A little twinge of pain is normal for most of us, right? Not when it happens every day. Or when it lasts for hours each time and keeps you from doing what you enjoy most in life.
Pain that won't go away – in your neck, lower back or deep in your joints – may be a sign of a chronic condition. You may suffer from a nerve injury or short-circuit in your nervous system. Arthritis, a neck or back out of alignment, even headaches that pop up out of nowhere can cause pain that lasts for a long time.
Living with relentless pain can take its toll on your job, relationships and your sense of well-being. Your pain and its side effects may cause you to miss family events, take time away from work, or skip a daily routine that you used to enjoy.
You don't have to live with serious discomfort day after day. If your pain won't go away, it may be your body's way of telling you it's time to get help so you can start living life your way again.
Here are steps the pain management team at Goshen Physicians Orthopedics & Sports Medicine recommend to take control of your pain.
1. Talk with your family doctor. If you have unrelenting pain that lasts more than three months, your doctor can refer you to a pain management specialist.
Many people live in silence with their pain. Left undiagnosed or untreated, chronic pain can lead to tension, irritability, limited mobility, lack of energy, even changes in appetite. Chronic pain also can take an emotional toll, causing depression and anxiety.
2. Get a diagnosis. It's important for your pain management provider to identify what causes your pain. Is it from an injury or illness? Maybe your nervous system is misfiring, or you have a degenerative disease.
Your provider can treat the primary cause of pain. Or if the source is unknown, you can get treatment that helps manage what hurts.
3. Discuss treatment options that fit your needs. Medicine, physical therapy, acupuncture and lifestyle changes can help you take control of your pain. Other pain management therapies like massage therapy and trigger point injections also are available at Goshen Physicians Orthopedics & Sports Medicine.
4. Be patient during treatment. Your pain is different from anyone else's. That's why it can take time to build a plan for treatment that focuses on your specific needs and preferences.
5. Know you're not alone. One in five people have chronic pain, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Headaches, lower back pain and arthritis top the list of the most common types of chronic pain.
Kacy Davis is a double-board certified nurse practitioner with Goshen Physicians Orthopedics & Sports Medicine. She understands that your pain is different from anyone else’s. No matter where you hurt, Kacy is by your side every step of the way toward pain relief.