One of the most common reasons adults seek medical attention or care is due to an issue with chronic pain. Whether it was something that developed naturally over time, or the result of an unfortunate accident, it’s felt by over 20% of Americans. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), nearly 50 million adults in the United States suffer from chronic pain. In addition, 8% of them have such severe symptoms that it prevents them from engaging in typical, daily activities. The Global Burden of Disease Study 2016 even reaffirmed that it’s the number one cause of disability. Luckily, there are constant advances being made by chronic pain doctors to help manage these issues.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common chronic pain conditions adults face.
Back, head, joint, and nerve are among the top areas and types of pain that pain management doctors treat. Typically, in order to be diagnosed and treated, pain must be recurring for at least 12 weeks.
According to an article by William Raffaeli and Elisa Arnaudo, the reasons for these conditions can be many things, including “musculoskeletal injury (involving the bones, muscles, or joints), nervous system dysfunction, chronic diseases, and autoimmune disorders.”
Problems in the back can stem from things such as a slipped disc, spinal fractures, post surgery complications, scoliosis, and many more issues that gradually get worse over time.
Chronic head pain is usually something more complex than just a headache. There are various types of headaches – tension, cluster, eye strain, migraines – and if they’re constant, it’s something that needs to be managed by a chronic pain doctor.
Joint pain is caused most often by either injury or infection, or advancement in age. Arthritis and tendinitis are among the most common chronic pain influences.
When it comes to nerve pain, sciatica and carpal tunnel are two of several conditions that are prevalent in adults. However, due to advances in treatments, we’re learning that many chronic pain issues can be managed by targeting certain nerves and using nerve treatments.
Medications, surgeries, and even constant injections are treatments used by pain management doctors. But often those approaches aren’t enough after awhile. There are newer, non surgical methods to helping with these chronic pain conditions.
One treatment is Radiofrequency Ablation (RF). In our brain we have signals that are the cause of us sensing pain. RF therapy interrupts that signal from reaching the brain by using a type of energy that blocks that nerve, resulting in little to no pain felt. It can be used in various pain areas, most commonly for the back, shoulder, hip, knee, foot, or heel.
A similar treatment that has been recently used for chronic pain is a type of spinal cord stimulation, called BurstDr™. It’s used to alter those pain and nerve signals discussed above, making the body and brain feel less pain. It’s proven to help with a lot of the emotional suffering chronic pain patients endure as well.
Lastly, one of the most effective treatments today is called Dorsal Root Ganglion Treatment (DRG). It’s a way to neurostimulate a part of the body, specifically the area facing the chronic pain. Whereas the other treatments are focused on patients who have various pain afflictions, this treatment is wonderful for those who have a targeted pain area, ie. knee, shoulder, hip, etc. It has even helped those with a little more abstract pain issues. Something like groin pain from a hernia or hernia surgery, and even pain experienced after amputation and limb loss – neurostimulation and neuromodulation are the hope for the future.
Experiencing and dealing with chronic pain can absolutely be debilitating. It interferes with every facet of life – emotional, physical, mental. Nearly every human adult experiences acute pain, and as mentioned, a large percentage experience it chronically. Taking the steps to get the right care and pain management, and seeing the correct chronic pain doctor, can be scary. But they don’t have to be. You don’t have to feel trapped by these issues forever. At Advanced PainCare, you can be treated by the treatments mentioned above, and a plethora more. APC gives you options. Dr. Fishell is an expert doctor, and truly cares about the pain management of the patient. Check out the rest of our website, and schedule a consultation if you or a loved one is experiencing chronic pain.