An estimated 70 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Chronic pain is a medical condition that is distinct and more complex than acute pain. While acute pain is a normal sensation that alerts the body to potential injury, chronic pain persists well beyond the normal course required for healing. The economic and personal losses associated with chronic pain can be devastating, and include lost income, productivity and mobility, plus a significant risk for severe anxiety and depression.
The causes of chronic pain are not always clear. Past traumatic injuries, congenital conditions, cancers, arthritis, and other causes may be obvious, but in many cases the source of chronic pain can be very complex. This makes it difficult to treat, and effective therapy usually requires multiple modalities designed to help the patient reach his or her highest level of function and independence.
At Hudson Valley Pain Management, we specialize in the treatment of chronic pain. Our physician is board certified in Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine with the American Board of Anesthesiology. He uses the latest technology to help patients maintain an improved quality of life while they recover from chronic pain. Treatments vary based on the type and source of pain, and might include the use of medications, injections to deliver medications to the source of pain, nerve blocks to stop the transmission of pain, and more advanced therapies such as spinal cord stimulation and implantable pumps.
Chronic pain may develop as a result of several different conditions, including:
Your doctor will evaluate your condition through a series of diagnostic exams to help determine the source of your pain.
Treatments for chronic pain may focus on relieving symptoms or treating the underlying condition, and can vary depending on the cause and severity of each patient's individual condition, as well as their overall health and medical history. The most successful pain management programs are those that are specifically tailored to each individual patient so that they can remain actively involved in their own recovery. Some of the more common treatments for chronic pain include:
Medications are often the first treatment utilized to relieve chronic pain. These might include anti-inflammatories, anti-convulsants, and anti-depressants, which have all been shown in several well designed clinical trials to be very effective in the treatment of chronic pain. In a very select group of patients, stronger pain medications might also be considered.
Injections are some of the most effective treatment options for pain management because they deliver medications directly at the source to relieve pain and inflammation. Current practice in Pain Management tries to minimize pharmaceutical treatment by recommending appropriate alternate techniques whenever possible.
For more severe cases that do not respond to less invasive treatments, advanced interventions may be required to relieve pain and allow patients to resume normal functioning. These therapies may include spinal cord stimulation to block the transmission of neuropathic pain, implantable pain pumps for advanced cancer pain, or kyphoplasty to stabilize vertebral compression fractures.
Most patients benefit from a combination of treatments in order to achieve successful pain relief and may be treated by a number of different therapists and other health care providers. Our doctor will work with patients for as long as needed in order to develop an effective treatment plan for their individual condition.
To learn more about the pain management services provided at our practice, please call us today to schedule an appointment.