What types of therapies are there to manage your pain?
Pain management is a division of healthcare that addresses a wide array of chronic pain symptoms, and takes a multi-disciplinary approach to treating injuries. Doctors who practice pain management focus on reducing your suffering and improving your quality of life, allowing you to get back to work, school, or other necessary daily activities.
There are a variety of pain management options available to those suffering with accident injuries. Among the most common are:
Acupuncture – This traditional Chinese approach to healing has the acupuncturist place needles at precise points on the body which target your areas of pain. Some scientists believe that acupuncture may release our bodies’ natural pain relieving chemicals throughout the body, promote circulation, and balance the nervous system, all of which aid in pain reduction. Acupuncture is largely used to treat migraines, lower back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and joint pain.
Chiropractic Treatment – Chiropractors tend to the proper alignment of your body’s musculoskeletal structure, with the goal of having your body heal itself so you will not have to resort to more invasive treatments, such as surgery. They use a hands-on manipulation method to reduce pain in muscles, joints, bones, and connective tissue. Many people find that chiropractic treatments greatly reduce their neck and back pain, as well as headaches. A chiropractor will work with your body to increase your mobility
Epidural Steroid Injection – Following a car accident, injuries to spinal nerves are very common because often the impact results in a disc slipping or being forced out of place. If the disc lands on a nerve, the inflammation to the nerve can cause great pain. The epidural injection delivers a dose of a corticosteroid to the nerve in an effort to reduce inflammation, and in turn reduce pain. Some people experience great pain relief after an injection, which lasts for months or years, while others may only experience very temporary pain relief.
Medication – Depending upon your specific level of pain and type of pain, your doctor may suggest over-the-counter items such as acetaminophen or NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), which include aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen. Doctors sometimes suggest a topical pain reliever, such as a capsaicin cream. Your doctor may also feel it necessary to treat your pain with something stronger, such as muscle relaxants, or even narcotics.
Physical Therapy – There are many forms of pain management methods your physical therapist can utilize, depending on your accident injuries. In the early stages of your therapy, when your muscles and joints may still be inflamed due to a recent accident, your therapist may deliver massage therapy or manual therapy using hand or tools, to target soft tissue. Physical therapy treatment may also consist of cold laser therapy to decrease inflammation and pain. After your body has had a chance to heal some following an accident injury, your physical therapist will likely have you complete exercises during each session in order to strengthen muscles, stabilize your joints, increase flexibility, and teach you how to move properly, all in an effort to reduce your chronic pain.
Pain Management Specialists – These are physicians who focus their practices on evaluating the cause and administering the treatment of your pain with a goal of getting you back to your normal activities. A pain management doctor will give you a thorough exam, closely review all of your diagnostic test (x-ray, MRI, CT scan) results, and learn from you a history of your pain problem. This category of doctors is up on the full scope of all the latest pain treatment techniques and will design a comprehensive program specific to your source of pain.
If you have been the victim of a PA or NJ car accident, and find yourself in chronic pain as a result of that accident, you may want to speak to a personal injury lawyer to learn how to pursue a personal injury claim and how to get yourself well. The experienced Bucks County personal injury law firm, Cordisco & Saile LLC, might be able to help.