Pain management, pain medicine or pain therapy, is a field of medical practice that makes use of an interdisciplinary approach to easing the pain experienced by patients and enhancing their quality of life. Pain management generally requires a thorough assessment of the patient’s medical history, which may include a physical examination, X-rays, laboratory tests, diagnostic imaging tests and electrocardiograms. The cause of the pain must be identified and the factors that may be responsible for its occurrence and its management should be carefully analyzed. This includes evaluating the possible involvement of the musculoskeletal system, the cardiovascular system, the autonomic nervous system and the endocrine system.
After a detailed physical exam, pain management doctors will determine the appropriate treatment plan based on the findings of their investigation. Treatments are usually aimed at improving the patient’s quality of life through pain management, reducing the frequency and severity of symptoms and preventing complications from occurring. In many cases, medication is the first step in pain management and this can involve the use of non-opioid analgesics, antidepressants and nerve blockers.
When a person experiences a sudden and very intense pain, they will seek help from a doctor as soon as possible. Some people decide to self-diagnose and treat themselves for minor pain problems, while others choose to see a pain management specialist. It is important to work closely with your doctor when deciding whether to see a professional. A good doctor will be able to customize an effective treatment plan for you, depending on your specific pain problems and your desired results.
If you have a family history of heart disease or high blood pressure, you should be aware of the risks associated with self-treatment or treating yourself for acute pain or other conditions. Many times, people who suffer from chronic pain choose to treat themselves rather than seeing their primary care physician. This is not a good idea. If you attempt to self-treat chronic pain, you may worsen your condition or even lead to more serious health problems.
Your primary care physician should be informed about any medications you are taking, including over the counter and prescription drugs. Discuss any pain management medications you are currently taking with your physician to make sure you are getting the correct dosage and the right dose for your particular condition. In some cases, primary care physicians and pain management specialists can prescribe alternative treatments such as physical therapy or acupuncture to help alleviate the symptoms you are experiencing.
Although it is tempting to try to treat yourself for acute or even chronic pain without the advice of a doctor, it is often not recommended. You should never self-treat or self-medicate because you can worsen your condition. Instead of seeking medical help, it is much better to consult with your primary care physician or chiropractor. These health professionals can provide you with the assistance you need to manage the pain you are experiencing. While pain management is important, it should not be used as an excuse to avoid seeing your doctor.