Everyone experiences pain at some point. But how do you know when the regular aches and pains of life are a more serious problem, and warrant a visit to a Pain Specialist? People with ongoing, chronic pain often feel hopeless about finding answers. The fact though, is that pain doesn’t have to define your life. Seeing a Pain Specialist can make a measurable difference in how you feel, what you can do each day, and improve the overall quality of your life.
If you can answer yes to any of these questions — and especially if you can answer yes to multiple questions — it’s time to see a Pain Specialist. Make an appointment at The Heilman Center for Pain and Spine Care with a board-certified Pain Management Specialist who is an expert in Interventional Pain Management therapies.
1. Have You Lost Mobility?
It’s not unusual for an injury to reduce your mobility for a short period of time. However, over time, the pain from the injury should decrease, and you should regain mobility in the injured area. If it’s been more than a month since your injury and your mobility hasn’t returned even with treatment from your primary care physician, or if you have pain without an injury that prevents you from moving as you should, there may be something more serious going on that needs evaluation.
2. Have You Been Unable to Participate in Normal Activities?
Is it hard to get out of bed every day because of your pain? Are you cancelling plans because it hurts too much to go out? Have you stopped engaging in your favorite hobbies, or skipped events or activities that you wanted to do because of pain? Are you not doing your regular chores, such as laundry or grocery shopping, because of your pain? If so, you need to see a specialist. Missing your normal activities can contribute to depression, which can worsen your pain. Pain treatment can help you get back to living your life and enjoying the things you did before pain slowed you down.
3. Are You Having Trouble Sleeping?
There are any number of reasons your sleep can be disrupted. However, if your pain is keeping you from falling asleep or waking you up multiple times during the night, it’s time to see a Pain Specialist. Poor sleep can have a detrimental effect on your overall health, both physically and mentally, which can exacerbate your pain and make it feel even worse, creating a vicious cycle. Therefore, treating your pain so you can get a good night’s rest can make a measurable difference in how you feel overall.
4. Are You Taking Over-the-Counter Medications, Even if They Don’t Work?
For minor, occasional aches and pains, over-the-counter painkillers can be useful. If you are taking these medications every day, though, and feel you cannot function without them, or are taking more than the recommended dosages to manage your pain, it is important to work with a Pain Specialist — especially if the medications work less and less. Dependence on medication, even OTC medication, can have negative effects on your health. Working with a Pain Specialist doesn’t always mean you’ll be given stronger medications. Most people who work with a Pain Specialist actually take fewer drugs, and have less pain than they did while taking OTC medications.
A tingling sensation in your hands, fingers, feet, or toes can actually be an indicator that you have nerve damage. It’s important to have that checked out. Left untreated, nerve damage can be permanent — which means the unpleasant tingling is also permanent — so it’s best to schedule an appointment with a Pain Management Specialist to determine the cause of the pain and tingling sensation and work toward correcting it.
6. Is Your Pain Bearable, But Not Improving?
If you have experienced extreme pain at some point, you may have reached a point where it has become manageable or bearable — but not really getting any better. While everyone has their own pain tolerance and perception of pain, if your pain seems to be under control, but still affecting your life for more than a month, it’s worth a visit to a pain treatment center. There you can learn about your other options to further alleviate or eliminate your pain.
7. Do You Have the Same Pain Every Time You Engage in a Specific Activity?
Chronic pain doesn’t always mean you have constant pain. In some cases, chronic pain can mean you experience the same pain, at the same or varying intensities, every time you engage in a specific activity. Pain doesn’t always originate where you feel it. Issues in the back or spine can cause pain in the arms and legs, for instance. A consistent pain during specific activities warrants a visit to a specialist to pinpoint the cause and find a solution.
Chronic pain does not have to rule your life. If you answered yes to any of these questions, call the Heilman Center for a consultation today at (734)796-7555. There’s no need to live your life in pain.