Managing and Treating Chronic Pain
Most symptoms of chronic pain can be managed effectively with physical therapy, psychology, and other therapies
Chronic pain management is often complex and time-consuming. Treatment focuses on reducing pain, boosting mobility, and minimizing your daily life's impact.
A comprehensive pain management plan may include the following:
- Medical management
- Interventional therapies
- Physical therapy
- Pain psychology
To relieve chronic pain, healthcare providers will perform a thorough evaluation to diagnose the specific cause of the pain and treat the underlying causes that lead to it. This should be done by a pain specialist rather than a primary care doctor.
After the initial evaluation, the pain specialist will develop a comprehensive treatment approach. This may include helping to manage your prescribed medications, administering interventional procedures like injections to treat the pain, or providing additional therapies like physical therapy or psychology.
Medications alone are not the only solution to treating chronic pain; external factors can often play a role in keeping you in your chronic pain cycle. Chronic pain management treatments may include activity pacing, relaxation strategies, adaptive equipment, exercise, and diet.
Psychological treatments are also an important part of pain management. Understanding and managing the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors accompanying chronic pain can help you cope more effectively with your pain – and help reduce its intensity.
The use of prescription medications to target symptoms may be included in a comprehensive pain management program. Studies have shown that individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or a history of substance abuse are more at risk of using opioid medications in a risky way, for example, by not taking the medications as prescribed.
If you have found yourself using more pain medication than prescribed, combining pain medications from different physicians, or having worsened pain despite using medications as prescribed, be sure to tell your treatment providers that a holistic chronic pain treatment approach can be taken.
Where should I go for chronic pain management?
The Pain Institute at Shepherd Center offers comprehensive care and services for complex and chronic pain. Patients can access the most comprehensive pain services as a one-stop shop for chronic pain, from a visit with a dedicated pain specialist to physical therapy, pain psychology, and more.
Dean Stroud Spine and Pain Institute at Shepherd Center
2020 Peachtree Road NW
Atlanta, GA 30309-1465
Monday to Thursday
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET
8:30 a.m. - Noon ET