Pain management, or pain medicine, is a medical specialty dedicated to treating acute, sub-acute, and chronic pains. Integrated Spine and Pain Care is a leading pain management practice in New York City and Long Island, New York. The goal of pain management is to improve the quality of life of the patient and help them to return to their daily lives and activities, using minimally invasive techniques alongside a more comprehensive set of treatments such as physical therapy and lifestyle improvements.
Types of Pain: Pain management treats a broad spectrum of pain types, including those related to lower back pain, neck pain, headache, osteoarthritis, joint pain, and cancer, amongst other conditions. Pain is generally identified as being acute or chronic.
- Acute pain begins quickly or suddenly and may be severe in the level of pain it brings about. However, unlike chronic pain, acute pain only lasts for a short period of time (under three to six months, sometimes even just a few days or hours) and then is relieved on its own. It is not unheard of for acute pain to develop into chronic pain.
- Chronic pain is identified by its persistence and may be mild to severe in its level of accompanied pain. It has been defined as pain lasting longer than six months.
- Sub-acute pain is defined as being in between acute and chronic pain.
Evaluation of Pain: Depending on the type of pain, pain specialists evaluate the source of pain using advanced medical imaging and diagnostic muscle and nerve tests. The medical practitioner also tries to know about specific events, accidents, or injuries that can be connected to the pain and if the pain has had any changes over time. These changes can include the intensity of the pain, duration, symptoms noticed that come along with the pain (nausea, weakness, etc.), and if there is anything that relieves or worsens the pain.
Treatment of Pain: Each patient is unique. The treatment of pain must be individualized. Pain specialists minimize the need for more risk surgery by using minimally invasive procedures within an outpatient setting. For example, epidural blocks are used to deliver long-lasting anti-inflammatory steroids precisely to the area of the back that has sustained an injury. Other procedures such as radiofrequency ablation are used for certain types of nerve pain. More routine trigger point injects can be used to provide immediate relief from joint pain. A wide set of options, which produce dramatic results in lasting relief of pain, are available. We welcome you to visit Integrated Spine and Pain Care to learn more about how we can help.