If you’ve had to stop doing the things you love due to living with chronic pain, it may be time to consider seeing a provider who specializes in pain management. From mowing the grass, to bicycling, or going to the zoo with family, pain shouldn’t hold you back in your daily activities.
According to Amy Breidenbach, manager, ProMedica Pain Management, pain isn’t just physically debilitating; but it can be mentally taxing, too.
“When someone suffers from pain, they often say they just want their life back,” says Breidenbach. “When you can’t do your normal, daily activities, you feel a sense of loss, and depression goes along with it. Sometimes people who suffer from chronic pain feel like they are not good enough anymore.”
Breidenbach advises people to discuss their pain with their primary care physician and to ask about being referred to a provider who specializes in treating pain. “Don’t be silent about your pain, and don’t feel discouraged and think there is nothing that can be done, because a pain management specialist can work with you to identify the source of the problem.”
Breidenbach also stresses that not all pain is caused by the same problem, and what works for one person may not work for another. Nerve injuries, herniated discs, arthritis and migraines are just some potential causes of chronic pain. That’s why individualized treatment is so important.
“Our pain management specialists at ProMedica are trained to assess patients and pinpoint where a person’s pain is coming from before creating an individualized treatment plan,” Breidenbach explains.
Some people might be afraid to seek help for pain because they do not want to use narcotics or have surgery, but that’s a misconception about pain management. There are other pain relief options available, including procedures such as epidural steroid injections, nerve blocks, radiofrequency ablations, and more. Some of these procedures may result in a year or two of pain relief. The goal is to make pain manageable and tolerable. The pain may not go away completely, but it may be managed to a point where people can get their life back.
“Don’t let pain stop you from doing the things you love. If you can no longer do daily activities, such as standing to do the dishes, vacuuming, sitting or standing for long periods of time, or being unable to sleep through the night due to the pain, it’s time to talk to your doctor or make an appointment with a pain management specialist to get you back to living your life to the fullest,” says Breidenbach.