While there are a multitude of conditions that may lead to chronic pain, we have found the following to be most prevalent in our patients: Back pain, Neck pain, Muscle Pain (Myalgia), Nerve Pain, Headaches, Post Herpetic Neuralgia (Shingles), Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
Acute pain is of short duration, usually the result of an injury, surgery or illness.
Chronic pain is an ongoing condition, often in the back, neck, head, as wells as neuropathic pain (nerve injury pain), musculoskeletal pain, and pain related to illness. Your physician may refer you to the Pain Management Center because your chronic pain condition has not responded to conventional therapies.
Treatments for acute and chronic pain are generally quite different. In some cases, acute and chronic pain can be stopped or alleviated by a single procedure or series of procedures. Sometimes, chronic pain is part of a widespread disease process, and the specific cause may be difficult to pinpoint. Once we have identified the specific factor causing the pain, we may be able to treat it so that the condition no longer occurs. In some patients, the specific factor causing the pain–such as cancer–can not be changed, but we may be able to reduce the pain or help the patient to better cope with the pain through a combination of medical, psychosocial and rehabilitation techniques.
Pain is a complex medical problem that can have profound effects on your physical and mental well-being. The goal of pain management is to help you decrease your level of pain and suffering, to return you to your maximum level of functioning and independence, and to help you restore your quality of life.
Seek out a pain management specialist when pain does not respond to the usual and customary treatments within a reasonable period of time. All too often, people see pain management as a last resort for pain, instead of a first stop on the road to wellness. Be aware of your body and take note when you are in pain. If that pain persists — contact your doctor or an accredited pain management specialist immediately.
Chronic pain can become so intense and overwhelm the body and mind to such a degree that it can affect all areas of life. People become so afflicted that they often cannot work. Their appetite falls off. Physical activity of any kind is exhausting and may aggravate the pain. Often, the person becomes the victim of a vicious cycle in which total preoccupation with pain leads to irritability and depression. Adding to these ailments is the fatigue sufferers experience from not being able to sleep at night.
In other cases of chronic pain, issues of secondary gain may arise. This may develop when patients associate pain with some form of benefit — as when a sufferer has a coworker help out at work, or a spouse is extra- supportive. In these cases, the sufferer may receive a benefit for not treating the pain effectively.
At Willamette Pain & Spine Center, we will work with the patient to identify and alleviate these issues.