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So Many Pain Treatment Options Demand Individualized Plans

March 14, 2023
So Many Pain Treatment Options Demand Individualized Plans

One of the hallmarks of a successful pain clinic is a willingness to develop individualized treatment plans for each patient. Individualizing treatment offers multiple benefits, not the least of which is the ability to look into a long list of treatments rather than sticking with just one or two.

How many treatments are there? Too many to really do justice to all of them in a single post. However, we can divide all the treatments into a number of categories for better understanding. As you read through these categories, keep in mind that KindlyMD is fully on board with the idea of individualized treatment.

Category #1: Drug Therapies

Western medicine is heavily dependent on the concept of pharmacology. As such, we would expect drug therapies to be the primary category of pain treatment options. That they are. Drug therapies can take many forms:

  • Prescription painkillers
  • OTC analgesics
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Antidepressant medications.

Each type of medication targets pain in a different way. Pain management doctors work with their patients to figure out not only which type of medication to utilize, but how they expect it to offer relief.

Category #2: Injection Therapies

Pain medicine has really begun to embrace injection therapies over the last few years. These treatments rely on targeted injections to help provide long-term relief from certain types of pain. Some of the injections make use of steroids and anesthetics. Others might utilize something similar to Botox. Injection therapies tend to be a good option for musculoskeletal pain, certain types of headaches, and even fibromyalgia.

Category #3: Surgical Therapies

The next category, surgical therapies, tends to set off alarm bells for a lot of chronic pain patients. The thing to understand is that not all the surgical procedures are considered major procedures. Spinal cord stimulation is a good example. It involves a minor surgical procedure that implants a small device underneath the skin.

Category #4: Alternative Therapies

Just about everything else not covered in the first three categories is considered an alternative therapy. Perhaps the most recognized of these alternatives is physical therapy. Believe it or not, physical therapy can go a long way toward alleviating some types of pain.

Here are some of the other therapies in this category:

  • Acupuncture – Acupuncture is an Eastern medical practice based on stimulating the nervous system through the targeted insertion of small needles. It is believed to help with pain management by increasing endorphin production.
  • Chiropractic – Chiropractic therapy is the practice of manipulating the spinal column in order to help relieve pain. Chiropractic was once considered pseudoscience. But over the last 30 years or so, it has proved its worth.
  • Mind-Body Therapy – Mind-body therapy is actually a collection of treatments designed to help a patient manage pain through mind exercises. It includes things like hypnosis, relaxation techniques, and meditation.
  • Plant-Based Medicine – Plant-based medicine is rooted in the idea of using naturally-occurring chemical compounds to relieve pain. Many patients greatly prefer herbal medicines over their other treatment options.

There are more than a dozen other therapies in the alternative category. The most important thing to remember with every single pain management treatment is that results can vary.

What Works for You Is Best

The whole point of developing individualized treatment plans is to ultimately discover the therapy or therapies that work best for each patient. A good pain management doctor will never unequivocally say that one particular treatment is always best. That's not true of every patient.

An individualized treatment plan helps us figure out what is most likely to offer you maximum relief. Sometimes we hit on it quickly, other times we need to try a few things first. Nonetheless, the benefits of individualized treatment are undeniable. Pain medicine continues to prove it every day.

By KindlyMD
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