Why Surgery Isn’t Always The Answer To Pain Management

Why Surgery Isn’t Always The Answer To Pain Management

Over 100 million people in the United States suffer from chronic pain.  This chronic pain can dramatically affect people’s quality of life depending on the level of pain.  Chronic pain can cause people to miss work, miss social gatherings, and become filled with hopelessness.  Many people who suffer from chronic pain have spent will spend months, if not years trying to find a suitable pain management method.  When all else fails, people who are desperate to find some kind of relief may resort to surgery to ease their pain.  However, even when other methods have failed, surgery is not always the answer to pain management.

There are many causes of chronic pain.  This can range from headaches to back pain to arthritis.  While some people may suffer from chronic pain in their younger years, those who are older in age are more afflicted by chronic pain.  As people age, their bodies begin to break down.  This is caused by normal wear and tear, injuries throughout their lives, and our bodies naturally losing water and cushion as we age.

When people do begin to notice chronic pain, they typically schedule a visit to their primary care physician.  Their primary care physician may order physical therapy, over the counter medication, or rest to help with their condition.  If this does not work, they will be referred out to a specialist such as neurology for headaches and orthopedics for possible arthritis.  These specialists may suggest various injections such as botox for headaches or cortisone for arthritis.  They may also suggest stronger prescription-strength medication.  While these methods may help in the short term, many people notice they are not lifelong answers.  As a result, patients may turn to surgery as a last resort.

Unfortunately, surgery rarely helps for chronic pain unless there is a structural problem that surgery can fix.  In many cases, surgery can even make the pain worse than it was before.  Where patients go wrong is in not visiting a pain management specialist before resorting to surgery.  While orthopedic and neurology specialists are great at what they do, they have not specialized in how to treat pain.  Patients who are suffering from chronic pain are much better off visiting a pain management specialist who has a wide range of treatments in their arsenal versus resorting to surgery unnecessarily.

Chronic pain can greatly negatively impact a person’s life.  Not only is pain an unpleasant feeling, but when a person has spent months or years trying to rid their bodies of pain, feelings of hopelessness may begin to creep in.  This can also affect a person’s mental health.  Chronic pain can also lead to a person being inactive, which can cause other problems with their physical health.  The biggest mistake people make when suffering from chronic pain is resorting to surgery when other traditional forms of treatment have failed.  If you or someone you love is suffering from chronic pain, be sure to schedule an appointment with a pain management specialist.  These physicians can help you avoid surgery and find the treatment plan best suited for your needs.

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