It is time to talk to your doctor when you experience pain that can’t be relieved by over-the-counter medication or rest. Your primary care physician (PCP) may recommend a referral to see a pain management specialist.

A pain management specialist is specially trained to treat chronic pain and other disorders, more so than most primary care physicians. They can offer treatment with confidence, safety and efficiency.

Relieves Stress

Pain can often be treated by over-the-counter (OTC) medications and rest, but when it becomes chronic and doesn’t respond to these typical treatments, it’s time to see a pain management specialist. These specialists have received more training and certifications than primary care doctors, so they’re uniquely qualified to treat chronic pain.

A good pain management doctor like Jordan Sudberg will treat your symptoms, but they will also help you manage the physical, emotional and psychological aspects of chronic pain. They may also work with other specialists like neurologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists and psychiatrists to create a plan that fits your needs.

A good pain program may include hands-on treatments such as massage, acupuncture, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes like diet and exercise. In addition, they may suggest medication and injections, such as steroid shots, that deliver pain relief directly to the painful area. These treatments can be very effective in helping you cope with your pain.

Reduces Depression

Depression is a common problem for people with chronic pain. It magnifies the symptoms of the pain and makes life seem more difficult.

Fortunately, medications and psychotherapy treatments can help reduce the adverse effects of chronic pain on the mind and body. These treatments may include cognitive therapy, breathing exercises, and muscle relaxation techniques.

A pain management specialist gets to know you and your specific pain problems. They might ask you to describe your pain in terms that they can understand, and they may use physical examinations.

In this study, researchers found that patients with complex chronic pain who met the criteria for depression had higher rates of work absence and cost increases for A&E attendance, hospital admission, and other doctor visits. They also had lower levels of pain acceptance and were less active than those without depression.

Improves Sleep

Pain and sleep are often linked, so it’s unsurprising that many pain management doctors focus on helping their patients get a good night’s rest. For example, they may work with you to develop sleep habits that will help you get restful slumber, like sleeping within an hour of the same time every day.

In addition, many pain specialists also work with their patients to improve their physical activity. Using low-impact exercise and stretching exercises can help promote more extended periods of restful sleep, reducing your pain.

Fortunately, improving your sleep is easy and can be incorporated into your treatment plan. For example, mindfulness exercises can help you relax and prepare your body for sleep.

Reduces Addiction

Pain is a complex condition affecting anyone, from a child with rheumatoid arthritis to an older adult with chronic fatigue syndrome. It can cause depression, anxiety and social isolation.

But it can also be the start of a substance abuse problem. Taking high doses of narcotics over a long period of time can become habit-forming and eventually lead to addiction.

A pain management specialist can help you understand when to wean off opioids and how much to reduce your dose. They can also counsel you on ways to stay on track without getting addicted. They can also recommend a recovery partner who can help you stay on track with your opioid treatment and keep you from taking too much or too little of the medication.