How Do We Manage Pain Medically?

pain management Richmond VAWhether your pain is acute or chronic, it is not easy to live with. Every person interprets and tolerates pain differently and because of this, different people require different methods of pain intervention. Fortunately, you are in good hands. Commonwealth Pain Specialists offers a variety of options to manage your pain and get you back to a functional and comfortable state of being. Often requiring a combination of methods, our doctors will treat your pain at the source, providing you quick relief in the short term, while developing a treatment plan to ensure your long term health.

Management Options

Strained backs and non-descript lower back pain typically start off with a combination of basic therapies. As with any injury, rest is key. Taking it easy for a few days is a necessary practice for a sprain or pulled muscle, even for the fittest of patients.  Anti-inflammatory medications and muscle relaxers are also very effective for these types of injuries. Your specialist will determine which medications will be optimal for you.

Physical therapy is a standard method of treatment for any injury involving the back, hips, or extremities. Through the use of controlled exercise, physical therapy teaches you how to isolate specific muscle groups and strengthen them, restoring your mobility and reducing the risk of further injury.

Though your anesthesiologist may not prescribe you a brace, your physical therapist may have you wear one depending on the nature of your injury and regular activities. Back braces are very helpful for reducing back pain. When worn properly, a back brace forces the wearer to use appropriate posture and lifting techniques, taking the pressure off of the vulnerable areas of the back and limiting the ability to sustain more injuries. Braces are also effective at maintaining alignment and reducing further injury to knees and elbows. If you think a brace may help your condition you should ask your specialist or physical therapist. He or she can determine whether a bracing device would help or hinder your recovery.

Steroid injections (like cortisone) often provide immediate pain relief when administered to swollen joints. Sciatic nerve pain, in addition to other types of joint pain, is often caused by inflammation of the tissue surrounding the nerve. The introduction of steroids quickly reduces the swelling which removes the pressure from the affected nerve. Many patients find that receiving a steroid injection every year to three years, in combination with a completed physical therapy regimen, provides comfortable relief and eliminates the need for surgical interventions.

In severe situations when alternative therapies have failed to provide acceptable relief of symptoms, surgical intervention may be necessary. From correcting spinal disk herniation, to spinal fusion, the root cause of your pain will be evaluated and the appropriate procedure will be considered. While surgical interventions used to be the only option for managing long term pain, it is now a last resort thanks to the advancements made in management options.

Individual Management

As we stated earlier, everyone’s pain is different. Some patients may require surgery first and other therapies second. At Commonwealth Pain Specialists, every patient is individually evaluated and receives their own treatment plan. Your pain is your personal burden and we are here to give you the personal care you need to get back to being you.

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