WHEN IS IT TIME TO SEE A PAIN MANAGEMENT DOCTOR?
Responding to chronic pain can be a tricky proposition. At the onset, it seems like something you can tough out, believing that in time your condition will get better. But when it doesn’t – or it gets worse – you may kick yourself for not acting sooner and consulting with a doctor who specializes in neuropathy instead of tolerating the pain and relying on your primary care physician.
While family and internal medicine doctors are trained in various areas of health care, only a pain management practitioner specializes exclusively in the treatment of acute, chronic, and severely painful conditions. A pain management doctor is not only trained to evaluate these sometimes-complex medical conditions, but also offers a wide range of treatment options you may not be aware of.
So, how are you supposed to know when it’s time to see a pain management specialist? Here are a few suggestions:
- When your pain simply won’t go away. If the pain hasn’t significantly decreased after three months, it is unlikely to do so unless you explore alternative treatment options.
- When you’re taking more medications for your pain and they aren’t helping. The longer you take a medication, the less effective it tends to become in decreasing your pain. That’s because you’ve built up a tolerance for the medication over time. If that’s the case, a pain management doctor can review your medications and find alternatives to help manage your pain more effectively.
- When you want to replace prescribed painkillers with alternative treatments that are drug-and pain-free. There are many traditional and alternative treatments for pain besides over-the-counter or prescription medication. These include everything from physical therapy to nerve block injections to acupuncture and a host of noninvasive pain treatments. A pain management doctor may use a combination of these to tailor a treatment plan that meets your specific needs.
- When you prefer an alternative to invasive surgery. If you are experiencing severe pain but dread surgery, a pain management doctor may be able to find an alternative that is equally effective but without the risk, inconvenience, or discomfort of a major operation.
- When your pain has decreased, but it’s still an issue. Often, your family doctor will prescribe medications or therapies that help lessen – but not completely resolve – your pain. That’s when you have the choice of either living with a manageable degree of pain indefinitely or taking steps to significantly reduce, if not totally eliminate, the pain altogether with the many viable treatment options a pain management specialist has at his or her disposal.
Why settle for simply managing your pain when you can work with a doctor who understands the source of the pain and offers a detailed treatment strategy suited just for you? The doctors at Balcones Pain Consultants are here to help you live a happy, active life free of acute, chronic, or severe pain. To schedule a consultation at the Balcones Pain Consultants location nearest you in Austin, Cedar Park, and Marble Falls, Texas, call (512) 834-4141 or use our online appointment request form.