These clinics do more than just alleviate pain. They also help with occupational therapy, psychology, physiotherapy, general nursing and alternative therapy.
When you visit a clinical specialist, they will assess your specific needs and circumstances and review any pain medication you’re currently using. This could be:
- Drugs to relieve minor pain
- Anti-Inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen which are used to treat inflammation.
- Prescription only drugs called corticosteroids which are used for more severe inflammation.
- Opioid drugs which are given to treat severe pain.
- Antidepressants, which not only treat depression but also treat pain and help you to sleep This is something you may have difficulty doing, when you are in pain.
Like many chronic pain sufferers, you may find that medication alone doesn’t provide enough relief. If you attend a pain management clinic, you’ll see that they can offer a range of alternative treatments such as:
- Injections to your nerves to block the pain.
- Injections into muscles or joints which can relieve pain and stop muscle spasms.
- Physical therapy such as an exercise programme, massage or water therapy.
- The use of a TENS machine which send small electrical impulses through to your nerves.
- Acupuncture, which is the Chinese method of inserting very fine needles into your skin at certain areas in order to relieve pain.
- Relaxation Therapy. Learning relaxation techniques can help you reduce stress and relieve pain.
Pain also effects your general well-being and it is important to receive psychological support or counselling. This will help you deal with any anger issues you might have or depression brought on by the fact because you can no longer live the life you had before. It can also help you with feelings of frustration and anxiety about your condition.
If you decide to seek the help of a pain management clinic, ask yourself some important questions beforehand, in order to ensure that you pick the clinic best suited to your needs:
- Does the clinic treat my particular condition?
- Are the staff friendly and helpful and do they put you at ease?
- Will the staff develop a treatment plan that it tailored to my condition?
- Will I be able to involve my family?
- Will there be communication between the clinic and my own doctor?
- Will the clinic communicate with me efficiently?
- Will the clinic’s team communicate with each other, so that each stage of my treatment is properly monitored and assessed?
As well as showing you how to manage and treat your pain, you will be given a pain treatment plan to work through. If you want to know where your nearest NHS pain clinic is, then log on to the National Pain Audit website. Click search for a clinic and put in your postcode. A list of clinics will appear within a certain radius to your home. Private clinics can usually be found by putting in the words ‘private pain management clinics’ into your search engine and then the name of your town.
If you have attended a pain management clinic, let us know. We would love to hear how your clinic has helped you manage your pain. Please post your comments below.