Pain management, painkiller, pain control, pain specialist, pain medication or medicaco-dexamine, is a field of medicine which utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to easing the patient’s suffering and enhancing the quality of life of patients suffering from chronic pain. It is acknowledged as an important aspect of health care, which requires periodic assessment and evaluation of the pain condition and its effect on the daily life activities of the individual. Pain management aims to promote well-being through reduction or elimination of pain, limitation of debilitating pain, improvement in patients’ physical function, prevention and early recovery from future pain problems. This type of treatment incorporates multiple perspectives to reduce pain, build strength and flexibility and manage and improve all areas of patient care.
Pain management specialists are involved in the process of developing comprehensive pain relief strategies for chronic pain management that address both the short-term and the long-term management of pain conditions. This is achieved by incorporating the art of psychology, physiology, pharmacology, nutrition and medical arts, along with various sophisticated technologies and tools such as medications, interventional techniques, patient-care coaching, and education. Apart from these tools, pain relief medicines which are designed for specific purposes are used. An example of these medicines include analgesics, antidepressants, beta-blockers, diuretics, chiropractic medicines, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, psychotherapists and pharmacotherapies.
In general, the role of a pain management specialist is to provide education and guidance to individuals with acute and chronic pain conditions. The pain management specialist also helps to define the patient’s treatment goals and coordinates the care with the primary care physician. If the pain specialist determines that exercise and physical therapy are needed, then this will usually be initiated by the primary care physician. For more severe pain conditions, the patient may need to be hospitalized in a medical treatment center under the supervision of the specialist for a period of time.
Although the primary care physician will determine the course of treatment, the pain management specialists often have a different approach. They may refer the patient for interventional procedures and prescription medications. These professionals may also recommend special exercises for patients who do not respond well to medication treatments. They often refer patients for surgical procedures if the pain is too acute for any other method of treatment to be effective. Sometimes, the patients may need to undergo several medical tests in order to give the doctor enough information to formulate an appropriate treatment plan.
There are some primary care physicians who are not familiar with interventional procedures and pain management. It is therefore recommended that one goes to a specialist for further pain management advice. If a patient has a serious condition that does not respond well to medication, then the patient should see a specialist. This should be done even if the condition has been stabilized or the patient is in remission. At times, it is necessary to change the medication regime for a patient once he or she has been stabilized.
Some pain management specialists use pharmacological therapies such as antidepressants. Other doctors rely on cognitive behavior therapy to treat chronic pain. These doctors will prescribe antidepressants when the patient shows signs of depression, especially after a surgery. A good doctor will be aware of the side effects and the proper dosage of antidepressants for different patients.