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What Are the Different Types of Pain Management Services?

By Valerie Goldberg
Updated May 17, 2024
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Pain management doctors treat patients suffering from severe and chronic pain. People who are in need of pain management services typically are referred to a pain doctor, because they suffer from medical conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, cancer or Parkinson's disease. People who are in accidents and suffer back trauma also may require pain management treatment. Different types of available pain management services include but are not limited to narcotic pain pill treatment, the use of antidepressants, trigger-point injections and physical therapy. A specialist, often an anesthesiologist, works with the individual patient to determine which pain management services will work best on a case-by-case basis.

Some pain clinics offer pain management services using narcotic pain killers. Narcotics can be addictive, so a person who needs to use them long-term to treat severe pain requires close monitoring. Many pain management establishments will make patients sign a contract so they cannot get additional narcotics from another doctor. It is important for a pain sufferer to follow the dosage instructions provided by the prescribing doctor to avoid overdosing or suffering from side effects.

Before trying an addictive form of treatment such as narcotics, some pain management services offer antidepressant-based treatment. Certain antidepressants have nerve-pain-blocking qualities. This can be a good solution for patients who need to be on prescription pills long-term and are uncomfortable with the possible side effects of narcotics. People suffering from pelvic pain, diabetic nerve pain and migraines may have success with this type of treatment. Antidepressant medications also may help some pain patients sleep more soundly at night.

Medication is not the only treatment available for chronic pain sufferers. Trigger-point injections can be used to help people who suffer from muscle pain. During a trigger-point injection, the doctor will use a needle to inject an anesthetic directly into a patient's muscle knot. Pain management services of this type are performed in office while a patient is awake.

Some patients also find relief from physical therapy. There are different types of physical therapy that can be done, depending on the ailment from which a patient is suffering. Manual physical therapy allows a professional to give direct massages and stretches to the painful joints and muscles in a person's body. Biofeedback therapy also can be used to help people learn to relax their spasming muscles. During biofeedback treatment, a patient will be connected to external probes that will monitor his or her muscle activity while he or she tightens and releases muscles.

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