Pain clinics specialize in treating patients unable to find significant pain relief by working with their family doctors or GPs. From the patient's perspective, finding a good pain clinic can be easier said than done. It can be disappointing to visit a clinic for the first time only to discover that its doctors have the same mentality: treating only with prescription meds.
The WebMD website offers a pretty detailed article on pain clinics and what patients should know about them. Near the end of the article is a recommendation to "stay away from pain clinics that offer mostly narcotics to treat pain." The article then goes on to briefly discuss the highly addictive nature of such medications.
Given the recommendation, the question becomes one of whether you should avoid pain clinics with a prescription med mentality. The choice is ultimately up to you, but we can give you some information that might help you make a decision.
A good starting point is discussing the different types of pain medications doctors recommend. Some, like prescription narcotics, provide relief by masking the pain. They make patients feel better by making it more difficult for their brains to both recognize and interpret pain signals. These medications, in particular, are the ones that give so many people pause.
There are other medications that offer pain relief by reducing inflammation. Still others relieve pain through the analgesic effect. Both anti-inflammatory and analgesic medications can be offered as over the counter (OTC) or prescription drugs.
A third type of medication is a plant-based medication. It is the option KindlyMD medical providers are most likely to recommend under normal circumstances. Plant-based medications are considered alternatives to Western prescription meds. But their “alternative” status does not make them any less effective.
While the addictive nature of prescription narcotics is the primary issue discussed in the WebMD article, it is also worth noting how a medical provider actually approaches pain management. This is important since most people who visit pain clinics suffer from chronic pain. So, they are engaging in long-term relationships with their pain management doctors.
Though there are exceptions to the rule, a medical provider with a prescription med mentality approaches pain management from the perspective of taking a given number of pills per day. It is a pharmacological approach that doesn't necessarily yield the best results. A clinic that offers alternative therapies, with or without prescription meds, tends to take a more holistic approach to pain management. We think offering both traditional and alternative pain management options will give our patients the greatest chances of success.
A holistic approach does not zero-in on the symptom of pain exclusively. It doesn't seek to merely relieve pain and nothing else. The holistic approach helps us treat the whole person—not just their symptoms—so pain is no longer a life-dominating factor.
A major benefit of the holistic approach is that it offers the opportunity to create individualized treatment plans for each patient. On the other hand, individualized treatments are the rare exception when a pain management physician relies exclusively on prescription meds. The pharmacological approach is very static. There is little room for individuality or flexibility.
Pain clinics adopt a variety of approaches to help patients manage pain. Should you avoid clinics with a prescription med mentality? That's up to you. We have given you some insights based on our experiences and philosophy as pain management specialists. Now you must decide what type of approach you want to take toward managing your pain.