Treatment Information

Top Reasons You Should See a Pain Specialist

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Pain can impact every area of your daily life. Its snowball effect can magnify your pain levels. Unlike with injuries where the pain has a sudden onset and goes away in a few days or weeks, chronic pain is something you feel each day. Simply visiting an emergency room or the primary care physician may not give you lasting relief.

This is where visiting a pain specialist comes into play. This is a physician who knows how to manage chronic pain and work with people who sustained injuries from significant accidents to help them recover. At Carolinas Pain Center, we have a team of pain management specialists who can manage your care by working to correct whatever causes your chronic pain. If you’re wondering if a trip to our office is necessary, we’ll explain below the top reasons you should consider booking an appointment.

1. Find the Root Cause of Your Pain

A pain specialist can diagnose and treat any underlying chronic conditions you may have that are the root cause of your pain. For example, maybe you have arthritis that causes swelling and pain in your joints. It may seem like only a simple fix is needed. However, deeper issues could contribute to this chronic health condition. For example, maybe obesity is partially to blame for your arthritis, and you have depression that contributes to the obesity. You’ll get a tailored and comprehensive treatment plan by pinpointing and addressing each component.

2. Multidisciplinary Treatment Approach

Since the pain can affect your entire body, treating chronic conditions requires a multidisciplinary approach. So, you’ll most likely have multiple services and providers on your care team. This could mean that you have appointments for phycological therapy, physical therapy, interventional injections or procedures, or medication management. Since pain levels will vary from person to person, the treatment plan will depend on your symptoms and situation. 

3. A Referral Is Usually Not Needed

Unlike with many specialists, you usually don’t need a specific referral from your primary care physician to book an appointment with a pain doctor. This can make getting an appointment much quicker because you won’t have to wait days or weeks for the referral to come through before you set up an appointment. So, you’ll be able to start getting a tailored treatment plan to help manage your chronic pain faster, even if it’s for something more complex, like fibromyalgia.

4. Treat Many Chronic Conditions

There are several different chronic conditions, just like there are various kinds of chronic pain. A pain doctor has unique qualifications that allow them to diagnose and treat many conditions. These can include pinched nerves, chronic back or neck pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, degenerative disc disease, sciatica, etc. They can also assist with anxiety, obesity, stress, and depression.

Book an Appointment with a Pain Specialist at Carolinas Pain Center

If you’re ready to start managing your chronic pain and you want an experienced and professional medical team to help, book an appointment with us. We’re ready to sit down with you, go over your medical history, and get to the root of your pain to help build a tailored treatment plan to reduce your pain levels.

How to Find the Best Pain Management Treatment for You

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Chronic pain is a complex medical issue, and it can, unfortunately, take quite some time to find a pain relief treatment or combination of treatments that work effectively. Chronic pain can develop as a result of an injury or a medical condition such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, cancer treatments, and more.

Chronic pain has the potential to be a debilitating condition that can affect every aspect of a person’s work and social life, as well as their mental health. Pain is defined as chronic if it lasts longer than three months or continues to be an issue longer than the usual healing time for the underlying injury or condition.

In this article, we will explore chronic pain, some pain management treatments, and the potential effects of chronic pain.

 

Pain Management Doctors

Pain management doctors, like the professionals at Carolinas Pain Center, are healthcare providers who help individuals manage all types of pain. The different chronic pain management approaches they might employ include exercise, therapy, injections, and other pain medications. A single pain management treatment may work for one person, while others may need a combination of several.

These pain management plans are designed to help people dealing with chronic or long-term pain feel better and enjoy a better quality of life.

Diagnosing Pain

The first step to finding the best pain treatment for you is to establish what is causing it. The pain management provider helping you with your pain will ask you a series of simple questions such as:

  • When do you feel pain?
  • Where do you feel pain, and does it stay in one place or radiate (move)?
  • Does your pain get better or worse when doing certain activities?

These questions will help your provider understand the type of pain you’re dealing with, hopefully, identify the cause, and use that information to develop the most effective treatment plan for you. Remember that chronic pain medication can lead to drug addiction, and so there are chronic pain management guidelines that every provider must adhere to.

This is why the best pain management programs will combine a variety of treatment methods that address your pain both in the short and long term. 

What should I tell my pain doctor?

When talking to a pain doctor, it is important to be as detailed as possible so that they can help you effectively. If your provider gets the wrong idea about the severity, location, and limits caused by your pain, it can have a detrimental effect on your chronic pain relief treatment.

