What Are the Non-Surgical Options for Pain Management?
Pain is generally normal. It’s our body’s reaction to illness or injury. It can serve as a warning that something is wrong with our bodies, or it can just be a natural part of the healing process. Once we’ve healed, pain usually subsides.
When do you have chronic pain?
When you have pain that lasts for 3 to 6 months or longer, however, you have a condition known as chronic pain. Chronic pain is a fairly common problem, affecting some 25 million Americans. The symptoms can last all day, and it continues with seemingly no end in sight.
If left untreated, it can progress to chronic pain syndrome, a condition that impacts about 25% of people with chronic pain. Chronic pain syndrome, or CPS, happens when your chronic pain leads you to further symptoms, like depression and anxiety.
Treating chronic pain without surgery
Chronic pain, and the resulting symptoms and illnesses it may cause, can be quite debilitating. It can also have a major impact on your quality of life.
That’s why at North Jersey Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Institute, Dr. Michael C. Russonella and his team are dedicated to ensuring you achieve great health and well-being. For anyone in Clifton and Nutley, New Jersey, we want to help you find the best solution for your chronic pain.
That’s why we’re providing a number of non-surgical options for treating your chronic pain.
Physical therapy is incredibly helpful in the treatment of chronic pain. It can help strengthen your muscles and stretch out any tightness that can often lead to pain and stiffness. The best physical therapy plan is tailored to your specific condition and symptoms. Physical therapists can also administer massages, which can help loosen tight muscles.
Counseling, mindfulness, and meditation can help to alleviate some of the physical symptoms, as well as the depression and anxiety that are associated with chronic pain. Because chronic pain is both physically and emotionally trying, treating the emotional impact is important and can actually help with the physical symptoms as well.
There are many lifestyle factors that can contribute to your chronic pain. Diet is a major factor, as some foods can be quite inflammatory. Excess weight can also place undue pressure on your spine and joints. Other factors, like smoking and drinking, can also contribute to your pain.
Exercises like keeping good posture, not staying in the same position for extended periods of time, and taking breaks when necessary, particularly if you work a physically strenuous job, are very important.
Injections, like epidural steroid injections or nerve blocks, are great for treating inflammation and blocking neural pain. They’re most effective when the source of pain is known, and only work for a set period of time. They are not meant to be long-term solutions, so they’re best used in conjunction with other treatments.
Medications like steroids and NSAIDS, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, treat inflammation that is often the cause of chronic pain. In extreme cases of pain, narcotics can be used in the short term or following surgery.
Both have unpleasant side effects, and narcotics present a risk of addiction. So, these options also don’t present a good long-term solution and should be used in conjunction with other treatment options.
Start treating your chronic pain today
Dr. Russonella and our dedicated team at North Jersey Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Institute are here to offer you personalized treatment options, along with compassionate care.
We’re dedicated to finding you the best options for treating your chronic pain and helping you achieve the best quality of life possible. Call us or schedule an appointment right on our website today.