|What is pain management?
Pain Medicine is a relatively new medical specialty that provides diagnosis and treatment to patients with all types of pain. The majority of patients referred to pain specialists are those whose pain has been stubborn and has failed to respond to the normal and standard medical treatments offered by their primary care physicians or other specialists (such as, orthopedic surgeons, family practitioners, oncologists, etc.) Patients with pain related to many common chronic or acute illnesses such as back pain, diabetes and other forms of nerve injuries, cancer related pain, and post-operative or injuries after an accident, benefit from the expertise that a pain specialist can offer.
Pain management physicians have completed additional special training in the field of Pain Medicine. This extra training provides these doctors with a highly specialized understanding of the diagnosis and treatment of disorders that cause all types of pain. The pain specialist will call upon a wide range of treatments to stop pain, including specialized medication, procedures such as nerve block injections, physical therapy programs, and psychological treatments that help decrease pain and improve coping with the many other stresses that increase while dealing with pain.
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What is interventional pain management?
Interventional pain management uses injections of drugs to reduce pain. Besides its therapeutic benefit, interventional pain management can play a role in identifying the source of the pain.
Often an x-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the spine shows more than one area that the pain could be coming from. By selectively injecting each separate area or spine structure with anesthetic, your doctor can begin to pinpoint the problem.
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What type of training does an interventional pain physician have?
The interventional pain physicians at Anesthesia Pain Care Consultants are all board certified anesthesiologists, with specialized training in pain management. Anesthesiologists are doctors who make sure that you are safe, pain-free and comfortable during and following surgery. But not everyone realizes that decades of research and work done by anesthesiologists have led to the development of newer, more effective treatments for patients who have pain unrelated to surgery. Many techniques used to make surgery and childbirth virtually painless are now being used to relieve other types of pain. In fact, the work pioneered by anesthesiologists that led to these new medications and treatments also has created a new category of medicine called pain medicine.
Like other physicians, APCC’s anesthesiologists earned a college degree and then completed four years of medical school. They spent four more years learning the medical specialty of anesthesiology and pain medicine during residency training. Many anesthesiologists who specialize in pain medicine receive an additional year of fellowship training to become a "sub specialist," or an expert in treating pain.
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What is chronic pain?
While acute pain is a normal sensation triggered in the nervous system to alert you to possible injury and the need to take care of yourself, chronic pain is different. Chronic pain persists. Pain signals keep firing in the nervous system for weeks, months, even years. There may have been an initial mishap -- sprained back, serious infection, or there may be an ongoing cause of pain -- arthritis, cancer, ear infection, but some people suffer chronic pain in the absence of any past injury or evidence of body damage. Many chronic pain conditions affect older adults. Common chronic pain complaints include headache, low back pain, cancer pain, arthritis pain, neurogenic pain (pain resulting from damage to the peripheral nerves or to the central nervous system itself), psychogenic pain (pain not due to past disease or injury or any visible sign of damage inside or outside the nervous system).
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My pain specialist suggests that I see a psychologist for my back pain. Does that mean that my pain is all in my head?
Unfortunately, there’s still somewhat of a social stigma associated with seeing a psychologist. Patients often believe that a referral to a psychologist means that others think they are “crazy,” or faking their pain, or that their pain is somehow their fault. This can end up scaring patients away from seeking this kind of valuable help. The pain psychologist can teach patients essential skills and strategies to help manage pain while dealing with day-to-day life. These strategies include breathing and stretching exercises or relaxation and pacing techniques.
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At Anesthesia Pain Care Consultants, we care about our patients and want you to be as informed as possible about pain management and chronic pain. Our pain doctors specialize in treating conditions associated with acute and chronic pain and see patients from all areas throughout South Florida. Below are some frequently ask question that might help you understand more about the condition you might be suffering from. Our offices are conveniently located in Broward County and serve patients in Coral Springs, Parkland, Margate and surrounding areas.