Things that can help you make sure you’re getting the best possible care include:

  • Keeping a pain diary with details of when, the severity, location, and what you were doing when pain occurred or got worse
  • Learning more precise words to describe your pain such as aching, burning, cramping, dull, piercing, tender, tingling, and more
  • Explaining how your pain affects and limits your life
  • Being clear about what your pain scale means to you — not everyone’s 10 is the same!
  • Being aware of potential bias due to gender, race, body type, mental health issues, and more
  • Bringing someone who can verify what you’re saying

Treatment Plans for Pain Management

Many believe that the most effective treatment for pain is simply to take a handful of painkillers and get on with their day. But just enduring the pain is not the answer either, as both can lead to a range of complications. These include possible prescription drug addiction, an underlying and treatable condition going undiagnosed and worsening, and more.

The preferred treatment for chronic pain will combine a variety of techniques that treat both body and mind and consider a patient as a whole person rather than just medicating their pain and ignoring everything else. This is not to say that pain management doctors won’t prescribe medication when necessary, though, and some examples of the type of medication they recommend include:

pain medication

 

  • Acetaminophen (like Tylenol)
  • Steroids such as prednisone and dexamethasone to alleviate pain and inflammation
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen
  • Anti-seizure medications, which can be effective when treating pain caused by injury or nerve damage
  • Beta-blockers that slow down the heart and can stop hormones, such as adrenaline, from being released
  • Antidepressants that can both improve sleep and alleviate pain in certain circumstances

 

 

Pain management programs will also often utilize therapy, which can be aimed at both mind and body.

Physical therapy is an incredibly important part of an effective chronic pain treatment plan, as pain can be exacerbated by exercise that isn’t done properly or overdoing exercises. With a proper exercise plan, you will be able to improve fitness, build tolerance, and reduce your pain over time.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is used to help people learn about themselves, have a better understanding of what is causing their pain and the effect it is having, and what they can do about it. It is all about identifying the role that pain plays in your life and what that means for you personally.

Other pain management options that a pain management doctor may use include:

  • At-home remedies such as heat and cold therapy
  • Exercise including yoga, tai chi, swimming, walking, and a planned gym routine
  • Hands-on treatments like acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, and osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT)
  • Lifestyle changes including the use of biofeedback therapy, meditation, relaxation techniques, diet changes, and more

 

Chronic pain managementEffects of Pain Without Pain Management

People with higher pain tolerance, especially those whose tolerance has built up over time due to suffering from chronic pain, tend to simply endure their pain, often using nothing more than over-the-counter painkillers to manage it on their worse days. But this is one of the worst things a person can do, as constant pain has been proven to lead to a number of sometimes debilitating side effects.

It often surprises people to learn that chronic pain has been linked to higher rates of anxiety and depression, opioid dependence, disability, and more. This is usually because people tend to misunderstand the difference between acute pain and chronic pain. Pain becomes something completely different when you are dealing with it day in and day out for months and even years.

 

Get Help for Your Chronic Pain

Living with pain on a daily basis can be one of the most challenging things a person can endure, both mentally and physically. If you’re in pain regularly — or even occasionally — speak to a pain management doctor about developing a personalized pain management plan. Remember to be completely open and honest about when you feel pain, as well as what helps to ease it or makes it worse.

It is also important to tell them if you are feeling anxious or depressed or even just suspect that you may be dealing with these serious mental health issues. Inform them about any treatments you have tried, as well as if a treatment isn’t working or the pain keeps returning.

A good healthcare provider who is skilled in chronic pain relief treatments will work with you to adjust your program and find a method that is more effective for you. If you would like more information on chronic pain, please visit our resources page.

Warning Signs of Neuropathy

  • neuropathy symptoms

Are you living with chronic pain? If you’re regularly experiencing things like pain, muscle weakness, and numbness, you could be suffering from an undiagnosed chronic pain disorder. Neuropathy is a very common chronic pain condition, particularly among adults with diabetes, people receiving chemotherapy, and people living with HIV. 

If you’re not familiar with neuropathy, it’s important to know the warning signs. In this post, you’ll learn the beginning symptoms of neuropathy, how to manage neuropathy, and more about the condition itself. This information will empower you to seek help from a medical professional if you suspect that you have the condition or are currently struggling to manage the symptoms. 

What Is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy, or peripheral neuropathy, is damage or dysfunction of one or more nerves. Rather than a single condition, neuropathy refers to a variety of health problems and the resulting symptoms that involve peripheral nerve damage. Neuropathy can be caused by diabetes, chemotherapy, HIV, physical trauma, autoimmune disorders, vascular disorders, vitamin deficiencies, and more.

