For many of us, pain is not a condition that we wish to experience or notice but still there is no escape from it. Nonetheless, the question is when to see a pain management specialist and for this, we need to know what is pain, what is it trying to convey us and other vital questions related to pain. Let us try to know these in this article.
What Is Pain?
Simply put it’s an unkind feeling or sensation that can inhibit our abilities and capabilities to do our daily chores or stick to our daily routine. It is the body’s important means of communication that tries to convey us something, majorly of a bad happening in the body. Pain is an unwanted emotion and sensory experience often acting as an initial warning sign to alert that something isn’t right with the body.
According to the International Association for the Study of Pain: “Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience that is associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in such terms.”
Body pain ranges from mild to severe and confined to comprehensive. It can as well be acute (short time) to chronic (long-term). Acute pain usually disappears with time or as the healing progresses while chronic pain takes time to disappear and is a sign of some major mishap in the body. Usually, chronic pain forces you to check for a pain specialist near me.
[Also Read: When to see a doctor for chronic pain in legs]
Signs Of Pain
The signs and symptoms of pain are different to each individual and vary greatly. In fact, signs of pain are subjective. They can be gentle, severe, sharp, sticking, long duration or short duration.
Usually below are the signs of pain;
- A dull aching
One need not worry for the above symptoms unless they are chronic and even if they are chronic they are most of the time manageable as the majority of the pains subdue when the root cause is treated. In case they reach such a position where these symptoms are unbearable google out a pain management doctor near me and seek his/her help.
What Causes Pain?
Some of the common causes of pain include;
Many disorders or illnesses such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), reproductive issues and flu can also cause pain. A few people come across other symptoms along with pain and such symptoms can consist of nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite, dizziness, irritability, anger and depression.
When To See A Pain Management Specialist?
This is a tricky situation and differs from person to person, however, one should get medical assistance for pain if;
- It’s the outcome of an accident or an injury, particularly when there’s a risk of infection, bleeding or broken bones and when the damage is to the head.
- An interior pain is sharp and acute: This kind of pain could mean a serious health problem such as a cracked appendix.
- It is present in the chest, as this may indicate a heart attack
- It is troublesome to normal life, making it problematic to sleep or work.
- The pain isn’t simply going away or reducing.
- The pain is not reducing even with medicines.
- The pain is reduced but still an issue to lead a normal life.
Besides one should also see a pain specialist when one wishes to alter or change the pain medicines or go for a surgery.
Diagnosis Of Pain
If a person seeks medical attention for pain, a doctor will first conduct a physical test and ask some questions. The tests may include some sort of x-rays and other lab tests.
Treatments For Pain
Generally, acute pain will reduce on its own once the source of the pain is treated, for instance, accidents and injuries.
Chronic pain is a bit difficult to deal with especially when the reason for the pain is unidentified. The better option of dealing chronic pain is dealing with the underlying issue.
Treatment may include;
- OTC painkillers such as ibuprofen and aspirin
- Prescription pain medication
- Physical therapy
- Yoga or gentle stretches with deep breathing
- Heat baths or heat pads
- Cold baths or cold packs
- Muscle relaxation techniques
- Guided imagery
To sum up, before asking when to see a pain management specialist, follow RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) and still if there’s no improvement take help of a specialist.
Sudheendra is a passionate blogger for 8 years and holds a Degree in Journalism & Mass Communications. His writings particularly focus on health, medicine, diet & lifestyle. For him, everything that interlinks and relates to health & medical world entices him. His write-ups aim at educating people not by just giving facts but by infusing human touch.