Understanding Chronic Pain and Ways to Find Relief

Published in Pain Management Author: Carris Health

Pain is something everyone experiences. From skinned knees as children to back pain and creaky joints as we age, pain is something we encounter throughout life.

Usually, pain is acute – meaning it’s brief and intense. But in some cases, pain can be chronic – meaning it continues for months or even years.

Chronic pain is a huge problem. Approximately one in four Americans has suffered from chronic pain. It’s the most common cause of long-term disability and the most common reason Americans access the healthcare system.

Redwood Area Hospital recognizes the need in our community for pain management and support. That’s why our pain management clinic is an available resource for those in pain, and why we continue to expand our treatment options and coverage.

“When we have a patient in pain, our goal is to not only treat and assuage that pain,” says Tim Klassen, CRNA, “but to educate patients on ways they can manage their pain at home. That starts with understanding the source of the pain.”

Chronic pain can come in many forms, such as low-back pain, joint pain or neck pain, and it accompanies common conditions including arthritis, cancer, migraine, fibromyalgia, endometriosis and inflammatory bowel disease.

Tim explains, “Persistent pain can have a profoundly negative effect on a person’s ability to perform day-to-day tasks. By working with the pain management clinic, we can hopefully reduce that pain and make daily functioning easier.”

Tim has continued to advance his training in non-surgical pain management, and the pain management clinic now offers radiofrequency ablations, in addition to other types of injections. Tim works with patients to understand their options and decide on a best course of treatment together, which includes:

Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections – A common treatment for low back and leg pain that is injected into the epidural space of the lower back.

Joint Injections – Medications are injected directly into the affected join, providing relief from pain and swelling.

Trigger Point Injections – This technique treats painful areas of muscle that contain “trigger points” or knots where the muscles don’t relax.

Facet Joint Injections – This injection is put into the facet space of the spine for neck, back and thoracic spine pain relief.

Medial Nerve Branch Blocks – This spinal injection is a diagnostic test that can help determine a course of treatment for radiating low-back and neck pain.

Radiofrequency Ablation – This treatment uses heat to target specifically identified nerves and destroy their ability to transmit signals to the brain.

If you are a chronic pain sufferer, talk to your primary care physician about a referral to Redwood Area Hospital’s pain clinic.

Source: NIH.gov

  

StrongYou Tips for Managing Chronic Pain at Home

  1. Maintain a healthy weight. Extra weight adds stress to your body and painful joints.
  2. Don’t smoke. Smoking can worsen pain and slow healing.
  3. Get enough sleep. It helps reduce stress and improve your mood.
  4. Stay active. Try yoga for increased flexibility or swimming for less impact on your joints.
  5. Reduce your alcohol intake. Alcohol can worsen sleep problems.