This condition is chronic, incurable, and can affect people of all ages. However, there are ways of managing its symptoms and slowing its progression. Unfortunately, many people that are living with neuropathy have no idea that they’re suffering from nerve damage. That’s why it’s so important to know the various neuropathy symptoms.

Diagnosing Neuropathy

neuropathyThe beginning of neuropathy typically presents several symptoms, including tingling in the feet, burning sensations, hypersensitivity to touch or temperature, weakness, and balance issues. You may also have cuts or injuries that you don’t notice or aren’t healing properly, as neuropathy can affect your ability to feel pain. 

Neuropathy is a slow-moving disease with symptoms that progressively worsen over months and years if left untreated. The worst symptoms of neuropathy, which tend to occur when the condition is untreated for too long, include foot ulcers and bacterial infections that can lead to gangrene. 

If you suspect that you may be suffering from neuropathy, it’s essential to seek help from a medical professional today. Your doctor may then refer you to a neurologist to run tests for neuropathy, which include blood and imaging tests, nerve biopsies, and more. Once diagnosed, you can seek out a treatment plan for your condition from a chronic pain specialist. 

Neuropathy Management

If you manage neuropathy properly, you can lessen your symptoms and greatly slow the progression of the condition. Your doctor may prescribe certain medications to manage the pain, but there are things you can do at home to ease the symptoms. This includes eating a healthy diet with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein while being wary of foods that may trigger neuropathic pain, such as caffeine, nuts, and citrus fruits.

Taking care of your feet and engaging in regular exercise also make a difference. Though some fear that walking worsens neuropathy, it can actually help reduce your symptoms. Also, try to avoid excessive alcohol consumption, quit smoking, and monitor your blood glucose levels carefully if you have diabetes.  

You can also seek out personalized treatment for neuropathy in legs and feet, as well as hands, with your nearest pain specialist. 

Our Pain Specialists Can Help

Receiving proper treatment and managing neuropathy properly will make your symptoms much more tolerable, improving your quality of life. Now that you know the warning signs of neuropathy, you can determine if it’s necessary to reach out to a medical professional for help. 

If you live in the Charlotte or Huntersville area, we encourage you to reach out to the Carolinas Pain Center. Our pain specialists serve patients dealing with all types of pain, including neuropathy. We’ll provide you with a personalized care and treatment plan to help you manage your symptoms and slow the progression of the condition. 

To make an appointment with us, please call 704-500-2332 or fill out our online form. We will get back to you as soon as possible. 

How Pain Affects Sleep?

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How Pain Affects Sleep? What To Do To Improve Your Sleep?

Does the pain keep you up at night?

It is a common observation that pain affects sleep, we cannot enjoy sound sleep during pain.

8 of the Best Techniques to Relieve Pain

  • Techniques to Relieve Pain

Eight Best Techniques to Relieve Pain

Pain can happen to you at any time due to some illness, injury, or accident. However, there are numerous ways to relieve your pain at home and feel better. However, there is a different kind of pain in the different body parts which needs specific treatment. Therefore, we will discuss some techniques to relieve pain at home in this article, particularly if you have back pain or joint pain.

Pain Medication: Common medications used to manage pain

  • Pain Management Information

Pain Medication: Common Medications Used to Manage Pain

Pain is a word used to represent a symptom of any disease. Whenever there is some injury, trauma, or inflammation in any part of the body, it may be accompanied by pain. Whenever you are feeling pain, you may need medications to get rid of that sensation of pain. Pain may be acute or chronic.

Relieve Pain With Good Nutrition and Wellness 

  • Good food Pain Benefits

Relieve Pain With Good Nutrition and Wellness

Undoubtedly, there are great health benefits associated with eating good food. In this article, we will discuss some of the benefits so that you will get an idea why eating good food matters.  

Herbal Remedies For Pain Relief 

  • Herbal remedies for pain

Herbal Remedies for Pain Relief

Are you looking for natural pain relief? Then you must consider herbal medicines and herbal remedies for pain prevention.  

 It is no secret that all of us experience some kind of pain in our lives and try to get rid of painful conditions. Due to the various side effect, when you suffer from chronic diseases such as cancer or arthritis you may not want to use painkiller medicines so frequently.   

 However, at this stage, you should try herbal remedies for pain relief that have offered proven results over thousands of years.  

Listed below are some of the best herbal remedies for pain relief but first we will see whether or not they can help you.  

Use Heat and Ice for Back Pain

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Heat & Cold

Help Temporarily Relieve Back Pain

There is some evidence that heat will help decrease back pain. There is little proof that cold will help. But some people do find that heat or cold help them. Follow these suggestions if you would like to try heat or cold for back pain.