On A 1-10 Scale, How Bad Is Your Pain Right Now?

ef000e8ef50818b7604d_pain_scale.jpg
ef000e8ef50818b7604d_pain_scale.jpg

I’ve written quite a bit recently about how healthcare providers should collaborate with patients (LINK) to help them choose the best way to care for their health issues (LINK).

Our clinic treats pain, and I get questions all the time from friends and family who say things like “David, this weekend I suddenly got a sharp pain in my knee, do you think it’s serious? What should I do?”

In this post I’m going to tell you what I tell them, based on how they describe their pain:

Sign Up for E-News

SIMPLE PAIN

You woke up with a crick in your neck – and it’s still there mid-afternoon. Or perhaps you felt a sudden pop or stabbing pain when you stood up, or moved some furniture, or rolled over in bed.

Care model: If you think you know what caused your pain, and you’re pretty confident it isn’t severe, then the best next step is simply to check in with a healthcare provider who can verify your self-diagnosis and suggest the best quick relief and self-care strategies.  Unless your pain suddenly gets worse or doesn’t improve, you generally don’t need x-rays, MRIs, prescription medications or a referral to a specialist or a visit to an emergency room.

And unlike a consultation with “Dr. Google,” you get an expert’s confirmation of what’s actually wrong, plus the right treatment to start feeling better, right away. For example, many people think the best treatment for sudden low back pain is lying as still as possible – but that often makes your pain worse.

MODERATE PAIN

You had a minor car accident on your way home last week. You were sore for a couple of days but thought you’d be back to normal by the weekend. Now it’s a week later, you’re in more pain – and you’re starting to wonder if you’re more seriously injured than you initially thought you were.

Care model: Definitely have a healthcare provider who specializes in musculoskeletal issues assess more intense pain, especially if it keeps you from doing things you could easily do before. You want to make sure you’ve got the right diagnosis – otherwise, you may not get the best treatment. In this situation, while you won’t generally need an emergency room visit, an MRI or other imaging is often well worth the time and money to speed both diagnosis and treatment.

Most moderately painful musculoskeletal conditions are highly treatable, so you can expect to eventually be completely pain-free again. However, to get there, you’ll probably need a care plan designed around the underlying cause of your pain. That plan usually includes some combination of self-care treatments, physical therapy, medical massage and/or chiropractic treatment. Early in your treatment and healing process, it may also include a short course of over-the-counter or prescription medication.

CHRONIC PAIN

Occasional mild chronic pain usually falls into the “simple pain” category we discussed above. More intense and persistent chronic pain usually results from major traumatic injury that involves multiple parts of your body, or serious medical conditions, like fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis or diabetic neuropathy. Sometimes excruciating pain even continues after the initial trauma has healed.

Care model: If you have chronic and severe pain, look for a pain clinic that’s comfortable working closely with your entire healthcare team to tailor a plan that treats your pain in different ways at different times, depending on its severity.

For example, people with the most common form of multiple sclerosis may alternate between times of extreme pain and times when they’re more comfortable. You need a team that understands those nuances, and a plan that addresses both situations.

A blended approach that combines the expertise of several types of healthcare providers is usually the best treatment choice for chronic severe pain.  For example, chronic pain from multiple sclerosis may be treated with medication plus ongoing physical therapy and chiropractic sessions to protect compromised musculoskeletal systems, plus cognitive-behavioral therapy and mindfulness training to help you manage the chronic stress that accompanies and worsens chronic pain.

SUDDEN SEVERE PAIN

Sudden unexplained and excruciating pain is a major red flag. Examples include severe pain in your organs, like in your stomach or abdomen, “the worst headache of my life”, or crushing chest or shoulder pain.

See a doctor right away, because you could have a life-threatening condition that needs immediate treatment. If you don’t have a regular doctor or can’t get an appointment right away, go to an urgent care clinic or the emergency room.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Whether you’re experiencing mild, moderate or severe pain, the right treatments at the right time can nearly always reduce your pain. In most mild and moderate cases, you can expect to be pain-free again. Even in severe cases, you can generally expect real improvement on a day-to-day basis so you can still feel good about yourself and your life.

