About a hundred million folks in America experience chronic pain, and 5-8% of them rely on opioids. While the therapy is truly effective in many cases, it also poses great risks, such as addiction and overdose. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control data cited in the NIH report shows a skyrocket of hospitalizations and death related to opioid dependence and overdose.
Of course, on several occasions, it’s not the clinician’s fault or intentional wrongdoing. A myriad of factors affect pain, and the current knowledge in treating it is far from perfect. Since medications can help and offer brief but instant relief, patients would certainly take what they can get.
If you have been experiencing similar symptoms, consulting Atlanta pain management experts would be a wise idea to get your condition properly assessed and diagnosed. The professionals will review your medical history, ask other pertinent questions about your symptoms, perform physical exams, and use imaging studies and other tests to get a comprehensive picture of your condition. Along with your preferences or any requirement in mind, they will use the findings to customize a treatment plan.
Depending on your condition, you may be prescribed either nonsurgical or surgical treatment options. Epidural steroid injections to reduce the inflammation could be recommended alongside rest, pain medications, and physical therapy. If these management practices have not been effective in the past, or turn out to be ineffective later on, more invasive procedures like microdiscectomy may be recommended.
Basically, there are two types of pain: acute and chronic, with the latter being the worst of the two. Leading pain consultants of Atlanta health clinics often define chronic pain as mild to severe pain that does not go away for months or even years. Unlike acute pain that is self-limiting and has an underlying yet easily treatable cause, chronic pain is resistant to most medical treatments and can take a huge toll on the affected individual’s quality of life.
In some cases, pre-existing pain issues such as back pain can amplify the pain you may experience after surgery. To avoid this, be sure to let your doctor know of any conditions you may already be suffering from before you go under the knife. This allows your doctor to craft a better post-op pain management plan. You should also inform your anesthesiologist of any pain medication you may be currently taking.