The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates as many as 100 million U.S. adults suffer from chronic pain. More alarming was that 8 percent of U.S. adults (19.6 million) reported having high-impact chronic pain directly proportional to suffering. Clinicians at Pain Specialists of Austin and Central Texas Pain Center have helped thousands of patients by identifying and treating the source of their chronic pain.
Chronic pain, as explained by Dr. Pankaj Mehta (MD, DABA, DABPM), a nationally renowned interventional pain doctor and Medical Director at Pain Specialists of Austin and Central Texas Pain Center, is pain that persists for at least three months, despite treatment, with an intensity that disrupts normal physical function and sleep patterns, reduces strength, limits daily activities and negatively impacts one’s ability to work and recreate with family and friends.
According to Dr. Mehta, chronic pain is generally the result of damaged, inflamed or dysfunctional nerves resulting from structural deterioration associated with aging, physical injury or trauma, muscle strain and disease. Conventional pain management (CPM) treats pain with medications and prescription drugs. Medication temporarily alleviates pain symptoms but does not fix the cause of the pain. There’s a better method for treating chronic pain with interventional pain management (IPM). IPM focuses on identifying the underlying structural cause of the pain and interrupting nerve transfer of pain signals at their source. We don’t just treat the pain symptoms; we treat the structural cause of your pain.
“Pain almost always has an underlying pathology, a structural deficit that in many cases can be treated effectively with advanced IPM,” he explained. “If you have chronic pain, there has to be a nerve or a group of nerves involved, which a local anesthetic block can diagnose.
This approach to addressing the underlying cause of your chronic pain is a concept Dr. Mehta calls “dampening the bad electric signals,” which he does through therapies such as nervous system stimulation or correcting spinal nerve compression via minimally invasive advanced spine therapies.
Pain does more than hurt physically,” he added, “it can impact physical, emotional and psychological well-being preventing individuals from being able to live a full and happy life.”
Dr. Mehta has found that many pain sufferers assume that they have no choice but to live with debilitating discomfort. Many times, they become discouraged after less effective treatment options do not work.
“Many people believe pain is an inevitable consequence of getting older, a lingering injury or a hereditary condition that runs in their family. Some hope the pain will just go away. Others don’t want to be perceived as complaining to their family and friends, so they just suffer in silence.”
Unfortunately, “a primary barrier to pain sufferers seeking treatment is a fear that they will be prescribed, and then become addicted to, opioid drugs.” That’s due to a public perception that “pain management treatment can only be accomplished with opioids,” he said, which, ironically, can be both an attraction and a repellent to people seeking pain treatment. “We’ve had people tell us that we don’t care about them because we won’t prescribe opioids, however, our unwillingness to allow them to become dependent on opioids shows how much we do care about them. We seek a long-term solution and not a quick, short-lived medicative numbing approach for their chronic pain.”
To learn more about Pain Specialists of Austin’s and Central Texas Pain Center’s multi-disciplinary, interventional pain management treatment options and how the science of pain management can change your life, please visit their website www.psadocs.com.