Is This The Type of Pain Management Clinic That You Want To Go To

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by JLH, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Is This The Type of Pain Management Clinic That You Want To Go To?


    I received a booklet from a large hospital advertising their many services. One of them was their Pain Management Center.

    If you are considering going to a Pain Management Center or Clinic, this article describes what the goal of this particular center is like.

    Pain Management Centers help people with chronic pain with treatments such as:
    • physical therapy
    • coping strategies such as self-monitoring and self regulation
    • relaxation training and symptom substitution
    • spinal injections
    • minor medical procedures
    • medications, the majority of which are NON-narcotic

    The Pain Management Center provides expert evaluation and treatment for a variety of conditions including:
    • headaches and migraines
    • myofascial pain (pain caused by trigger points, or hard nodules in muscle tissue)
    • spinal degeneration
    • neck and shoulder, lower back or pelvic and abdominal discomfort
    • post-surgical or cancer pain
    • nerve injuries
    • carpal tunnel syndrome
    • repetitive stress injury
    • chronic pain syndromes

    Pain Management Centers will often use a multidisciplinary approach of treating chronic pain, having physicians who represent a broad spectrum of medical disciplines including:
    • physiatry (the branch of medicine that deals with restoring function for a person who has been disabled as a result of a disease, disorder, or injury)
    • neurology
    • anesthesiology
    • psychology
    • physical therapists and nurses specially trained in pain management

    A Pain Management Center’s objective is to form a treatment plan to give patients the maximum ability to function, because there is not really any cure for chronic pain.

    Interesting facts from The American Pain Foundation:
    • Only an estimated 1 in 4 of those with pain receives proper treatment.
    • 1 in 3 American adults loses more than 20 hours of sleep each month because of pain.
    • Pain costs an estimated $100 Billion each year.
    • Lost workdays due to pain add up to more than 50 Million days a year.
    • A third of Americans will experience chronic pain at some point in their lives.
    • Approximately 50 million Americans LIVE WITH CHRONIC PAIN.
    • Pain is the leading cause of adult disability in the U.S.

    Now, is the description of the above Pain Management Center what you expected that a pain center was?

    Would you be disappointed to go to a center that just follows the above treatment plans?

    Have you been to a center or clinic like the above?

    Or, have you been to a “Pain Management Doctor” who solely prescribes narcotic pain meds?

    Which type of center/clinic/doctor do you feel would serve us the best?
  2. elsa

    elsa New Member



    I am not oppose to the coping techniques. I am oppose to the no-narcotic medications. It seemed like they were listing that as a selling point.

    What is wrong with prescribing whatever it takes to control pain while you are teaching a patient how to use those coping techniques?

    What do you suppose is wrong with continuing these rx'ed meds. if the techniques don't work?

    I vote for finding a doctor who is not afraid to take care of his/her patient. One who believes that alternative treatments can also benefit the patient in a supporting role to pain medications.

    I do think this clinic might be a life saver for chronic pain individuals who have had a history of narcotic addictive behavior ... and, for health reasons, cannot take nacotics as a treatment option.

    But..... that option ( nar.meds.) should be readily available for the many other people who do not have this issue to content with.

    Pain management is big business. Narcotic medications are a costly, time consuming, and meticulous treatment that cuts into the production and profit margins of that business. Add the legal risks, and it makes more business sense to offer the above services. I'm not bashing healthcare corps., just looking at the business explaination for such an arrangement.

    I don't agree with that arrangement and I think alot of patients fall through the cracks. The best possible solution would be a relationship with an MD who maps out an all incompassing treatment plan that would suits the patient needs.

    I don't take narcotic pain medications ... unless you place tramadol on that list, but I do take rx's that strongly effect brain chemicals ... ie lunesta and provigil.
    If I needed morphine and felt comfortable taking it, I would want a doctor who had the guts to treat me accordingly.

    Wow !! I guess I had an opinion on this topic!! LOL Thank you for posting it. Patients have the right to appropriate care. I also believe it can be found out there ... one just has to keep looking until they find it.

    When you stop looking at hospitals as the benevolent entities of by gone days, and start looking at them as the corporate businesses they have become, it becomes easier to discern the correct treatment path for you. That is not a commentary on corporate healthcare ... just an obsertvation.

    There is a benefit to the "new" hospital set up. The patient now has critical input and a right to understand his/her treatment ... and the right to reject it in favor of another approach. Back in the benevolent days ... you didn't dare question the man in the white coat. He knew all and would take care of you.

    O.K. .... more then you wanted to know on the subject I'll bet ?!? My husband works in corporate / admin. healthcare. I have more understanding on the subject then I would like to have! LOL

    Thank you for a thought provoking topic. We need stimulating subjects to combat the fibro brain fog!! Think I got my workout for today!!

