A chronic pain center is a facility where patients receive treatment for managing chronic pain. What typically occurs at a chronic pain center is a thorough physical examination of the patient, and an evaluation of her medical history. Various methods for dealing with chronic pain may be discussed with a patient one-on-one or as part of a group. Participation in a chronic pain support group is another option that may be offered at a chronic pain center. The patient will also be asked which medications she is currently taking.
Treating chronic pain at home with over-the-counter medications may not always be successful for many individuals. In many cases, one's physician may recommend the patient to a chronic pain center where she may receive individualized attention by a pain specialist. Upon arriving at a chronic pain center, the patient typically will be asked to fill out forms. These forms are meant to provide information to the medical staff that will better help them find a solution to treating the patient.
After completing the necessary forms and paperwork, the patient may be taken into a private room, where a pain care specialist may ask questions to evaluate the person's case. She may be asked which body parts hurt and how long she's experienced the pain. She may be asked about her lifestyle and if she's actively involved in sports or physical activities. This may help determine which treatment methods to pursue.
The pain specialist will also examine the person thoroughly. He may test for mobility and muscle function, especially if the pain afflicts a limb. Chronic headache pain may involve treatment by electromyography (EMG) biofeedback. This can help the doctor analyze the origin of recurring pain more effectively. Biofeedback is also used in chronic pain centers for back pain or pain in the musculoskeletal system.
In some cases, a psychosomatic issue may cause a patient's pain. If the physicians at a chronic pain center believe the patient is suffering from psychosomatic-induced symptoms, she may be evaluated further to determine the root cause. If further evaluation and medical testing shows no known cause, the patient may undergo a therapy program designed to treat psychosomatic symptoms. This may include hypnosis or other options.
Most chronic pain facilities have physicians who specialize in orthopedics. There are special chapters in many centers for pediatric care as well. Some chronic pain management centers also practice homeopathic or holistic health care and treatment options.