Everyone can feel pain and suffer from it. Some, experience pain worse than what we can imagine daily. Usually from an illness or an accident, having chronic pain can make life difficult for those who suffer from it. Thankfully, some ways can alleviate these problems.
What Is Pain Management?
Pain management is an approach in medicine that aims to help patients with pain. The main goal is to provide pain relief and improve the patient’s quality of life to restore function.
Pain management doctors, pain management specialists, and other types of professionals work together to address the needs of a patient. Through a combination of techniques, from medicine to physical therapy, pain management aims to help patients control their pain so that it doesn’t become a hindrance to everyday life.
Two types of pain can be treated.
Acute pain is the immediate and normal response to injury. This is the pain experienced for a short time, usually when the damage is still present.
Chronic pain is a type of debilitating pain felt long-term even when there is no visible injury. Chronic pain includes lower back pain, neuropathic/nerve pain after surgery, pain from physical trauma, and complex regional pain syndromes. Cancer pain, arthritis, and other disabling pain disorders are also considered chronic pain conditions.
What are the Different Ways to Manage Pain?
Many different types of pain medicines exist. The type of medicine given depends on the severity of the pain. Over-the-counter drugs can address some types of pain, like paracetamol or aspirin. Steroid injections are sometimes given for those with severe inflammation.
Severe pain will require more potent medicine, such as fentanyl and propofol, which can be given as epidural injections. Opioids such as morphine require a treatment plan with constant communication between the patient and doctor to know what the best dose is needed. Patients who take strong pain medicine must follow the instructions given to them since there is a risk of addiction.
There is also pain management that doesn’t use medicine. Physical therapy include more common treatments for pain, and are for those who either refuse pain medicine or don’t respond well to it. Alternative approaches include massage, ice packs/cold compress, hot packs/warm compress, and exercise.
A massage has shown benefits in improving pain in people who suffer from back pain due to spinal problems, muscle pain and soreness, anxiety, and stress. Different types of massages exist, but they all bring similar benefits of reducing tension, helping in relaxation, and improving muscle circulation.
Cold and Warm Compresses
Cold compresses and ice packs help reduce swelling and blood flow. This is perfect for new injuries, joint injuries, and inflammatory pain. Hot packs and warm compresses increase blood flow and aren’t used on a recent injury. These are useful in the stiffness of the muscles tendons.
Exercise and LIfestyle Changes
Exercise promotes good posture, increased pain threshold, and improved overall health. Improvements in joint pain, back pain, spinal issues, and hip pain are some benefits that can be attained by proper exercise. If you suffer chronic pain, it’s essential to talk to your doctor, physical therapist, or athletic trainer about the type of exercise that is appropriate for you.
Lifestyle changes, such as having a balanced diet, can be enough for some to restore function against long term pain and improve quality of life.
Sometimes, pain isn’t always addressed by physical means and medicine. Other times, people still suffer even if the pain is being addressed. Living with chronic pain is terrible for a person’s mental health, which will require other interventions, such as psychological therapies.
Cognitive-behavioural therapy is a form of therapy where a person will talk to a professional about how they feel about their condition, how they respond to the pain, how they deal with it, etc.
The goal is to change a patient’s relationship with the pain. Making it less damaging so the pain won’t hinder them as much or develop better-coping strategies against it. This will decrease the impact of pain on a person’s mental health and well-being.
Mind and Body Techniques
Relaxation and stress management techniques
Relaxation and stress management techniques involve exercises that aim to lower stress felt by a person or to help manage stress better. This will then help in managing the pain they experience. These exercises include mindfulness meditation, breathing techniques, self-talk, and guided imagery. This will help manage chronic pain without having to use outside factors.
Acupuncture is an ancient healing practice from Chinese medicine. Here, qi or chi, a concept of life energy in Chinese medicine, is altered by using needles. These needles are inserted in specific points along the body, relieving pain.
Community Support Groups
A support group is when people with the same condition or disability gather to discuss their feelings and experiences. Most illnesses and conditions that cause chronic pain can be very isolating since not many people can understand what you’re going through. Having a community with you can help with your overall well-being.
Organisations like the American Chronic Pain Association operate such support groups.
