Pain ManagementNewport Beach, CA
Pain management is a quickly growing field with an increasing number of intricacies. With every year comes new and complex medications, techniques, and technologies. Pain can make it challenging to carry out even the simplest of tasks. If you are dealing with pain that interferes with your day-to-day routine, pain management may be right for you.
At Orange County Physical Therapy, we offer pain management education, treatments, and guidance for patients experiencing acute or chronic pain. Our team can help identify the cause of your pain and provide you with the tools to continue managing your symptoms on your own time. To learn more about a procedure or schedule an appointment, call (949) 299-0297 today.
Pain can be understood as any uncomfortable feeling that points to something going wrong. It may be described as aching, pinching, stabbing, steady, or throbbing, among many other descriptors. Pain ranges from mild to severe and may be associated with other physical symptoms. There are several different types of pain: acute, chronic, nociceptive, and neuropathic.
- Acute Pain: Acute pain tends to be severe but short-lived and serves to signal injury. Contrary to the name seeming minor, certain types of acute pain can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months.
- Chronic Pain: In contrast, chronic pain may exist on a spectrum of severity and will persist for long periods. It also often occurs due to a disease that may require ongoing treatment.
- Nociceptive Pain: The most common type of pain is nociceptive pain, which is caused by the stimulation of nociceptors. Nociceptors are pain receptors for tissue injury and are present throughout the body, especially the skin and internal organs. Like acute pain, they send electrical signals to the brain whenever they are stimulated by potential harm. However, nociceptive pain can be either acute or chronic.
- Neuropathic Pain: Less common is neuropathic pain, which occurs due to a dysfunction of or damage to the nervous system. These dysfunctional or damaged nerves misfire pain signals then fire pain signals for no apparent reason. Neuropathic pain is often chronic, but it can sometimes go away on its own.
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What is Pain Management?
Pain management, also known as pain medicine, is a specialty branch of medicine that uses evidence-based practices to reduce pain. It can encompass virtually any health condition that causes pain. The process can be simple or complex, depending on the condition being treated. For example, a herniated disc will typically require a simple epidural injection and physical therapy.
Patients should also keep in mind that we will treat the pain according to its duration, history, aggravating and relieving factors, and any causal structures. Any structure that causes pain must have a nerve supply and be vulnerable to injury, and the patient must feel pain when said structure is stimulated. We can help identify the exact source of pain and determine the best treatment for the patient.
Pain Management Specialists
Specialists who provide pain management and treatment have undergone special training to evaluate, diagnose, and treat all different types of pain. Pain is a broad spectrum of disorders, some of which can coexist simultaneously. It may also be derived from various causes or pop up without any evident reason.
As the field of medicine continues to evolve, professionals also continue to learn more about the various complexities of pain. As such, the need for specialists who provide pain management only continues to grow. Their advanced training and knowledge on the physiology of pain, the ability to evaluate patients with complex pain issues, and their understanding of how to utilize specialized tests in diagnosis make them invaluable. They can also accurately prescribe medications to treat various pain problems and have the necessary skills to perform multiple pain-relieving procedures.
Types of Pain Management Services
As physical therapists, we help patients manage pain every day, whether it be due to an injury or chronic condition. We also provide pain management services for patients experiencing pain unrelated to an injury or condition. These services include cupping, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM), manual therapy, and massage therapy.
- Cupping: Cupping can address conditions such as headaches, back pain, knee pain, shoulder and arm pain, deep muscle pain, neck pain, and sports and auto accident injuries without the use of medication. The therapist places cups on the skin to create a suction effect. Once the suction occurs, the cups can be gently moved along the surface of the skin. The suction from the cups gently lifts the skin and the upper muscle layer into the cup. Blood flows from within the body to the cupped area, reducing inflammation, decreasing bad scar formation, and promoting healing while creating a sense of relaxation.
- Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM): Uses tools with beveled edges to assist the physical therapist in evaluating and mobilizing soft tissue. The effect allows for improved pain pressure threshold of myofascial trigger points. In combination with manual therapy and corrective exercise, there is a reduction in pain and increase in function by improving range of motion and muscle activity.
- Manual therapy: Techniques that require skilled hand movements and skilled passive movements of joints and soft tissues that are intended to improve tissue extensibility, increase range of motion, induce relaxation, mobilize or manipulate soft tissue and joints, myofascial release, modulate pain, and reduce soft tissue swelling, inflammation, or restriction. These techniques are selected, implemented, and prescribed when examination findings indicate that the use decreases edema, pain, and spasm while enhancing health, wellness, and fitness.
- Massage therapy: A complementary part of manual therapy practice to reduce pain and improve function. Techniques are used for a variety of conditions by stimulation of pressure receptors that lead to parasympathetic activity (relaxation) and decreased cortisol levels. Different styles of massage include effleurage (gliding/sliding movement over the skin), petrissage (lifting, wringing or squeezing of the soft tissues in a kneading motions), friction, tapotement (strike of the tissues at a rapid rate), and vibration.
Schedule a Visit Today
Pain Management consultations and treatments are available at our office. The Orange County Physical Therapy team looks forward to treating you and giving you the tools to help you manage your pain at home. Call our office at (949) 299-0297 to learn more or schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pain Management
Q. What can I expect during pain management sessions?
A. In some ways, your first visit for pain management will be similar to your first visit to a primary care physician. The therapist will examine your medical history, and you will undergo a thorough physical exam. We may also order additional tests, such as blood tests or radiographic images. You may need to undergo more tests if you have chronic pain. Then, the doctor will draw up the best treatment plan for your unique needs. Each session will vary depending on the patient’s treatment plan.
Q. Why is my pain worse on some days than others?
A. It is hard to answer this question without a thorough evaluation. However, if you notice that certain activities aggravate your pain, medication may be able to help. A one-on-one consultation will give you the answers you are looking for.
Q. Can acute pain become chronic?
A. Yes. If not appropriately treated, acute pain can be prolonged. Chronic pain is any pain that lasts longer than three months.
Q. When should I seek treatment for pain?
A. Seek out medical attention if you have any pain that interferes with your day-to-day activities or if your pain lasts for three months or longer. Otherwise, you run the risk of exacerbating your condition.
Q. What physical therapy treatments are available for pain management?
A. Almost all physical therapy practices help reduce pain, but there are specialized treatments designed specifically for pain management. A few of the techniques we offer include cupping, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM), manual therapy, and massage therapy.
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