It is quite natural that the primary aim of a pain management clinic will be the adoption of successful treatment strategies that will help reduce pain in patients. However, when looking deep, there seems to be a lot more involved in the way the patient responds to these treatment strategies and the after effects of such treatments.
Often, in case of patients suffering from chronic cases of pain, there is a much sinister underlying cause of this pain. Complex disorders and diseases could give rise to painful symptoms in these patients. However, if the focus is only on the reduction of these symptoms instead of addressing the real cause, it might end up in pain recurrence at a later stage or further aggravation of the source disease or disorder. Pain management strategies could involve medication or interventional therapies. Alternative therapies like chiropractic, acupuncture, physical therapy, etc., might also be adopted to treat pain in patients. However, when the doctor emphasizes mainly on the pain aspect of the disease and tries to reduce pain using one or more of the above mentioned therapies, the goal of pain reduction might be easily achieved but the risk of unknown side effects that worsen the underlying cause, remains. Thus, it is extremely important to administer pain treatments that are ‘customized’. An individual’s physical and mental health, lifestyle and profession are all important factors to be taken into account while designing pain management strategies. Besides reducing the pain, attention must be paid to the underlying cause and how the treatment strategy adopted can affect the cause should be estimated carefully. A multimodal therapy plan must be devised that attends to all the needs of the patient.
Besides addressing pain and its underlying cause, pain management must also be administered in a compassionate and caring manner. It is important to remember that most patients of pain are mentally disturbed due to the debilitating effects of a nagging pain on their life and lifestyle. Often chronic pain is associated with depression. Words of sympathy and a caring touch works wonders for such patients and this ‘humane touch’ must be integrated into the goals of managing pain.
Use of pain management drugs must be made extremely cautiously. Often, due to pressure from the patient’s behalf, physicians tend to administer stronger doses of medication to patients to relieve them of severe pain. However, even though immediately effective, these medications might have untold adverse side effects at a later stage. Such is the case with opioid pain medications. Often, improper and excessive use of these drugs have led to drug overuse and abuse in patients who were not known to be addicts. Opioid drugs like oxycodone is known for its effectivity to reduce pain and induce sleep but it is also associated with side effects like memory problems, constipation and tiredness.
Adoption of new scientific knowledge and techniques must also be an important goal when managing pain. Since pain management is based on personalized treatment strategies, knowledge of scientific advances helps the doctors to decide upon a treatment plan more effectively. As more and more research data is pouring in, it is becoming easier to personalize medical treatments according to individual needs. For example, a drug A might work well for younger patients with a back ache while drug B might be more effective with older patients. So, efficient doctors like the ones involved in pain management in San Diego, keep themselves updated with all such information which allows them to take better decisions while treating patients.