How to manage chronic pain?
Treatment for chronic pain has certainly evolved over the course of many years. The objective of chronic pain management is to manage, not treat, the pain syndrome in order to provide pain patients the ability to function and become active members of society. Functional goals can be executed solely through a single pain practitioner or through a multidisciplinary team approach. Single chronic pain providers may work on interventional pain management in combination with medication management with routine, long-term follow-up. The multidisciplinary approach will include multiple providers of different specialties with the same treatment objective—of assisting in the management of chronic pain. Providers may include a chronic pain specialist as well as a pharmacist to incorporate pharmacotherapies. Pain psychologists or psychiatrists can address behavioral issues that may modify the patient’s pain level. They may also address associated mood disorders such as anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, or depression. Physical therapists or occupational therapists may incorporate therapeutic exercise and conditioning. This will help empower the patient to be able to move and function despite their pain or fear/avoidance of activity.