There are lots of different ways in which you can approach and treat your pain. With all the different viewpoints in regards to treatments and pain management, how do you know what to believe? Is the pain you’re experiencing normal or should you seek medical help? At what point do you deem your pain severe enough that you proactively pursue and attain medical attention? However minor or major you think your pain is, we have addressed common myths and brought forth helpful facts so that you may better understand your pain.
Myth: All doctors are qualified to treat pain
If you’re experiencing chronic pain, a specialist Doctor such as a Physiatrist is best. A physiatrist is a medical doctor that specializes in non-surgical treatment of pain from conditions, injuries, diseases, and ailments involving your nerves, muscles, joints and bones. Physiatrists diagnose, treat, and prevent conditions which cause pain and treat the whole person, not just the condition. Physiatrists also direct a team of rehabilitation specialists including physical therapists and nurses.
Fact: There is not one single treatment which can cure your chronic pain
When it comes to pain there is usually not a cookie cutter, one-size-fits-all solution for treatment. Often times, it takes a combination of various treatments to truly get to the real root of the problem. Several factors are taken into consideration and after careful selection of available medicines and modalities, a multi-faceted treatment plan is crafted and enacted for a well-rounded road to recovery. To successfully rid your pain, you must treat the underlying cause of pain and treat the actual pain itself.
Myth: Chronic pain is a normal part of aging
This is probably the biggest myth ingrained in our society. After all, as you get older you find yourself blaming any and all pain on the fact that you’re aging because you’re naturally conditioned to do so. Do not brush off the pain you’re experiencing as a by-product of your age. Wear-and-tear pain from aging is normal however it should not be confused with chronic pain which is different. The truth of the matter is there are plenty of younger people whom suffer from debilitating pain and plenty of older people whom are completely healthy with no pain. While your chances of developing chronic pain become higher as you age and you become at higher risk for developing conditions such as Osteoarthritis, there are other contributing factors and such chronic pain conditions can be managed and treated.
Fact: Pain medication is not always addictive
If you take your medication as prescribed, then you will avoid misuse. The rate of narcotic addiction between the general population and in those suffering from chronic pain is the same; pain is not a factor in the role of addiction. Consult with a medical doctor and pain management specialist to ensure that you’re taking the correct dosages. Addiction is completely dependent on the individual and not the actual medication. If you have a history with recreational medication, let your provider know before starting medicinal treatment.
Myth: Pain Medication can fix your pain
Pain Medication is simply used to aid with the symptoms of pain; it does not treat the root cause. That is why pain medication is used in conjunction with other forms of treatment, such as physical therapy. One cannot rely simply on medication to completely solve the source of pain as it works to temporarily mask it.
Fact: Bed rest is not the best remedy for pain
While it is not recommended to be highly active and participate in high-contact sports if you are suffering from an injury or pain, spending time on the couch is not going to help you either. In fact, the inactivity can be correlated with your inability to get better. There are often physical requirements which need to be taken to rid of your pain. Muscles need to be worked and strengthened, and in some cases, rebuilt. If you don’t work your muscles, they can become inactive, stay in the same position, or become deconditioned which can lead to even more pain. It is imperative to stay active; physical therapy can play a key role in your rehabilitation.
Whatever pain you’re experiencing, understand that there are several options available to you to help you manage and control your pain. When in doubt, it is always better to consult a medical professional if you are unsure about why you are suffering from your pain and to see what treatments are available to you.