The key to pain relief is to understand the kind of pain you have, and choose the right care model for your specific situation. This strategy provides the fastest possible relief and saves time and money: you get the right help faster, at a cost that makes sense for your budget.

David Simon, DC, is co-founder of the Randolph Pain and Wellness Center, specializing in the patient-centered treatment of musculoskeletal issues with physical therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture and massage.  For more information on Randolph PRWC, go to www.randolphprwc.com, or call 973-366-6615.
 
The material in this article is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a licensed healthcare professional.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Randolph

Winter Forecast for 3-5 Inches Continues through Early Sunday Morning in Randolph Area

February 17, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ- A winter weather advisory remains In Effect From 4 pm this afternoon to 4 am Sunday according to the National Weather Service.

Total snow accumulations of 3 to 5 inches are  expected. 

Snow will quickly overspread the area from the southwest, becoming moderate to potentially  heavy at times this evening.

The snow should be finished by 4 a.m.

Plan ...

Randolph PTO Council Presents  “ALL IN” FUNDRAISER Featuring The Nerds

February 12, 2018

INVITATIONS ARE OUT!!

Randolph PTO Council presents our  “ALL IN” FUNDRAISER at the

Hanover Marriott, Route 10 E Whippany, NJ

Friday March 16th ~ 6:30pm - 11 pm

Featuring the band “THE NERDS”.

The Grand Raffle this year features fantastic prizes donated by generous local businesses. A $10 ticket gives you a chance to win a $5000 diamond ...

Morristown Happenings: Things to do in Morristown this Weekend

February 16, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ -  What do you have planned this President's Day Weekend?  Check out history at Washington Headquarter's new Discover History Center, take a glass blowing class, try your hand at a maple sugar demo or cheer for Morristown athletes as they compete this weekend. Whatever you chose, have a great weekend everyone!

 

Friday February 16

Yoga & ...

January Randolph Police Blotter Includes Many Outstanding Warrants

February 15, 2018

Jan 3, Janeth Ladino-Varon, 45, Randolph was arrested for an outstanding warrant issued by the Randolph Twp Municipal Court.  .  The defendant was processed and released.

Jan 10, Patrick C. Lake, 30, Denville was arrested and charged with burglary, criminal attempt and criminal mischief.  Lake was processed and transported to the Morris County Correctional Facility.

Jan 15, ...

Randolph Mayor Reflects on Interests and Concerns of Residents

February 15, 2018

I hope that everyone is enjoying the winter weather here in beautiful Randolph Township! It’s a wonderful time to enjoy many outdoor activities with family. From ice skating to sledding to skiing, it’s our varied seasons that attract so many to our wonderful community. Just be sure to stay safe. Do not ever go out on thin ice, and be careful when heading down those slopes! For those ...

Ledgewood Commons Asks State to OK Route 10 Work

February 21, 2018

ROXBURY, NJ – The company converting Ledgewood Mall into The Shops at Ledgewood Commons has asked the state to approve its plan to modify Route 10 to accommodate the project.

The plans, sent to the state Department of Transportation (DOT), comply with an August request by the Roxbury Township Council that a proposed left-turn lane on westbound Route 10 be significantly longer than ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_f15ab536b344851ebebb_star_balloons

Thu, February 22, 2:00 PM

Randolph Township Free Public Library, Randolph

Zoom Balloons Show at the Library

Arts & Entertainment Community Calendar Education Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_a462a07fc0090668b3c1_star_balloons

Thu, February 22, 4:30 PM

Randolph Township Free Public Library, Randolph

Zoom Comedy Magic Show

Arts & Entertainment Community Calendar Education Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_9c6b03ac9ece595f81e6_now_enrolling_facebook_and_website_graphic_-_preschool

Thu, February 22, 5:30 PM

Primrose School of Randolph, Randolph

Open House

Education

Ironia Elementary School Holds Successful Winterfest

February 21, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ- Hundreds of families spent a fun day at Ironia Feb.10. Children enjoyed face painting, games, a DJ, pizza and a bake sale. Families enjoyed a basket raffle, a Randolph High School cabaret performance, a Randolph Reelers Square Dance performance and the teacher's challenge.

