For those who are struggling with pain, relief can’t come soon enough. That’s where Owensboro Health Medical Group - Pain Management comes in.
What Is Pain Management?
Pain can take multiple forms. We break it down by how long a person has been in pain:
- Acute: This kind of pain happens right away after an injury.
- Chronic pain: This is pain that lasts for longer periods of time. It’s often connected to a previous injury, but that is not always the case. Some types of pain happen long after an injury has healed, such as pain associated with certain malfunctions in the body’s nerve system.
Pain also can come from many different sources. Some of these include:
- Mechanical pain: This usually refers to back pain caused by injury, originating in the spine itself or in nearby muscle or nerve tissue.
- Inflammatory pain: When an injury occurs, the body’s natural immune response can cause pain and swelling at the site of the damage.
- Muscular pain: Occurring in any muscle throughout the body, this kind of pain is usually related to injuries. It can also happen when muscles are overused, overly tense or when a person is under stress.
- Neuropathic pain: In certain cases, the nerves themselves may be the source of pain. This can be due to injury, but also can happen without an injury, or even after an injury has healed.
Why Treat Pain?
Pain isn’t just an unpleasant sensation. In more severe cases, pain can prevent people from living or enjoying life. It can interfere with work or leisure activities or prevent people from enjoying relationships with friends, family and loved ones. Over time, pain can also have negative effects on a person’s mind, increasing the risk of problems like depression or anxiety.
How We Approach Pain
Our patients are whole people, not just a problem or a symptom. When we treat them, we work to treat the whole person, starting with the most visible problem, and then working from there. That includes offering our patients care related to their pain, such as physical therapy to overcome previous injuries or behavioral health care to ease related depression or anxiety.
Tools We Use
Pain management uses a wide variety of techniques and technologies to get results for our patients. Some of our most useful tools include:
- Guided injections: Using imaging techniques like ultrasound and X-ray, we can deliver medications to the right place with a high degree of accuracy.
- Nerve blocks: Thanks to various treatment methods, we can often stop pain nerve signals from reaching the brain. This can partially or completely stop the feeling of pain, depending on its location and cause.
- Nerve ablations: Precision-guided radio frequency energy can reduce the ability of nerves to transmit pain. This treatment can reduce or prevent pain for up to one year, or even longer.
- Spinal cord stimulation: The nervous system transmits pain using electrical signals. We can apply low-intensity electrical stimulation to override pain sensations. This is especially useful in cases of pain in the extremities.
- Medication: A wide range of pharmaceutical products exists, including muscle relaxers, anti-inflammation medications, creams and prescription pain medications. Depending on a patient’s needs, including short- and long-term treatment plans, we may use different approaches.
Protecting Our Patients
The safety and well-being of our patients is always our top priority. To help safeguard our patients and our communities, we follow all applicable state and federal laws regarding pain treatment, including medications. This includes the use of the following:
- Kentucky All-Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting (KASPER): This real-time computer database tracks how and when patients are prescribed controlled substances. It prevents “doctor-shopping” and helps providers to be sure they are prescribing safely.
- Medication tracking: We help our patients monitor how they take their medication, ensuring they are using these prescriptions safely and at the appropriate times.
- Lab testing: Our patients may be asked to take lab tests to ensure they are taking their medication appropriately. This ensures that they are taking proper care of themselves and not endangering others by misusing their prescriptions.
Patient compliance with doctor instructions is critical. If patients are found to be non-compliant, we are bound by law to stop treating them. This is to protect the patient from abusing medication or to protect others from getting access to an improperly using medications which were not prescribed to them. This also protects our providers’ ability practice and help those in need.