Our team of pain management physicians can provide you with long-term pain relief using traditional procedures, pain block injections, and alternative treatments including stem cell therapy to have a more active and healthy life. As experts in chronic pain management, we can pinpoint the source of your pain and prescribe a personalized, time-tested treatment plan that focuses on your specific level of pain. Visit our pain management practice and meet our physicians to get the pain relief you need in the safe, reassuring hands of New York’s best pain doctors located in Downtown Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan.
Pain can be very difficult to control and, sometimes, even after many months of treatment, the patient may still suffer from chronic pain. This can have many deleterious effects on one’s life. It may affect one’s job, home and relationships with others.
Chronic pain management is designed to help individuals cope with some of the effects of long-term pain. An ideal chronic pain management treatment would be one designed to reduce or eliminate the use of pain medications, maximize physical functioning, overcome psychosocial barriers to recovery and bring the patient to maximum medical improvement. If the patient has not been able to work because of chronic pain, the program may also focus on returning him or her to work or involvement in retraining for a different career.
Physical pain in the body affects millions of people. Even when pain is only mild, it can stop you from enjoying normal daily life. When the pain is intense, it can end your daily activities and take away all of the pleasure from your day.
Fortunately, there are many treatments that can help reduce and eliminate pain in the body. One such treatment is the use of pain-relieving injections. Injections deliver pain-reducing medicine to the source of the pain; thereby eliminating the pain.
Some of the most common causes of chronic pain include:
- Spinal stenosis
- Arthritis of the spine
- Herniated disc or a bulging disc
- Myofascial pain syndrome, which is unexplained muscle pain and tenderness
Non-surgical treatment options for chronic pain
There are also cases, where it is difficult to tell what the cause of the chronic back pain is. In cases where your doctor has already searched for a reason behind the pain, it is recommended to ask for a second opinion from a back pain specialist. It is very important that the decisions that are made are not rushed. In cases where the pain is unknown or cannot be treated, it is recommended to speak to your doctor about the possibility of reducing flare-ups or finding nonsurgical treatments that can make the pain more tolerable.
Physical therapy. Physical therapy is one way that is known to help many patients. At the same time, it is recommended to exercise, as this can also help to manage symptoms and improve chronic back pain. In general, physical therapy for chronic back pain includes restraining the posture, testing the limit of pain tolerance, aerobic exercises, stretching exercises, flexibility exercises, or core strengthening.
Mindfulness and meditation. Chronic back pain is something that puts a strain on both the physical and mental state. It can lead to frustration, depression, and irritability, which can be managed with the help of yoga, tai chi, meditation, and other relaxation techniques.
Diet. There are diets that are known to be highly inflammatory, especially diets that are high in trans fats, processed foods, and refined sugars. It is important that you speak to your doctor about whether it might be your diet that is increasing chronic back pain. It is important that you maintain a healthy weight, as this can reduce the pressure that is being put on the spine and therefore the pain that you experience.
Listen to your body. When you suffer from chronic pain it is important to adapt, by listening to your body and pacing yourself. It is important that you don’t overdo it, such as when mowing the lawn or when going to get groceries. There are many activities that can worsen your pain and it can help to avoid such activities.
Injection-based treatments. There are also many injection-based treatments, such as nerve blocks, epidural steroid injections, nerve ablation, and other types of procedures, which can help chronic back patients. Alternative treatments, such as acupuncture, biofeedback therapy, laser therapy, massages, or electrical nerve stimulation can make a big difference for chronic back pain patients. Your spine specialist can help you to decide whether alternative treatments can benefit you as well.
Medications. Other ways in which chronic back pain can be treated is with the use of analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants and other types of medications. However, such medications can also lead to side effects and are in most cases not intended for long-time use. In general, such treatment options shouldn’t be seen as a long-term solution for treating chronic back pain. There are many medications that are addictive and don’t even treat the underlying condition, but rather help to deal with the symptoms.
Stem cell therapy. Stem cell therapy for back pain uses an injection of stem cells, which is inserted into the space between the bones and has shown to help those suffering from facet joint syndrome. It was able to provide relief from the inflammation and from the pain. However, there are not enough studies to show that this approach can help all patients suffering from chronic back pain. In general, only a few studies were done on this, so that so far it is not possible to determine whether in the future it will become a standard treatment option for back pain.
Complications related to chronic pain
If you are suffering from pain and aches for more than 12 weeks, your pain can be referred to as chronic pain. Minor inflammation or a passing tenderness is a normal side effect of harm or an injury, however, if your pain remains although the injury has healed, it might be an indicator of a serious issue. What complications can chronic pain lead to?
It is important to remember, that those who suffer from chronic pain aren‘t only irritated, but they might also suffer from stiffness or inflexibility, which can limit the ability to move and therefore the ability to go on with everyday activities, such as going to work or doing house chores. It is also normal for chronic pain patients to suffer from a reduction in strength and stamina.
Long-term pain can lead to various physical complications. The nervous system can begin to go through a process known as sensitization, which occurs due to persistent irritation. This type of being overly sensitive can lead to discomfort which lasts for long after the injury has healed.
