Pain is not normal. Start the conversation today!
At SHIPS Medical, our primary objective is helping our patients live pain-free lives. We want you to enjoy new and exciting opportunities as well as take part in favorite pastimes you’ve been unable to participate in. If you’re dealing with pain, now is the time to take positive steps to take your life back.
At the Migraine Institute, we offer a number of treatment options that can be custom-tailored to meet our patients’ individual needs. Live life instead of suffering from headache pain.
Exercise can help patients restore mobility and provide relief from chronic pain. The right exercise plan, designed for you, can strengthen muscles, increase endurance, and improve flexibility.
Spine And Pain Institute
Back pain, especially lower back pain, is one of the most common complaints that patients bring to their physicians. Back pain can range in intensity from mild discomfort to severe and disabling pain.
Although everyone feels pain and weakness from time to time, some cases certainly run far deeper than others. Finding the source becomes crucial to beginning the healing process.
Chronic pain is debilitating and takes the pleasure out of life. Far too often, the root cause of pain is misdiagnosed or patients do not receive the optimal treatment. At SHIPS Medical, we’ll work with patients to determine the source of pain and develop treatment options that reduce or eliminate the pain. Acute pain may also have complicated roots that require a more complex treatment protocol, but that doesn’t mean the outcome should be less successful. There are many issues our team can explore to determine the cause of your chronic or acute pain.
What We Offer
Every person’s nervous system has the potential to respond a little differently to stimuli. In the majority of cases, a person’s nervous system doesn’t react negatively to what should be non-painful stimuli, but some individuals react differently. Neuropathy pain affects a relatively small percentage of people, but those impacted suffer greatly from pins and needles sensations and, in some cases, severe itching or numbness.
Since there are numerous triggers for neuropathic pain, our specialists dedicate themselves to paring the list of potential causes, as treatments will depend on what’s causing the sensitivity. This type of pain is somewhat difficult to eliminate, but many patients find relief from analgesics, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and applications of lidocaine. Your doctor’s goal is to determine which treatments will produce the maximum results for your neuropathic pain.
Dealing Effectively with Headaches
Recent healthcare industry statistics suggest nearly 50 million Americans suffer from frequent severe headaches. In some cases, the pain is so severe that patients stay home from work and retreat to quiet, dark areas as they attempt to find headache relief. Socializing and family life often suffer as well. When headaches are severe or chronic, it’s always a good idea to seek medical help to determine their causes.
Every medical professional will stress the importance of isolating the causes of severe or chronic headaches, as underlying conditions may be contributing factors. Migraine and tension headaches are quite common and may be dealt with using over-the-counter or prescription medications, depending on the patient’s circumstances.
At SHIPS Medical, we may also discuss incorporating natural strategies as a part of the overall treatment plan. That could include relaxation exercises, acupuncture, massage, and other types of treatments. While these strategies are not effective for every patient, they often form a valuable addition to other treatment choices.
We always stress patients seek immediate treatment when their headaches suddenly become severe, occur after a head injury, or get worse even when pain medications are used as directed.
Joint Pain Relief
The body’s joints are rather complex and can develop issues that contribute to pain. Joint pain relief frequently enables patients to return to work and enjoy sports and other activities once pain levels are minimized or eliminated.
Patients suffering from joint pain may notice symptoms only occasionally or those symptoms may be chronic. The type and level of pain being experienced will dictate the treatments recommended, but there are some types of treatments routinely suggested. It’s important to remember that even if your joint pain tends to come and go, treatment is recommended to minimize the pain and protect the joints from long-term damage.
Your doctor may recommend one or more strategies to deal with joint pain. Relatively mild pain can often be dealt with using over-the-counter, anti-inflammatory medications. However, physical therapy or other alternative treatments may be recommended to improve joint health and mobility. Knee, shoulder, and hip pain are very common, especially in older adults, but arthritis, gout, bursitis and a variety of injuries also lead to joint pain and require treatment.
Lower Back Pain
Since chronic lower back pain is so common, we’ve gone to great lengths to develop treatment protocols to help patients get through their pain and regain a sense of normalcy in their lives. Statistics say nearly 20 percent of people between twenty and sixty years of age will develop significant low back pain at some point, with up to half of those patients suffering from chronic low back pain.
The lower back supports the entire upper body and makes it possible to bend and twist during normal activities. When lower back muscles, discs, and ligaments suffer some type of injury, the resulting pain can quickly become debilitating. While muscles and ligaments are generally able to heal rather quickly, disc damage does not heal well. That’s why it’s so important to determine the type of damage present before moving forward with any lower back pain treatment.
In some cases, lower back pain appears without a clearly definable cause. When no significant damage can be identified, the primary focus will be on treating the symptoms. Depending on the patient’s symptoms, injections, bracing, or the use of medications may be indicated. Of course, massage therapy, acupuncture, and other similar strategies may also be helpful in some cases. Discuss all the available options with your doctor to effectively deal with the pain being experienced.
