Lower back pain affects millions of people each year and most suffer through it due to a lack of knowledge about treatments available. Early diagnosis and treatment can decrease pain, shorten the symptoms and decrease recurrence of this pain. Initial treatment is conservative and usually with heat, ice and antiinflammatory medication. Physical therapy can help with pain, as well as educate patients on proper body mechanics, while strengthening exercises for the lower back helps prevent future episodes of pain.
Where should I go for treatment?
First time back pain suffers should be seen at their primary care physician’s office, but recurrent or chronic lower back pain sufferers should seek a pain management specialist.
How do I find a pain management specialist?
Your primary care physician may be able to help locate one for you or an Internet search will provide this information. Make sure your pain management specialist is fellowship trained and board certified. Many physicians call themselves pain specialist, but lack proper training, knowledge and technique to be able to properly and effectively help you. An Internet search on your proposed doctor will help you determine his level of training and certifications.
What is pain management?
Pain management evolved as a specialized way to bridge the treatment gap between medication therapy and back surgery. Pain management uses different approaches to control pain, as pain can affect all aspects of a person’s life. Injections (i.e. epidurals, joint injections), in conjunction with medication, physical therapy, cognitive therapy, psychological support and behavior modification are utilized in an effort to identify and control pain.
What will the pain management specialist’s office visit be like?
Your treatment plan usually begins with an initial consultation, a thorough review of your medical, surgical and pain history, and a detailed physical examination. If available, previous imaging studies (such as X-ray, CT scan and MRI) and lab results will be reviewed, and more studies may be ordered to help identify the pain source. Each patient’s treatment plan is individually tailored based on the results of the history and physical examination. At the time of the initial evaluation, recommendations for a minimally invasive and/or non-invasive therapy will be made.
Advanced state-of-the-art procedures afford a wide range of treatment options. Minimally invasive therapies are the cornerstone of the intervention pain management treatment plan. Injection of medication under low dose x-ray guidance directly into the area causing the pain permits accurate diagnosis of the source of pain, as well as therapeutic decrease in pain.
The use of medications can be used to decrease pain. We use many types of medications that can help relieve pain, such as antidepressants, anti-epileptic, non-steroidal, topical anesthetics and opioid medications.
Overall success of a treatment plan is gauged through two monitors – pain assessment scale and self-reported functioning. We would like to see a decrease in your pain, as well as an increase in your daily activities. A successful pain management plan will help you “live your life again” through improved quality and performance in your daily functions.
Dr. Kiley Reynolds has offices at 8200 SW 117 Ave., Suite 312. For more information, call 305-595-7246 or go to www.superiorpainsolutions.com
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