Pain is defined by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) as an “unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage” – Pain can be acute or chronic.
Acute pain usually results from disease, inflammation or injury to tissue. This type of pain is sudden as in direct trauma or surgery and may be associated with anxiety or emotional distress. The cause of acute pain can usually be diagnosed and treated and in most cases, the pain is self-limiting and resolves. In rare cases, it can become chronic.
Chronic pain is the persistent sensation of pain and emotional distress that lasts greater than 3 months but usually is ongoing and lasts for years. It is a very complex condition and is often looked upon as a disease in and of itself. Several systems are usually involved with two or more painful conditions occurring at the same time.
Pain Medicine is a subspecialty of Anesthesiology, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Neurology and Psychiatry. It is not one of the 24 recognized Board Specialties. Pain Management encompasses the total care of a patient with chronic intractable pain. It includes a comprehensive evaluation and understanding of the many aspects of the complex disorder and requires education, patience and firmness when implementing a thoroughly thought out treatment plan. Pain Management is necessary when a patient reports pain that cannot be controlled without prescription medications including narcotics and/or who require additional intervention including epidurals, facet and intradiscal blocks, trigger point and joint injections, prolotherapy (ligamentous injections), physical therapy (exercise and modalities), osteopathic manipulative therapy, myofascial release therapy, chiropractic treatment, massage therapy, water therapy and others. Sometimes pain claims will incorporate psychiatric and/or psychological evaluation, counseling and treatment.
At The Industrial Athlete, we believe in “functional pain management”. Our goal is to obtain an accurate diagnosis and implement an individualized treatment plan to help restore you back to the highest level of function possible. Medications are used to assist us in achieving these functional goals and not solely for pain relief. Education is also important. It is crucial for patients to understand the risks and benefits of taking prescribed medications and to understand the need for both short and long term goals. Patients must understand that their success is a “two-way street”. It requires active participation on their part including learning the self-correction techniques and progressive home exercise program taught to them by our staff.