What is pain?
Pain is a very familiar sensation for most people. It is typically defined by dictionaries as some physical ill feeling related to tissue injury or bodily dysfunction. Pain is in fact, more than the discomfort. It is the mechanism by which the brain keeps the body from harm, by making an individual aware of potential risks, or by preventing more damage to injured tissue as it is in the process of healing. Pain thus arises from a lot of different cases as a symptom of infections, injuries, or diseases. It may manifest on short-term (acute) or long-term (chronic) with intensities ranging from mild tingles to severe, debilitating aches. Pain can originate from different organs and tissues, such as that caused by inflamed spinal nerves, stomach ulcers, or damaged tendons on limbs. No matter the cause, pain, especially chronic cases, can prevent a person from living a normal life, or from fulfilling individual responsibilities.
What causes pain?
Pain is the symptom. It is the body’s means of warning the central nervous system, namely the brain and spinal cord, of present or potential injury in peripheral tissues and organs. It involves a delicate mechanism of injury or disease response, as well as signal exchanges, in order to generate the pain as the sensation we feel. So what conditions cause pain? Almost every part of the body is capable of sustaining injuries or irritations, and so pain could come from everywhere. Here is a list of common sources of pain experienced by patients:
- Injuries to muscles, ligaments or tendons
- Skin aberrations (e.g. cuts and burns)
- Organ inflammation (e.g. appendicitis)
- Nerve impingement or irritations (e.g. sciatica)
- Migraines and headaches
- Various infections (e.g. sore throat)
- Chronic health conditions (e.g. heart attack, cancer)
- Bone or joint degradation (e.g. herniated discs, arthritis)
- Medication side effects (e.g. neuropathy from chemotherapy drugs)
What is pain management therapy?
Pain management therapy is the branch of medicine which specializes on pain reduction. Pain management therapy may involve use of drugs, physical therapy, surgery, interventional therapy and even other alternative medical care methods to reduce pain, ultimately allowing patients to resume life. Pain management therapy seeks not only to treat pain, but also to determine the problem’s exact source so as to also be able to include treatment of underlying conditions in the treatment scheme.
How is pain management therapy done?
Pain management therapy is carried out by specially-trained medical practitioners from various fields such as anesthesiology, neurology, surgery, physical therapy, chiropractic care, and other medical support disciplines. Pain management therapy is commenced by diagnosis, in order to comprehensively treat patients. Doctors evaluate individual cases based on medical history, pain manifestations, as well as physical, histological, and chemical parameters of the patients’ body. This is done by conducting patient interviews, as well as recommending patients to diagnostic imaging, and chemical tests. Afterwards, treatment plans are designed to suit individual needs and preferences of patients, from medication doses, to alternative, surgical, or interventional procedures, handed out by a single doctor or a team of practitioners. Some of the more specific procedures used in pain management therapy are:
- Oral pain medications (e.g. opiods, anti-inflammatory or pain-relieving drugs)
- Injectable pain medication (e.g. steroids for inflamed nerves)
- Nerve stimulations (e.g. spinal cord electrical stimulation)
- Surgery (e.g. insertion of support structures for herniated discs)
- Physical therapy (e.g. for strained muscles)
- Lifestyle or psychological counselling
Where can I find a pain management therapy specialist?
Pain management therapy is an option hugely available to patients in pain. It would allow you to gain control of everything that agonizes you, if not completely, at least to an extent at which you could remain functionally independent, and to an extent at which enjoyment of life is not impossible. Are you needing a pain management therapy specialist to help you along the way? Dr. Kevin Li, MD, a pain management therapy specialist stationed in Los Angeles, will be able to help you. He has more than a decade of extensive experience in pain management care for differing conditions, in addition to his exemplary training, and double-board certifications. Dr. Li also believes in patient-centered, comprehensive care, so treatment plans will always be for your best, whatever your circumstance. Call his clinic at (626) 538 – 8950 today for an appointment, and start your journey to mastering pain!