Many people who’ve grappled with chronic pain haven’t only been to one pain treatment center; they’ve been to many. It’s a story we hear time and again when new patients visit The Heilman Center for Pain and Spine Care. They feel that their doctors don’t listen to them at their pain treatment center consultation, and they don’t offer solutions that actually bring relief.
Nothing is pleasant about enduring chronic pain, but the experience of seeing a Pain Specialist should be something that brings relief and recovery, not anxiety and frustration. In many ways, you can sense that you’ve found a good pain treatment center the moment you walk through the door. Here are some of the things we think are hallmarks of a welcoming, effective treatment experience.
It’s Spick and Span
Cleanliness should be something you take for granted when you visit any pain treatment center. From parking lot to waiting area to exam room to operating suite, you should expect hospital-level spotlessness at every turn. Staff and clinicians should also follow protocols for cleanliness during all examinations and procedures. Look for regular hand washing or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
There’s Room to Move
Many people who suffer chronic pain use assistive tools like canes, walkers, or wheelchairs when they visit their Pain Specialist. Others lean on their partners, children, or other caregivers as they walk around the clinic. There should be plenty of room at the entry point, at reception, in the hallways, and in exam and procedure rooms to accommodate you, your helper, and any devices on which you depend.
Everyone at the pain treatment center consultation should be committed to creating a positive experience for you. The receptionist who greets you, the nurse who brings you back for an exam, the physician assistant, the Pain Specialist — all of these people should treat you as an individual, not as a number. You should expect friendliness, efficiency, and courtesy as part of every visit. You should also expect medical staff to actually listen to you as you explain your symptoms, to understand the treatments you’ve already tried, and to see the big picture as they come to understand your personal struggle with chronic pain.
They Search for the Root Cause of Your Pain
No one’s experience with chronic pain is exactly like someone else’s. To really understand where you’ve been with your treatment, your Pain Specialist should take the time to understand how pain has affected you. They should ask you when it started, what activities seem to make it worse, and how it’s impacted you both personally and professionally. They should also ask detailed questions about the treatments you’ve experienced and whether they’ve brought you any relief at all.
In addition to taking a thorough medical history to guess the physical source of your pain, a good pain specialist has access to imaging tools that can confirm their diagnosis. A good pain treatment center offers imaging studies, like X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and more, to identify what’s causing your pain and to determine the best treatment option for you.
Medical terminology can be confusing for some people with chronic pain; others who’ve spent countless hours researching and trying to understand what’s happening develop an extensive medical vocabulary. At a good pain treatment center consultation, doctors meet patients where they are. For some, they keep conversations simple. For others, they sit down and take the time to explain treatment options in detail.
They Offer Multiple Treatment Options
Pain treatment has come a long way in recent years thanks to technological innovation. In many cases, surgery isn’t the only option. Painless injections, nerve blocks, radio frequency treatments, ultrasound, physical therapy, or other interventions offer measurable relief without surgery. You shouldn’t feel pressured to have surgery, particularly if you’ve tried surgery in the past without success.
A good pain treatment center offers many alternatives for you to consider depending on your age, overall health, lifestyle, and, most importantly, the cause of your pain. A good center can also steer you toward mental health support; after all, chronic pain puts significant stress on even the strongest people.
They Never Give up
If you’ve been dealing with chronic pain for a long time, you may have encountered physicians who tell you there’s nothing more they can do for you. You may have experienced feelings of defeat and depression, again and again, as nothing seemed to provide solutions for your pain.
At a good pain treatment center, doctors never stop trying to figure out what can work for you. They’re honest about what treatment requires — if it looks like you’re going to need multiple rounds of treatment, they’ll tell you the truth about what’s ahead. Most of all, they never stop trying to find the best treatment option for you. You no longer feel you’re without hope.
At the Heilman Center, we strive to deliver on all the hallmarks of a good pain treatment center. Whether you’re new to chronic pain, or you’ve been battling it for a long time, we can help you find solutions. Schedule a pain treatment center consultation today with one of our experienced Pain Specialists.