Pain is complex and caused by many things. An approach that includes different disciplines and creates a “team” approach can be very helpful in addressing pain.
Chiropractic medicine can reduce pain, muscle spasm, and inflammation. Although known mostly for treatment of lower back pain, chiropractic is a proven therapy for neck pain, headaches, sciatica, whiplash, pregnancy-related pain, and extremity range of motions issues.
Physical therapy involves the treatment, healing, and prevention of injuries or disabilities and helps to relieve pain, promote healing, and restore function and movement.
Pain in a particular body region can be blocked with the injection of a local anesthetic into a specific area. Nerve blocks can be used, in some cases, to avoid surgery. This type of treatment is usually performed by a pain management specialist as an in-office or hospital procedure.
Cortisone is an anti-inflammatory medication. When inflammation is decreased from the cortisone, pain is diminished. The effects are seen in a few days and can last for weeks. This procedure is performed by many types of specialists and most of the time is an in-office procedure.
Acupuncture is part of traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture practitioners stimulate specific points on the body—most often by inserting thin needles through the skin. The effect of stimulating these specific points has been proven to reduce pain. There are a number of acupuncture practioners in Rhode Island.
Massage therapists utilize a holistic approach, focusing on the entire body system and its relationship to soft tissue. Massage therapists typically use their hands to press, rub, and manipulate the skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. This approach can reduce muscle tension, increase range of motion, and can decrease pain when muscles and joints are the origin of the pain.
Counseling and therapy from a psychologist, Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker or other counselor can be effective in several ways. Counseling, behavior modification, and other techniques as well as treating underlying behavioral health conditions can help in decreasing or managing pain.
A dietitian or nutritionist can address underlying nutrition issues, which sometimes contribute to pain.
Pharmacists are important partners in pain management. Make sure your pharmacist knows every medicine, including over the counter and herbal medicines, you are taking to effectively monitor for interactions and side effects. Your pharmacist is a trusted professional and available for any question.