The Painful Reality of Chronic Pain
- Posted on: Nov 27 2019
If you or your loved one experiences chronic pain, don’t suffer in silence. Help is available.
Although unpleasant, pain serves a necessary biological function. Your nervous system and brain are letting you know something is wrong and needs to be fixed. Pain can also help prevent further injury by reminding you that an injured muscle, bone, or tendon needs to heal. However, as your body heals, your pain should go away, and your life should return to normal.
Not all pain disappears after healing, and some types of chronic pain result from unknown causes. In either case, pain can interfere with your daily activities and, without proper treatment, last months or even years.
“By definition, pain is considered chronic after three months,” says Dax Trujillo, M.D., Medical Director of the Summit Healthcare Pain Clinic. “However, I don’t recommend patients wait until after three months to seek treatment. Early treatment for chronic pain can help prevent long-term disability.”
See Through the Stigma of Chronic Pain
“Chronic pain is a disease, just like any other,” Dr. Trujillo says. “It’s the second-leading cause of lost quality of life, right behind cardiac disease. It’s not something people can ‘live with.’”
Additionally, chronic pain carries a social stigma other diseases may not face.
“Since we can’t see another person’s pain, that person may feel judged or isolated,” he says. “Some patients have had experiences where no one believed they were truly hurting, and it has hindered their treatment.”
The stigma of chronic pain is one Dr. Trujillo actively fights.
“Whenever a patient comes to me with chronic pain, I make it clear I believe them,” he says. “Sometimes patients feel like they’ve tried everything and nobody is taking their pain seriously. I work with them until I find the most effective option to treat their pain and help them get their lives back.”
The Right Treatment For Your Chronic Pain
Our pain clinic offers a multitude of advanced treatment options for chronic pain, including:
- epidural injections for back pain
- intrathecal pain pumps, which automatically deliver pain medication in a slow-release manner
- kyphoplasty, a minimally invasive procedure used for spinal compression fractures
- spinal cord stimulators, which use mild electrical pulses to interrupt the pain signals that nerves send to the brain
- Other nonsurgical options we offer include medications, physical therapy, yoga, and cognitive behavioral therapy.
“We are one of the few pain clinics to offer cognitive behavioral therapy for pain management, and we’re very proud of that,” Dr. Trujillo says. “It’s been shown to be very effective.”
Learn more about the services offered at the Summit Healthcare Pain Clinic.