Are you in PAIN? The term “pain” has been associated with a large scope of injuries and diseases, many of them related to the body’s musculoskeletal system. According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, which means that roughly 31% of our citizens live with persistent pain. During the month of September OrthoNOW joins the American Chronic Pain Association and thousands of Americans in building awareness and educating the public during Pain Awareness month.
In 2012 health economists from John Hopkins University reported that the annual cost of chronic pain is as high as $635 billion, which is more than the costs for other major diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes combined. While chronic pain may arise without any prior injury or condition, in some cases there might have been an initial problem that caused a transition from acute pain to chronic pain. “Pain is a sign your body gives you announcing that there’s an issue that needs to be addressed” says Dr. Alejandro Badia, Founder and CMO (Chief Medical Officer) of OrthoNOW. “Whenever we injure ourselves, or begin feeling discomfort, we have to ensure we’re seen by the correct expert that can assess our pain and help us accordingly” he continued.
Two of the most common chronic pain conditions are related to the musculoskeletal system: low back pain and arthritis. To treat these conditions, Dr. Alejandro Badia stresses that the patient must go through a thorough process to ensure relief.
- Be seen by a specialist: in order to get the correct diagnosis, and consequently treatment plan, it’s imperative to see an expert in your condition. OrthoNOW is staffed with specialists in pain related to your bones, muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments.
- Therapies: an integrated care plan is essential for those suffering from chronic pain. Physical therapists play a very important role by administering treatments that can include manual therapy, posture awareness, body mechanics instruction and strengthening and flexibility exercises. These treatments are key in helping you manage and even overcome your pain.
- Medical Procedures: depending on your condition, you may need medical procedures as part of your treatment plan. These procedures may vary from injections such as nerve blocks, to surgery, both traditional and/or minimally invasive.
- Medications: if your chronic pain doesn’t allow you to perform your daily routine, in many cases you will be prescribed medication. These medications can be nerve pain medications, analgesics or narcotics. The intensity of your prescribed pain reliever is based on your condition and magnitude of acute or chronic pain, however a conservative approach is almost always recommended given the national epidemic of overuse of narcotics.
- Self-care: lastly, it’s fundamentally important for you to complement the treatment plan with self-care. Exercise, stress management and relaxation techniques should become a part of your daily routine to diminish your pain.
At OrthoNOW the orthopedic specialists are trained to assess and treat acute injuries, chronic conditions and aid with preventative protocols, all on a walk-in basis. For more information on our services and how we can help you, visit www.orthonowcare.com or download our mobile app available on Google Play and the App Store.