Chronic pain management
What is pain?
Pain is a necessary part of our existence. When one places a hand on a hot stove, pain is what causes removal before harm can occur. However, as neuroscience has evolved, researchers have recognized that pain is much more complex than originally believed. In fact, there is a point at which pain ceases to be protective and can become a disease state of its own.
Pain is defined as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience with actual or potential tissue damage. It can be short-term — also known as acute pain— such as pain that follows surgery. It can also be long-term, or chronic, such as low-back pain.
Pain encompasses a vast number of conditions and can arise for many different reasons such as surgery, injury, nerve damage, cancer or diabetes.
What is pain management?
Pain management isn’t just about taking pills. Pain has to be managed from a physical, psychological and social standpoint.
Patients often turn to a physician to have something fixed or cured. A chronic pain condition, however, is usually not cured but managed, similar to diseases like hypertension, diabetes and arthritis. Successful management of chronic pain allows the patient to return to their normal activities.
A pain management plan focuses not only on reducing pain but also on preparing the patient to continue managing the problem throughout life.
Anesthesiologists—the experts in pain management
Anesthesiology is the practice of medicine focused on the relief of pain and total care of patients before, during and after surgery. Accordingly, anesthesiologists are the best-trained physicians to manage chronic pain.
Because no two patients experience pain the same way, we believe in taking a customized approach to help reduce pain and maximize function. Our physicians fully evaluate each patient individually and tailor a treatment plan to their specific needs.
We also design our treatment plans so that they can be adjusted based on response. This allows us to work in partnership with the patient to achieve the best possible long-term results.
A balanced approach
In addition to customized treatment plans, we believe in taking a comprehensive approach to addressing all aspects of pain, facilitating and coordinating whatever additional services are necessary. These include physical therapy, psychological therapy, and rehabilitation programs.
Why this approach?
There are treatments that address the physical aspect of pain, like injection therapy or targeted medication therapy. However, upon reducing the pain, rehabilitation efforts like physical therapy can help recover function. And improving strength and flexibility will increase activity levels, which in turn, can further reduce pain.
In addition, for some patients, mental and emotional aspects of pain are significant and must also be addressed. This can be done with the assistance of a pain psychologist. Some patients may not need all forms of treatment, and others may need a full range to achieve the best possible outcome.
USAP’s chronic pain resources
USAP has focused on providing standardized care and high-quality service for patients in pain through a number of practices. USAP has engaged Pain Doctor to assist many of our leading anesthesiologists in offering a full suite of services and treatment plans that are tailored to each patient, and include multi-disciplinary medical evaluations, orthotics, MRI, steroid injections, behavioral therapy, acupuncture and more.
Pain Doctor is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Please Note: The information provided on this website does not take the place of consultation with one’s physician. The advice given does not establish a physician-patient relationship.