If you are looking for a comprehensive pain doctor in Columbia, Maryland then Pain and Spine Specialists of Maryland can help you today. We help patients properly identify the symptoms and causes of their chronic pain and work with them to determine the best treatment options for their individual needs.
What is Chronic Pain?
According to the CDC, approximately 20% of adults (about 50 million) in the United States have chronic pain and 8% of adults (about 20 million) have high-impact chronic pain. Pain, especially chronic pain, can be very debilitating and hinder a person’s ability to enjoy their life or even go about regular daily activities. Chronic pain also has a significant social and economic impact, as people often have to miss several days of work and spend copious amounts of money on healthcare. A study from the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health estimates that healthcare costs in the United States for treating chronic pain are around $100 to $150 billion annually. This goes to show that there is a serious need for improved treatment options and more innovative approaches to pain management.
Some of the most common types of chronic pain are headaches, post-surgical pain, post-trauma pain, lower back pain, cancer pain, and arthritis. Typically, pain must be present for three months or more to be considered chronic pain. When you search for chronic pain providers in Columbia, Maryland then you will most likely come across the phrase “comprehensive pain management,” and this is the type of treatment you want to seek out.
What is Comprehensive Pain Management?
Comprehensive pain management is a form of treatment that involves multiple types of therapies to try to relieve chronic pain and help a patient regain control of their life. A pain management doctor can use conventional methods, such as medication and surgery, to treat a patient’s pain. They may also try to avoid the use of prescription medicine, specifically opioids due to their addictive nature, and invasive surgery, which often leaves patients with long recovery times. Instead, they may look towards alternative therapies and can help coach you on lifestyle changes to teach you better-coping mechanisms for your pain.
Depending on which pain management location you go to you may find various medical professionals such as board-certified doctors, licensed nurse practitioners, occupational therapists, physical therapists, licensed acupuncturists, chiropractors, and exercise physiologists. You may also find psychologists or other mental healthcare workers.
Comprehensive pain management attempts to heal pain from both the physical and psychological aspects to fully improve the quality of a person’s life. Pain and Spine Specialists is a premier pain management practice with board-certified and fellowship-trained interventional pain management physicians who understand the complexities of living with chronic pain. They can treat your chronic pain using traditional medicine, with the latest equipment and practices, along with holistic and alternative approaches.
Comprehensive Pain Management Strategies
A pain management center in Columbia, Maryland should offer a variety of treatment options to target your specific chronic pain. Your medical provider will determine an individualized treatment plan, which encompasses all of the recommended therapies to treat your pain while taking into account your own personal needs and past experiences with pain management. Treatment options can include the following:
Injection Therapies and Medicine Management:
Injection therapies are minimally invasive treatments for chronic pain. This is a non-surgical option that patients can try to alleviate their pain, with results lasting for varying lengths of time (possibly months or years). For years, pain management doctors have been able to safely use cortisone injections, epidural steroid injections, trigger point injections, and nerve blocks for pain. Injection therapies involve using a needle to deliver medication directly to the site of pain. Different injection therapies include epidural steroid injections, medial branch blocks, radiofrequency ablation, trigger point injections, hip injections, shoulder injections, knee injections, sacroiliac joint injections, occipital nerve blocks, facet joint injections, stellate ganglion blocks, and lumbar sympathetic blocks.
A pain management doctor will manage your medication, including the type of medicine and dosage if your doctor decides it is an appropriate course of treatment. Your doctor will monitor you to see if the medicine is effective. Some common medications your doctor may prescribe are NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory), muscle relaxants, anticonvulsant medication, corticosteroids, and opioids.
Minimally Invasive Surgeries:
Minimally invasive surgeries are typically performed as outpatient procedures, meaning there are no overnight stays and many of them can be done in a very short amount of time. Minimally invasive surgery is performed in a way that tries to minimize the damage done to the body, in comparison to open surgery, and leaves less pain during recovery times. It is also associated with fewer risks. With this type of surgery, there is less of a chance of an infection occurring or there being a complication with anesthesia, along with fewer scars. These types of surgeries usually involve laparoscopy, which is where one or more small incisions are made and small tubes are inserted to help guide a small camera and surgical tools. Minimally invasive surgery can be used in cases of heart surgery, spinal surgery, brain surgery, gallbladder surgery, kidney removal or transplant, and more.
Physical therapy involves the evaluation, assessment, and treatment of functional mobility issues. This kind of treatment can help individuals who have suffered from an illness or injury that has left them with a loss of function and difficulty in movement, along with pain. Some common issues that physical therapy treats are stroke, spinal cord injury, fractures, sports injuries, amputations, arthritis, and many more. When you first seek out physical therapy, you will be evaluated on things like strength, balance, pain, range of motion, joint mobility, and other types of function (i.e. neurological, cardiac, and pulmonary). Popular techniques used in physical therapy are acupuncture, weight training, aerobic activities, dry needling, aquatic therapy, electrical stimulation, manual therapy, therapeutic ultrasound, floor exercises, heat and cold therapy, motion training, and stabilization or balance training.
This is an approach to wellness that combines both traditional Western medicine, like prescription medication and surgery, and alternative medicine, like yoga and meditation. Integrative medicine attempts to focus on whole-body wellness and values the relationship between the mind, body, and spirit. Some common alternative medicines that are incorporated into integrative medicine are acupuncture, biofeedback, massage, yoga, meditation, herbal remedies, and chiropractic adjustments. Integrative medicine can be used to treat a range of physical conditions that may cause chronic pain, including cancer, diabetes, fibromyalgia, headaches, arthritis, and sciatica.
Mental Health Services:
Mental health services also play an important part in the treatment of chronic pain. Chronic pain can often come with mental health problems like anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Psychotherapy, TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation), and antidepressants are some of the treatment options that may be offered. Those suffering from mental health issues, related to chronic pain, will usually try a combination of antidepressants and psychotherapy to get the maximum benefits. The most common type of psychotherapy is cognitive behavioral therapy, which focuses on identifying and altering negative thoughts and behaviors.
Pain and Spine Specialists offer many of these treatment options for patients looking for chronic pain treatment in Columbia, Maryland, and can refer you to our partner offices, Shakthi Health and Wellness Center and Gemini Health, for any services not performed in-house.
Pain Management Columbia Maryland
If you find yourself suffering from moderate to severe chronic pain, call Pain and Spine Specialists today! We are a team of highly qualified providers who will properly evaluate your symptoms and determine the best course of treatment. Let us help you return to a fully functioning life, free from pain. If you would like more information about comprehensive pain management in Columbia MD, please call us at (301) 703-8767.