There is a different kind of doctor's office that doesn't treat things like common colds and broken bones. It is not staffed by internists or family doctors. Its doctors and advanced practice nurses do not always reach for the prescription pad. It isn't a GP's office, it's a pain clinic.
Pain clinics specialize in pain diagnosis and management. In nearly every case, patients are dealing with chronic pain. Pain management doctors, like those who work for Kindly MD, look to go beyond the traditional Western-based medicine that dominates so many American practices.
Western medicine is not a bad thing, but it relies too heavily on prescription medications. Yet medication is not always the best avenue for pain management. Sometimes it is most appropriate when combined with other treatments. Other times, it isn't appropriate at all.
Western medicine's general reliance on medications has created a misunderstanding among patients that all they need to feel better is a prescription. They run to the doctor at the first sign of a sniffle in hopes of getting an antibiotic prescription. Not only is this bad medicine, dishing out prescriptions can create more problems than it solves.
Here is the uncomfortable truth about medication: no drug is perfect. No drug works exactly as advertised or helps everybody who takes it. We know this all too well in pain medicine. Rarely are two pain management cases identical. Not only that, but patients also respond to treatments differently.
Treating patients as individuals is one of the things that sets pain clinics apart. It allows for treatment customization, which is the first step in going above and beyond medication to make an actual difference. Our philosophy at Kindly MD is to allow patients to control their own healthcare journey. We work with them as partners in the search for the best option rather than dictating to patients what they ought to do.
If you were to visit a pain clinic in hopes of better managing chronic pain, would you consider yoga? Yoga certainly isn't for everyone. But for one patient profile by a recent USA Today piece, it was the thing that worked best.
The patient, a 66-year-old man with bad knees, nerve problems, and the results of two surgeries on the feet, decided to try yoga after seeing fellow veterans doing things he couldn't do. It was one of the best decisions he ever made. He now bikes five miles every day and is hoping to eventually enter a marathon.
Once again, do not misunderstand the point of this post. The goal is not to dissuade you from taking prescription medications. It is simply to say that there are other ways to manage pain. As for those medications, they can cause problems.
You are familiar with opioid medications and their propensity to cause addiction. That's a serious enough reason to think twice about long-term opioid use.
Pain clinics are no stranger to patients who have tried pain medications to no avail for years. It's not uncommon for them to also live sedentary lifestyles. Why? Because the mentality of Western medicine is to take a prescription and do nothing else. If the medication doesn't work as well as it should, a patient may ultimately become sedentary. That may lead to loss of function, loss of mobility, and even more pain.
That's not what pain management doctors want to see. It is why pain medicine goes above and beyond prescription medications to find other ways to help patients.