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Rehab or Surgery – Which Is the Right Option for Pain Management

Pain ManagementChronic pain can have real effects on your day-to-day life. Chronic pain conditions such as bone conditions, low back pain, tissue damage, fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis require the right treatment that addresses the patient’s physical and psychological health. A multidisciplinary approach that includes pharmacologic, non-pharmacologic, and psychological aspects is proven to be an effective method to treat such pain. Radiologic techniques such as CT and MRI can help physicians diagnose the real problem behind the pain. The main goal for chronic pain management in Brooklyn is to minimize the overall level of pain while not harming the patient, and minimizing the effects of the pain on the person’s life.

Pain management treatment options may vary based on the patient’s conditions. Often patients will be asked to choose between rehabilitation programs and surgery. Though there is a limited indication of surgery in chronic pain, it is considered as a treatment option only if the pain generator is identifiable and there is advanced surgical methods to treat it. For instance, for patients with discogenic low back pain, interbody fusion or disc arthroplasty is preferred and for those with end stage degenerative joint disease with chronic pain, arthroplasty is recommended. But surgery has its own challenges.

Rehab vs. Surgery

Rehab Programs Surgery
Cost Covered by most insurance plans including Medicare Deductible, Co-pay, medication, time off work, etc
Pain Little to none Can be severe for months
Risk No known side effects Complications, poor outcome, addiction to pain medications
Recovery Immediate Can take even months or years

Several reports have suggested that surgery may not provide enough long-term benefit to make it a worthwhile option. Other negative consequence of surgery is that it may destroy the pathways necessary to control pain through other sensory input treatment methods like implantable nerve simulators.

Most physicians advise patients with pain conditions to consider physical therapy rehabilitation first, before choosing surgical options. Rehabilitation along with “progressive” physical therapy can provide almost the same amount of flexibility, stability and strength the patient experienced before the injury occurred.

After rehab treatments if a patient still experiences repeated instances of instability, surgery would be recommended. As no one-size-fits-all, it is critical for patients to discuss their options with concerned pain management doctors.

Reliable healthcare centers adopt treatment modalities such as behavioral therapies, radiofrequency ablation, trigger point injections, chiropractic care and exercise along with physical therapy programs to relieve pain depending on the patient’s condition. Slip and fall prevention in Brooklyn offered by such centers will help the elderly to improve their quality of life by identifying the factors that put them at the risk to fall and modifying those factors to improve mobility.

However, successful surgery always requires aggressive rehabilitation and physical therapy to ensure the best range of motion and proper healing. This is because even after surgery, chronic pain can occur as a result of the surgery, trauma and illness or not as a result of surgery, but must be managed immediately during the post-op period.

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