Dr. Kose On Pain Management

(From Dr. Bill Kose with Blanchard Valley Health System)

If you are experiencing pain, reaching out to a pain management specialist sooner rather than later could greatly improve your quality of life.

Pain is a signal from your body that something is wrong. Sometimes, the cause is obvious. If you pull a muscle and you feel sore afterward, you understand why, and if you have a history of a particular issue it may not surprise you if it occurs again.

To some extent, pain is unavoidable. None of us will go through life without pulling muscles and stubbing toes. However, all too often people who are experiencing chronic pain delay getting care for it.

Pain management specialists can not only help treat your pain, but come up with a diagnosis. Often it’s not clear exactly what is causing the pain. Pain management providers have expertise in the musculoskeletal system and have extensively studied the nerves, which can help them pinpoint why a specific part of the body may be hurting.

A more accurate diagnosis can then lead to more effective treatment. The goal is to start with the least invasive treatment. This might involve rest, periodically heating or cooling the affected body part, massage, or exercise like stretching. Medications often start with anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen.

Pain management today looks very different than it did 30 years ago. One reason people put off going to a pain management physician is a fear that they will be prescribed opioids and could become addicted. Today, however, these medications are rarely used for chronic pain treatment.

Pain management specialists have a variety of other types of medications they can prescribe, as well as a wide range of other types of treatment. In some cases physical therapy or exercise may be more effective, rather than prescription medication. Sometimes a procedure or surgery may be the best course.

Another misconception is that people may think, “They’re not going to be able to do anything anyhow.” However, this assumption too may be based on outdated stories about pain treatment loved ones received decades ago. We’d encourage you to seek treatment that might be able to truly help you.

A reduction in pain can improve not only how you feel, but how you function. It may allow you a better quality of life and let you take further steps to improve your health.

For example, less pain may make it easier to exercise, which in turn may further lessen pain. Additionally, chronic pain can lead to anxiety or depression, so adequate pain treatment may improve your mental health as well.

Often people see pain management as a last resort, to try only after nothing else had been effective, but we would urge you not to put it off. If you are experiencing chronic pain lasting more than six weeks, we would encourage you to seek out diagnostic testing.

Blanchard Valley Pain Management provides care in Findlay, Bluffton, Carey, Ottawa, Lima, and Kenton. For more information, please call 419.423.5555 or 1.888.458.5550.

William H. Kose, MD, JD

Vice President of Special Projects,

Blanchard Valley Health System