Working with Pain Management Doctors in the Interventionalist Environment
Chronic pain impacts not only the patient suffering but also anyone around that patient. Family members must take extra steps to help pain sufferers, and employers may need to make concessions to help employees suffering from painful conditions. In some cases, working is no longer possible if the pain becomes too severe. That’s where pain management doctors, our institutes, and interventions enter the picture.
Pain management is a medical specialty, and pain management experts routinely work with patients to evaluate their conditions and develop treatment plans to reduce pain levels. The objective is to eliminate the pain or help patients deal with pain that cannot be fully eradicated. Because patients all have different needs, each person our team of experts works with is treated as an individual. That means every step of the treatment process reflects the needs of the patient, not the clinic.
Today, there is a great deal of concern over the abuse of opioids, as their overuse has caused numerous problems both for individuals and society as a whole. However, there is a place for the use of pain relief medications, and we’ll always work with patients to determine what level of pain relief their condition requires.
Understanding Pain Management Strategies
Comprehensive pain management is not a one-size-fits-all process. However, there are specific steps the majority of patents will experience as they strive to control their pain levels. The steps include:
- Accurately diagnosing the cause of pain. It unlikely that any treatment strategy will be effective until the cause of pain is properly diagnosed. Since the root causes of pain can be localized or more complex, it may take more than one visit and various tests to properly diagnose the cause, or causes, of your pain.
- Developing a treatment plan. The majority of treatment plans will involve more than one type of intervention. Our doctors will research the available treatment options and make recommendations based on your diagnosis. The idea is to minimize the risks our patients must endure while, at the same time, reducing or eliminating the pain.
- Working with other healthcare providers. Your specific care plan may require visiting multiple providers that offer specialized types of care. If you’ve got questions or concerns about specific types of care or providers, ask the doctor to explain the rationale for each type of treatment.
- Taking advantage of available procedures. If your doctor recommends specific types of treatments, it’s generally a good idea to take advantage of those suggestions. Again, never be afraid to ask your doctor to explain the advantages of a specific treatment option and discuss any concerns you may have. If there are concerns about one type of treatment, ask if other, equally effective options are offered. It’s always important that you feel comfortable with treatments.
- Ongoing treatment options. Chronic pain issues tend to be rather complex, which suggests that some level of ongoing care may be needed to prevent a recurrence of the condition causing the pain. In the majority of cases, the frequency of care will be significantly reduced over time, but don’t ignore future visits that are designed to ensure the condition does not return.
Again, every patient is an individual and will require a unique care plan. From start to finish, we want your experience with SHIPS Medical to meet your needs. That means we want you to feel comfortable with every stage of the process needed to reduce or eliminate your pain.
Help Your Doctor Eliminate Your Pain
While some of our patients visit our clinic soon after the onset of pain, others have been suffering for years with pain that’s only getting worse. Regardless of your current situation, there are some ways you can help our medical staff treat your pain.
The most important thing is providing the doctor with a record of your pain and a description of any steps you’ve taken in the past to deal with the pain. For your initial visit, please bring the following with you.
- Any information about past treatments, including x-rays or MRIs if available. Doing so can speed up the treatment planning and provide faster pain relief. Feel free to ask our staff about ways to obtain prior medical records.
- Rather than trying to rely on your memory alone, create a journal that outlines your symptoms and any obvious triggers. Use the 1-10 scale to describe your pain levels during those episodes. If you’ve got questions about describing your pain, we’ll gladly explain the pain scale.
- Bring a list of all medications you’re currently taking, not just pain medications. That includes herbal substances and over-the-counter medications of all types. Some pain issues will be impacted by seemingly innocuous substances, so we need to know everything you’re currently taking.
- Of course, please remember to bring any insurance information to expedite your care. Again, feel free to ask our staff members if you’ve got any questions.
In some instances, we may need additional information or records to provide the best care possible. When setting up your initial appointment, review what we’ll need with our staff members to make sure everything that’s needed will be available.
When Should You Contact a Pain Specialist?
Any type of chronic pain should not be ignored, but there are some instances when we suggest patients contact a pain management doctor for help. If you’re experiencing any of the situations here, it’s time to contact SHIPS Medical for help.
- If your pain has been ongoing for three or more months, it’s time to contact our team for help.
- DIY approaches to pain management haven’t been successful, a pain management specialist should be consulted.
- When the pain is negatively affecting your ability to engage in normal activities, it’s important to schedule an appointment with a pain management professional.
- Any time your primary care physician is unable to determine the cause of pain, getting help from our team of pain management experts is strongly recommended.
Don’t ignore chronic pain and hope it will simply go away. The odds are that, if anything, the pain will continue to worsen over time. Rather than risk having to deal with pain for any longer, it’s always a good idea to discuss your pain and possible solutions with a pain management specialist.
Taking the First Steps
If you’ve got questions about your specific chronic pain issues, the first step is to contact one of our offices and ask us questions about pain management strategies.
If appropriate, schedule an appointment to learn more about pain management strategies and how they can be used to reduce or eliminate your pain. In the majority of instances, SHIPS Medical’s experts will suggest steps you can take to mitigate your pain. Get the help you need now to live your life as free of pain as possible.