Principal David Kricheff, Vice Principal Rathjen, teachers and a parent competed in the teacher's ...

The Morris County Crusaders After Strong First Season Prepare For 2018

February 19, 2018

EAST HANOVER, N.J.- When the discussion about football in an unlimited weight league among eighth graders, Coaches Odysseas Delaportas and Jeff Eisele of Jefferson decided to take action. American Youth Football, a non-profit football and cheer program bearing the logo, "non intrusive all inclusive seemed like a perfect fit. 

Delaportas and ...

Beyond Thoughts and Prayers: The East Brunswick #NeverAgain Vigil

February 21, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - On Sunday, February 25th at 6:30 pm on the EBHS football field, the Township of East Brunswick will host a vigil to honor the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and those of prior school shootings and to show our commitment to the safety of our school community. 

On February 14, which was both Ash Wednesday and ...

Parent Guide to Helping Kids Cope With the Florida Mass Shooting

February 18, 2018

The massacre at a Florida high school on Wednesday is hard for adults to wrap their head around, but it can be completely overwhelming for children who hear about it or see images of the carnage. Parents need to help guide their children through the fear, anger, upset and helplessness such a horrific attack can stir up in children.

“The first thing parents should do is assess their own ...

MCST Student Wins Rachael Ray's “Cook Your Way To Culinary School” Competition

February 20, 2018

Denville, NJ – Nick Capone, a high school senior in the Academy for Culinary Arts at the Morris County School of Technology (MCST) in Denville, was one of four young aspiring chefs who competed to make their dreams of attending culinary school a reality in Rachael Ray’s “Cook Your Way to Culinary School” competition.

The competition aired on RACHAEL RAY Friday, ...

Atlantic Health System Earns Spot for 10th Year on Fortune’s ‘100 Best Companies To Work For®’ List

Atlantic Health System, a leading provider of health care in New Jersey, today celebrated a decade of excellence after it was recognized among Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For®,” ranking number 74 in its tenth consecutive year on the prestigious annual list.

It is the only health care delivery system from New Jersey, and the top-ranked New Jersey based company on ...

CCM Library to Offer Free Workshops in Grant Writing and Fundraising Workshops Provided by Foundation Center’s Funding Information Network

RANDOLPH, NJ – The County College of Morris (CCM) Library’s Foundation Center Funding Information Network is offering three free workshops on the Foundation Center products during the college’s Spring Break, March 12-15.   The CCM Library is a participant in the Foundation Center’s Funding Information Network. Network partners provide a suite of ...

CCM Launches a Degree in Virtual Reality Providing Students with a Range of Options in a Rapidly Developing Field

RANDOLPH, NJ – From gaming to training surgeons, virtual reality (VR) has become an increasingly used technology for both entertainment and learning. Recognizing that VR will only continue to grow as it becomes even more prevalent in our lives, County College of Morris (CCM) has launched an Associate in Applied Science degree in VR.

The degree will be offered starting with the Fall 2018 ...

Guest Column: The Great "Wait" of the College Process

February 18, 2018

"The Great Wait" of the College Application Process

For all the high school seniors and their parents, we are in the stressful "waiting period".  We've just finished or are finishing applications to all the schools we might possibly want to attend next year and now sit and wait our fate after the $60-$80 non-refundable application fees to at least 8-13 schools and ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

AtlantiCast Medical Minute: Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center

On this episode of the AtlantiCast Medical Minute, we’ll take you inside the Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center, with the center’s director, Jason Lowenstein, MD.

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M7euCp86-c

AtlantiCast Episode 011

Breaking Atlantic Health System news on this week’s AtlantiCast! Plus, find out why Morristown Medical Center is one of the best hospitals in the nation when it comes to recovering from joint surgery, see the newest center for fighting brain cancer and an Atlantic Health System red-carpet premiere!

 

Guest Column: The Great "Wait" of the College Process

February 18, 2018

"The Great Wait" of the College Application Process

For all the high school seniors and their parents, we are in the stressful "waiting period".  We've just finished or are finishing applications to all the schools we might possibly want to attend next year and now sit and wait our fate after the $60-$80 non-refundable application fees to at least 8-13 schools and ...