Other Treatment Types
If all else fails, more advanced interventions can sometimes be needed.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation Therapy
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation therapy, or TENS, is a therapy that uses a unique device that uses electricity to relieve pain. Using electrodes attached to the skin, low voltage electrical impulses are delivered to certain body areas. Electrical nerve stimulation is believed to reduce perception of pain signals in the painful areas of the body.
Shockwave therapy is a special device that uses high pressure sound waves. While normally used for kidney stones, they have also shown promise in use for patients who feel pain from tendons, soft tissue, and conditions like osteoarthritis.
It’s utility is supported from different doctors with certifications ranging from the American Board of Podiatric Medicine, to doctors of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.
Radiofrequency ablation is a form of treatment for long term pain where a needle is inserted into the nerves of interest. There, heat is used to destroy the are of the nerve, which prevents pain signals. This provides pain relief since a patient won’t feel the pain anymore.
Where can You Go for Pain?
For people with chronic pain, you go to pain management clinics to help you. A pain management clinic (also known as a pain clinic or pain management centre) is a type of healthcare facility specialising in patients with chronic pain.
They will often include a multidisciplinary team of pain doctors, nurses, psychologists, nutritionists and dietitians, occupational and vocational therapists, and physical therapists who will use various approaches to address pain.
Why Visit a Pain Management Clinic?
What makes a pain management clinic/centre different from the average hospital? While you can always go to your local hospital for your pain, a pain management clinic is better equipped and trained to provide long-term home nursing care Singapore for you. Going to a pain management clinic can:
- Lessen your pain through effective pain management techniques that aren’t just pain medicine.
- Improve your quality of life by holistically addressing all your problems, not just making the pain disappear.
- Improve your mental health
While any doctor can prescribe pain medicine, a pain management doctor can give you an entire plan to tackle your pain in many different ways. It’s best to choose a pain clinic for your needs.
Pain Management vs Pain Medicine: What’s the Difference?
There is a big difference between pain management and pain medicine. Pain management is multidisciplinary, meaning it uses more than one field. Different health professionals, from nurses to pain management doctors, work together to provide treatment and help you learn how to manage chronic pain.
Pain medicine is usually about dealing with acute pain through pain medication alone. While it may address medical needs to bring pain relief, it isn’t as comprehensive.
Top 3 Pain Management Clinics in Singapore
For those interested, the following clinics are considered the best in Singapore.
The Pain Clinic is the clinic of Dr. Ho Kok Yuen, who has accolades and experience from all around the world. In his clinic uses cooled radiofrequency, a technique for treating nerve pain.
The clinic provides treatment for neck pain, lower back pain, shoulder pain, shingles pain, trigeminal neuralgia (facial pain), headaches, neuropathic pain, myofascial pain, fibromyalgia, and cancer pain.
Dr. Nicholas Chua is the doctor behind Specialist Pain International Clinic. From international conferences to local accolades, his clinic is specialized centre for many different conditions. These include osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, whiplash, and compression fractures.
Novena is the clinic of three doctors with international experience. Dr. Choo Chee Yong, Dr Darren Phua, and Dr Thor Timothy are the doctors of this clinic whic provides services like annuloplasty, radiofrequency ablation, nucleoplasty, discoplasty, back pain, and nerve spine pain.
In the end, the proper treatment for persistent pain can vary. Depending on the condition to facilitate elderly care in Singapore, the solution can be common treatments like massage, or with advance interventions like shockwave therapy, and asking for help from a transfer maid Singapore. What’s important is that you go to the proper healthcare facility that can provide your needs.
How Much a Trip to the Podiatrist Would Cost
Podiatrist consultation fee in Singapore can go from $80 to $180, and each follow-up starts at $50. Treatment for therapies of the foot may cost from $25 to $125. Insoles and customised orthotics may range from $195 to $575.
Callous and heel fissure treatments are usually around $100 to $180, while plantar wart treatments range from $120 to $160. Nail treatments cost around $90 and ingrown nail removal may cost from $160 for conservative treatment up to $800 for surgical removal of toenails.
Healthy feet are part of caring for wellness and a good lifestyle. Any sign of foot pain or problems should be addressed with a consultation with a podiatrist so you can continue living normally and without pain and discomfort.