The ongoing pain can affect the mental health of the patients. In common cases, chronic pain patients have issues sleeping due to the pain, which leads to increased exhaustion. The exhaustion, on the other hand, can turn out to worsen the symptoms. For example, amputee patients, who suffer from ongoing phantom limb syndrome, have an increased risk of suffering from depression.
Other complications include certain cognitive issues. For example, those who are in constant pain can turn out to have issues with exercising or focusing, while others have issues recalling memories. These types of side effects also impact the life quality of the patients and can increase stress levels. Many patients suffer from relationship issues, as well as professional trouble.
Chronic discomfort and severe irritation can be treated in many ways, although the condition itself is not to be cured. Medication is an option that is often used, however, it comes with many side effects. Such drugs are often highly addictive and can cause other health issues. Corticosteroid drugs, which can reduce inflammation, can also increase high blood pressure, lead to weight gain, or a higher risk of infections and osteoporosis.
Other alternative treatment options, such as meditation, tai chi, and acupuncture can all have a positive effect on the condition when combined with other Western medicine techniques. Some patients find relief in relaxation therapies and behavior modification. Some of these treatment options are known to be highly effective in teaching patients how to cope with the condition. Finding ways how to deal with long-term pain can help patients to lead a more active and healthy life. Problem-solving skills, as well as a positive outlook on the condition, helps patients to respond better to the discomfort once it arises. Other physical symptoms of chronic pain include burning pain, joint pain, and muscle aches.
What causes long-lasting chronic pain?
Some conditions are known to increase the risk of suffering from chronic pain complications. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or back pain are only some of these conditions. Amongst them is also fibromyalgia, which can lead to pain and tenderness in different parts of the body. Inflammatory bowel disease is a condition that can lead to chronic inflammation of the digestive tract and can lead to chronic cramping and intestinal pain. Advanced cancer and surgical trauma can also lead to chronic pain complications.
Although all these conditions can improve with the help of medication and therapies, some people can experience chronic pain despite the treatment. It is a type of pain caused by a miscommunication between the nervous system and the brain.
What are the risk factors for chronic pain complications?
There are certain groups of people who are at an increased risk of suffering from chronic pain complications. For example, those who suffer from chronic and painful conditions, such as arthritis might experience chronic pain for a longer time, despite the treatment. Although researchers are still not sure of the reason behind it, those who suffer from depression are also at an increased risk of being hypersensitive to pain. Smoking can also increase the pain that chronic pain patients experience, and might even be able to prolong it. Obesity is also a reason why many patients suffer from chronic pain complications. Researchers are not sure whether it is due to the additional weight, or due to the effect of obesity on hormones and metabolism. Being female is also a risk factor, as women are known to be more sensitive to pain. Age plays an important role as well, as those who are over 65 years old are also more prone to suffering from conditions that can lead to chronic pain.
When you don‘t feel well and suffer from chronic pain, it can be very difficult to manage chronic pain. It can put a toll on mental health and lead to emotional stress, which at the same time, can make the pain even worse. It can make it difficult to work, but also to remain active and to socialize with others. To be able to cope with the condition better, you must find ways to manage the stress that the condition can cause. One way of doing so is by remaining positive and thinking about the good things in your life. It is also important that you remain engaged and don‘t isolate yourself from friends and family, or from activities that you enjoy doing. In some cases, joining a support group can be helpful. If you are not sure where to find the right one for you, speak to your doctor or your local hospital, as they might refer you to one that is specialized in dealing with your type of case. It is also very important that you seek both physical, but also psychological help. There are different types of organizations, local support groups, and more, who can help you deal with the emotions that you are going through due to your chronic pain.
Dr. Raval is very kind and explains everything in layman’s terms, which is super helpful. Thanks so much, guys! 🙂
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Chronic Pain Conditions Treated
- Cervical Facet Joint Injections for Neck Pain
- Cortisone Injections
- Elbow Injections
- Epidural Steroid Injections
- Foot Injections
- Hand Injections
- Joint Injections
- Knee Injections
- Lumbar Facet Blocks for Low Back Pain
- Lumbar Sympathetic Block
- Sacroiliac Joint Injections
- Sarapin Trigger Point Injections for Neck Pain
- Shoulder Injections
- Spinal Injections
- Sphenopalatine Nerve Blocks for Headaches
- Trigger Point Injections
- Wrist Injections
Chronic pain, failed back surgery syndrome and other painful conditions non-responsive to other interventions can be treated in our office. We want you to feel comfortable and confident while receiving treatments from the best pain management doctor NYC has to offer.
The information on this website is to provide general information. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive treatment advice. It is essential to consult a best-in-class pain management specialist in New York regarding ANY questions or issues. A thorough evaluation should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call your pain doctor to schedule a consultation.
Dr. Raj Raval, M.D.
- Board Certified
- Interventional Pain & Musculoskeletal Medicine Specialist
Education & training
- SUNY Downstate PMR Residency
- Rutgers University Fellowship