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  Pain clinics may be your answer for chronic pain

Pain clinics have been found to be very helpful for more effective management of chronic pain.  Pain clinics frequently offer the possibility of effective pain management and control and have been found to improve the quality of life for patients with inadequately controlled chronic pain.  Multidisciplinary pain programs seem to be the best approach.  Many of these pain clinics include the use of various health professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists, anesthesiologists, neurosurgeons, neurologists, physical rehabilitation specialists, occupational therapists and orthopedic surgeons.

Pain clinics and comprehensive pain management programs usually have many different components.  In addition to utilizing medications to target pain relief, the medical management of people with chronic pain also includes medications to promote sleep, muscle relaxants and medications to relieve muscle spasms, as well as antidepressants to relieve depression.  Also, psychotherapy is frequently used to relieve tension, provide support, diminish isolation, improve self esteem and assist with the depression and anxiety associated with chronic pain.  Various other pain relieving techniques may also be used such as spinal cord stimulation nerve blocks, implantable pumps to deliver pain relieving medications directly into the spinal fluid, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and also acupuncture, depending upon the patient's specific difficulties. 

Most pain clinics also provide some type of stress management technique such as relaxation, biofeedback, self hypnosis or other ways to exert some level of control over their chronic pain.  Physical therapists may also assist patients with chronic pain, developing ways to exercise or provide movement in a way that does not contribute to the pain, as well as finding ways to increase their activity level. 

Your physician may be able to recommend a pain clinic or you can call the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation facilities (520-325-1044), which would provide a list of accredited programs nearest you.  Also, the American Pain Society (www.ampainsoc.org) should also be able to provide some information or direct you to the nearest pain clinic. 

Information from The Johns Hopkins Medical Guide to Health After 50 

Additional Information and webpage by Paul Susic MA Licensed Psychologist Ph.D. Candidate 

 

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