Pain management: When to see a pro
Atlanta pain management resources
By Jae Curtis
Your body has a lot of wear and tear, which can often mean one thing: Pain. Whether it's a crick in your neck or a sore back after work, pain can be anything from a mild annoyance to a serious problem. The good news? There's no reason pain has to be an inevitable part of your day. With the right care and pain management treatment, you can banish those aches to get on with your day. Here are some tips on how to take control of daily pain so it doesn't disrupt your life.
Minor aches. Everyone experiences minor aches from time to time. Whether it's an afternoon headache after a stressful day of work, or painful joints after a spin at the gym, pain is your body's way of responding to certain situations and stimuli. Luckily, minor aches rarely last for long, which means you're up and at 'em the next day without too much existing pain left over.
It should be noted that while minor aches can sometimes be indicative of a larger problem, almost everyone experiences a headache or sore back from time to time. There are so many causes of pain that it's often difficult to isolate the specific catalyst when the pain is both temporary and irregular. In these cases, it's often easiest to just treat the pain.
Who to contact: If minor aches are common after certain activities, check out your local pharmacy. A pharmacist can help point you toward safe pain medication that'll help to reduce after-workout aches or prevent headaches.
Daily pain. If your pain is more regular than your afternoon mail, it might be time to get real about managing it. Some pain medications can be damaging to your body if taken in large quantities on a regular basis, so they're not appropriate for long-term, sustained use. The trick to dealing with daily pain is first finding the cause. For some, it could be a pinched nerve in the back. Others might be suffering from fibromyalgia or arthritis. Whatever the cause, it's time to see a doctor about your pain. Bring him a detailed log of when you felt pain, the location of the pain and its severity on a scale from 1 to 10. This can help narrow down some of the possible causes so you get relief and healing even faster.
Since daily pain can be the sign of a serious and chronic illness, it's best to get help as soon as possible. Some types of chronic pain--such as joint pain--can herald the deterioration of certain parts of your body, so don't let it go unchecked. The right medication and treatment plan can help stop that deterioration as well as the pain.
Who to contact: Your family physician is a good place to start when it comes to finding relief from daily pain. He'll be able to analyze and diagnose the cause of your pain to move forward with a personalized plan to get you back on your feet.
After-trauma pain. Sometimes, pain can be the result of some type of trauma sustained by your body. Whether it was a sports injury on the playing field or constant pain after you were in an automobile accident, that pain is how your body tells you that something is wrong. It might be a sprained ankle or a swollen vertebrae; whatever the cause, your body has been altered by some type of trauma and it needs to be set right again.
Who to contact: This is the work for a chiropractor. These are doctors who are skilled in the art of pain management, especially when it comes to traumatic injuries that can alter your body. After the first consult with a chiro, she'll help design a plan to help heal the pain in your body so that an injury doesn't have lifelong effects when it comes to daily pain.
Daily changes. You might find that daily lifestyle changes can seriously help to reduce the causes of pain. For instance, if you often experience tension headaches or a sore back after a long day of work, you might need to check the ergonomics of your desk setup. A poorly supported back and improperly placed keyboard could be the culprits. Or, if you experience soreness after a jog, it might be time to buy new running shoes. In some cases, you can be the best help for your own pain treatment by seeing what changes you can make in your daily life to help support your body and banish pain for good.
If you're looking for help with pain, check out Kudzu for Atlanta-based chiropractors, who can help address back, shoulder, hip and joint pain.
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