discs and may be used to replicate back or leg pain. The procedure involves the use of a contrast dye injected into each suspect disc to be examined by x-ray or CT scan.
- PET scan (Positron Emission Tomography) uses small amounts of radionuclides (radioactive isotopes) to measure tissue changes at the cellular level. This test is performed when cancer is suspected.
Electrodiagnostic tools include NCS (Nerve Conduction Study) and EMG (Electromyography).
- NCS (Nerve Conduction Study) evaluates the speed of nerve impulses as they travel along a nerve. This test can help determine if there is nerve damage, the extent of the damage and if nerves have been destroyed.
- EMG (Electromyography) uses nerve stimulation to evaluate electrical activity within selected muscle fibers. The test measures muscle response and detects muscle damage and disease. It can help to distinguish between a muscle and nerve disorder.
- Usually, both tests are performed, although an NCS may be performed without an EMG.
Advanced Health Solutions – GA Spine & Disc has a team of professional pain management specialists Woodstock GA with vast experience and expertise that can help you manage your pain, and eventually, get relief.
Pain Management Specialists Woodstock GA
Contact us today to find out how we can manage your chronic pain to improve your quality of life. Give us a call now at (770) 212-3991 or contact us here to schedule your appointment or medical consultation/evaluation.