Pain. It can be sudden (like hitting your thumb with a hammer) or it can sneak up on you and exist in the background of your life for days, and sometimes years. Chronic pain is different for everyone and so are its causes.
Perhaps your chronic pain stems from an injury, or a medical treatment. Perhaps that creaky feeling means you’re getting older. Maybe your pain is triggered by mundane decisions that you make each day such as using your smartphone, sitting too long at a desk or wearing flip flops. No matter the cause, there are often things you can do to reduce your chronic pain or eliminate it entirely.
Determine the Cause
Finding the source of your pain may involve working with your healthcare provider to understand specifically what’s hurting, and then to discuss possible causes. Your doctor may ask you questions about your daily habits, anything that has happened recently (such as a fall or lifting something heavy), or anything in your personal or family history that may have triggered the problem. In more severe cases, your doctor may conduct a series of tests to determine if the source of your pain is linked to a more serious medical condition such as cancer or heart disease.
Once your healthcare provider has completed a medical assessment, he or she may prescribe pain medication to treat the symptoms, or suggest other pain therapy options such as psychotherapy, acupuncture, physical therapy, changes to your diet, changes to your daily habits and more. If your pain has a direct physical cause, such as arthritis in a joint, or damage to your spine, your healthcare team may suggest injections or other medical treatments to ease the pain, with surgery as a last resort to correct it.
Your doctor may also refer you to a pain clinic, a healthcare facility that focuses on diagnosing the cause of your chronic pain and helping you manage it.
Don’t Let Pain Go Untreated
Dealing with your pain early can help catch serious diseases such as cancer or heart disease that, left undetected, could be life-threatening. Treating pain can also help prevent a health problem from getting worse and causing more problems and pain over time. Managing your pain may also help preserve your quality of life, and deter complicating conditions such as depression.
Pain is a fact of life for many, but it’s also treatable. Check with your doctor about possible causes and available treatments. If you have questions about specific pain medications or need help filling a prescription, please visit any Owens Location and ask to speak with one of our helpful pharmacists.