Around 50 million Americans live with chronic pain that disrupts their day-to-day activities and deteriorates their quality of life. At Source Healthcare in Santa Monica, California, the pain management specialists provide state-of-the-art testing to identify the cause of your pain and innovative treatments to alleviate your discomfort. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, call Source Healthcare, or book an appointment online today.
Don't Live with Chronic Pain Anymore
How Do I Know My Pain is Chronic?
Typically, pain is considered chronic if it lasts for longer than 6 months. However, you should consult the doctors at Source Healthcare if your pain has not subsided for more than 12 weeks from the time of the injury or surgery.
What Are the Types of Chronic Pain?
Two types of chronic pain can be experienced:
- Nociceptive pain – This is pain that occurs when the body experiences an injury or physical shock. The nociceptive pain receptors on the nerves get activated and inform the brain of the injury via pain.
- Neuropathic pain – This is pain that occurs to the nerves themselves and the nerve damage is signaled to the brain through the pain.
This is a chronic pain disorder. It affects the muscles and the connective tissue (called the “fascia”) that surrounds them. With this syndrome, you may develop sensitive areas on your body called “trigger points.” When these places are pressed or stressed, you feel pain. This condition can affect muscles throughout your body.
Trigger Point Injections
This outpatient procedure is designed to reduce or relieve the pain of trigger points. These small, tender knots can form in muscles or in the fascia (the soft, stretchy connective tissue that surrounds muscles and organs). The trigger point injection procedure takes only a few minutes to complete.
Dorsal Root Ganglion Stimulator
This treats chronic pain in your trunk or legs. It uses electrical pulses to disrupt pain signals as they pass through your spinal nerves. It may reduce your need for pain medications. Here’s how it works.
Spinal Cord Stimulator Permanent
Spinal cord stimulation (also called SCS) uses electrical impulses to relieve chronic pain of the back, arms and legs. It is believed that electrical pulses prevent pain signals from being received by the brain. SCS candidates include people who suffer from neuropathic pain and for whom conservative treatments have failed.
Intrathecal Pain Pump
An intrathecal pump relieves chronic pain. It uses small amounts of medicine applied directly to the intrathecal space (the area surrounding the spinal cord) to prevent pain signals from being perceived by the brain. Pump candidates include people for whom conservative treatments have failed and surgery is not likely to help.
When Should I Talk to a Doctor About Chronic Pain?
You should never ignore pain — it is your body’s way of letting you know that something is wrong. If you have pain, it often subsides after a day or two of rest and at-home care.
However, if your pain does not start to go away, or even gets worse, you should make an appointment at Source Healthcare, so the doctors can diagnose the cause of your pain.
Once your doctors know what is causing your pain, they can create a treatment plan to alleviate your discomfort and restore your quality of life.
How is the Cause of Chronic Pain Diagnosed?
The doctors at Source Healthcare work diligently to identify the cause of your pain. They begin with a thorough physical exam and consultation to develop their understanding of your symptoms, overall health, and lifestyle.
Additionally, they run a variety of diagnostic tests, including:
- Blood work
- Nerve conduction studies
Some chronic pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), do not have specific tests. Your doctor needs to rule out other conditions to confirm that you have either of these conditions.
The team at Source Healthcare puts your health and well-being first. The team keeps you up-to-date throughout the diagnostic process and offers compassionate support from your first appointment.
How is Chronic Pain Treated?
Treatment for chronic pain depends on the condition causing it. The doctors at Source Healthcare offer a wide range of pain-relieving therapies, including:
- Stem cell therapy
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP)
- Epidural injections
- Nerve root blocks
- Facet blocks
- Facet rhizotomy (radiofrequency ablation)
- Pulsed radiofrequency
- SuperionⓇ interspinous spacer
- Spinal cord stimulator (SCS)
- Dorsal root ganglion (DRG) stimulator
- Sacroiliac (SI) joint fusion
- Percutaneous discectomy
- Trigger point injections
- Ozone therapy
How Do I Report My Pain When the Doctor Asks Me?
Pain is evaluated on a scale that ranges from 0 to 10, with 0 being “No pain” to 10 being “worst imaginable pain”. At Source Healthcare, we encourage you to be honest with your self-assessment and let us know how you feel. Your inputs will help us treat you better.
The doctors will also use a variety of tests to better understand your condition and create a personalized treatment.
The duration of the treatments we prescribe depends on the severity of the pain and your unique body type. If generally, your body heals slowly, the pain treatment may last a bit longer than for other patients. At Source Healthcare, we first identify the underlying cause and aim at treating that injury. Slowly, the pain will subside too.
How Long Will the Pain Treatment Last?
What Lifestyle Changes Can I Make to Supplement Medical Pain Treatment?
There are many ways to ensure that your medication, injections, and surgical treatments yield faster results. Consider implementing these lifestyle changes after your treatment:
- Incorporate a weekly massage session to relieve stress and strain in muscles.
- Exercise – including strength training, cardio, and yoga to experience full-body benefits.
- Change your diet and include nutritious food in your meals. They will give you the essential vitamins and minerals you need to prevent inflammation (which causes pain) in your muscles and joints.
- Get enough sleep and allow your body to heal.
Treat Chronic Pain Today
If you are living with chronic pain, call Source Healthcare or schedule a consultation online today for expert diagnosis skills and innovative, customized treatments.