If you have chronic pain that's not being treated adequately by your primary care doctor, you may want to consider asking for a referral to an interventional pain management clinic. IPM clinics have the sole focus of helping people with chronic pain that's difficult to treat. They offer treatment methods that help with the physical part of pain such as nerve blocks along with treatments that help with the mental aspect of pain such as psychotherapy. To learn when you may want to consider asking your doctor for a referral to a specialized pain management clinic, read on.
You Want to Reduce Your Dosage of Opioid Medication
Strong opioid prescriptions like Vicodin are effective at controlling pain, but they can lead to unwanted side effects in high doses, such as tiredness and chronic constipation. An IPM clinic can help you reduce the opioid dose needed to control your chronic pain, and in some cases they may be able to eliminate your need for opioids entirely.
IPM clinics are able to provide therapies for pain that are more targeted than opioids. Targeted therapies include procedures such as nerve blocks and radiofrequency ablation. A nerve block is an injection that prevents the nerves around the area that's causing you pain from sending any pain signals to your brain, and radiofrequency ablation uses focused radio waves to heat up the nerves until they're too damaged to send any pain signals. Opioid medications affect your entire body, but the targeted therapies available at an IPM clinic affect only the area that's responsible for your chronic pain.
Your Chronic Pain Is Causing You Emotional Distress
Suffering from chronic pain every day can become incredibly draining. If you can't find a solution to control your pain adequately, you may start to suffer from depression in addition to your chronic pain. IPM clinics realize that dealing with chronic pain requires an emotional support component as well, so they offer counseling services in addition to their interventional pain management therapies that help alleviate your pain.
For example, some pain management clinics offer courses in mindfulness meditation that are designed for people who suffer from chronic pain. These courses empower you to take control of your response to the pain that you're feeling, which helps to minimize its emotional impact. If your chronic pain has caused you to frequently feel depressed, the emotional support provided by a pain management clinic can help you recover mentally while they're treating the physical cause of your pain.
Your Pain Disrupts Your Ability to Function
Finally, you may want to visit an IPM clinic if the level of pain you're experiencing prevents you from working or otherwise living a normal life. IPM clinics offer functional training via physical therapy in addition to interventional pain management therapies.
If you've been living with chronic pain for a long time, you may have not been very active. After reducing the amount of pain that you feel through targeted procedures, an IPM clinic can recommend a course of physical therapy that helps retrain the muscles you weren't using due to the constant pain.
A physical therapy program offered by a pain management clinic can be designed around what was causing your pain along with what functional improvements you'd like to make. For example, the clinic can tailor your program so that you're able to perform the functions of a job that you had to quit due to your chronic pain. Restoring your ability to function normally is one of the chief goals of a pain management clinic.
If you're living with chronic pain and feel that your current treatment isn't adequate, ask your primary care physician for a referral to an IPM medical group in your area. The doctors working for these clinics specialize in treating people with chronic pain who aren't achieving adequate results through primary care alone. With targeted pain-relieving procedures, emotional support and physical therapy focused on restoring your ability to function, these clinics like Inland Pain Medicine give you the best chance of living well with a condition that causes chronic pain.
As an adult in my 50s, I find that my body isn't as strong as it used to be. But I don't let that stop me from enjoying life! In fact, I make every effort to get the treatments I need from my doctor to improve my health. I know that I'm not a senior yet, but I do all I can to prevent the health problems that affect that age group. Because of this, I put together a health blog for people over age 50. My blog isn't a review of what you can easily find on the Internet. It's a plethora of unique information designed to help you find the services you need fast. What my blog doesn't do is tell you what to do for your health. Instead, it offers guidance and options. Please, enjoy the blog and happy reading.