Pain management is one area of medicine which has seen several technological advancements across the globe. Spurred by this global happening, chronic pain management clinics in developing countries have also begun using novel techniques in the areas of pain imaging, pain assessment, and intervention for chronic pain management.
Chronic pain can refer to any type of pain that endures even after an injury has been healed, pain connected to any degenerative or relentless disease, long-standing pain for which the cause cannot be identified, or cancer pain. In general, pain that continues even after six months is chronic and requires treatment.
The diagnosis and treatment of a particular patient at a chronic pain management clinic usually requires the involvement of several specialists including anesthesiologists, psychiatrists, physiatrists, neurologists, and nurses. Several therapies are combined in order to at least make the patient feel more comfortable if the pain cannot be stopped, to help him/her return to work, to do away with his/her depression, and to improve his/her physical functioning. Thus, these therapies are medication, surgery, psychological counselling, therapies to stimulate the nerves, lifestyle changes, anesthesiological therapies, and rehabilitation.
Medication recommended for patients in chronic pain management clinics can vary from NSAIDS for pain that is not too bad to narcotic drugs for more severe pain. Physical therapy is one common therapeutic technique used in the management of chronic pain in such clinics. It involves training the patient to enhance his flexibility, endurance, and strength; to move in a way that is structurally correct and safe; and most importantly to handle pain. Therapeutic exercise is an important feature of physical therapy.
Another important technique used in chronic pain management clinics is Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS). This technique provides relief for patients suffering from conditions such as arthritic pain or pain in the lower back, by the use of low-voltage electric current.
To sum up, once pain has become chronic, complete freedom from the pain is difficult. However, chronic pain management clinics, through the use of multiple techniques used in conjunction with one another, can help sufferers of chronic pain enjoy a happier and more active life.