    Hope you're doing well,

    Elsa
  3. JLH

    JLH New Member

    I personally would not want to go to this pain management center, either. In fact, I imagine that most of the people who have been referred there from their primary docs are quite disappointed to find out that this is how they run their "pain" clinic.

    If you are checking out a pain management clinic and they have any brochures to look at ..... check to see if they have a similar statement that the above clinic has: "Their objective is to form a treatment plan to give patients the maximum ability to function, because there is not really any cure for chronic pain."

    OK, you're going to leave with a plan and able to function, but still function in pain (since there is not really any cure for chronic pain)!

    You said your husband works in corporate/admin. healthcare and that's why you have more understanding on the subject than you would like to have! I understand because my husband in the field of public health; and one of our daughter's is a family practice physician. They hear the hospital's side, the State's side, the patients' side, the insurance side, and the Medicare/Medicaid side!

    It's no wonder our health care system is so messed up!!

    Take care,
    Janet
  4. nancyneptune

    nancyneptune New Member

    Elsa on this one, they can't let such a lucrative area of treatment get away from them, (50 million Americans have chronic pain), but they have no intention of doing the best thing and the hardest thing; giving narcotics.

    Elsa is right they haven't got the guts, but the money is too good to pass up for the people who don't quite pay attention to the policy.
  5. trinity3

    trinity3 New Member

    a pain management clinic should be there to MANAGE PAIN. period. on an individual basis. i dont believe you can state as a principle that non-narcotic meds are preffered and yet still treat each patient without bias. so many doctors are biased in their approach to pain management.

    i understand that there is a problem in this country with prescription medication abuse. that does not mean that EVERYONE is a med abuser, nor does it mean that NO ONE benefits from these meds in an appropriate way. the meds are there for a reason. the patient should be innocent until proven guilty of med abuse!

    i have told my doctor that i would gladly drink cat pee every morning if that took the pain away...*lol* i am not biased in my need for narcotics, but they are the only thing that they have come up with that work.

    i am willing to try and have tried so many things that they have come up with!!! none of them helped and alot of them made me worse.

    i have encountered many "pain management" clinics and doctors that are judgemental and unwilling to provide the meds that work... they want the pain to go away and fit in their neat little package of 'treatments' that do not include narcotics. well so do i, but it just hasnt worked that way.

    if they are telling you from the get-go that narcotics are not really an option they are not only limiting their own treatment options but yours as well.
  6. tngirl

    tngirl New Member

    and well it has helped me. I will add that although non narcotic is the goal, they are trying to give me the tools to better my life.

    Physical therapy, TENS unit, exercise--but also "drugs" as needed.

    I take tramadol, vicodin, muscile relaxers, and lunesta all prescribed there. The doctor I see is a physiatrist. He was the only one "smart" enough to diagnose me with FMS. I also have degenerative facet joints and discs, a vertebrae out of alignment and lots of osteoarthritis.

    Just because they like to try non narcotics first does not mean they ONLY use non narcotics.

    I like to reduce pain any way I can.
  7. elsa

    elsa New Member



    When hospitals became corporate owned, the bottom line and black ink became the main focus. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because along with that came a whole slew of patient's rights.

    Healthcare is business .... we shop for the best product for us,.... not much different the any other large ticket item we purchase.

    The clinic is a perfect example. It covers a very broad range. For me, I'd rather have a more intimate setting. ( I am the exact same way when making other "purchases".) It is difficult for me to explain.

    Now the insurance industry gets a whole different look from me. I have seen doctors and hosp. admin. go toe to toe with insurance bosses on behalf of their patients. I am also a licensed insurance agent so I have a good understanding of their thought processes. Don't much care for it.

    I might be crazy here .... but hospitals as businesses don't bother me. I have the choice to reject that pain clinic ( which I would ) for a more suitable , personable , independant pain treatment setting if I were in the market for such treatment.

    Maybe that is the phrase to use ... "I'm in the market for an experienced pain doctor....".

    Thanks again for posting this. I don't think that clinic is "bad". Just not for me, and I wanted to share my understanding of how these things are coming about. Looks like a few of ya'll have the same understanding.

    Hope all is well with everyone,

    Elsa
  8. JLH

    JLH New Member

  9. Jeanne-in-Canada

    Jeanne-in-Canada New Member

    types of "pain clinics". Appt after appt. and still couldn't get anything to really treat thier pain, while they suffered at home w/ little sleep barely able to function. Now I understand why so many of thse places exist, bottom line, $$$$.

    I'm glad to know from the poster who is fortunate enough to have success at one that there is some successes. Thanks for sharing the other side.


    Jeanne