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Chronic pain is a complex health issue that, in 2016, was estimated to affect 20.4% of U.S. adults. Normally, pain stops when conditions resolve. When they don't, however, we rely on specialists to help us function in a healthy way. At Matthews-Vu Medical Group, we understand how difficult and complicated chronic pain can be. Our Integrated Pain Care is now open to those who need medical assistance in managing their pain. If you feel you need the skilled care of a pain care specialist, please contact us online or by phone to schedule an appointment at our Woodmen campus.
Chronic pain is defined as pain that cannot be resolved and which is experienced weeks, months, or even years after an initial injury occurs. If someone experiences regular pain for 3 to 6 months - or more - they are a victim of chronic pain.
Chronic pain is often the result of misfiring nerves; instead of firing normally, these altered or damaged nerves continue to tell the brain that they're in pain, even after an injury heals.
In some cases, chronic pain escalates to the point of being classified as chronic pain syndrome. In these cases, pain not only lasts longer than six months - it is often accompanied by anger and depression, anxiety, loss of sexual desire, and disability.
Some of the most common examples of this condition include postsurgical pain, post-trauma pain, and arthritis pain. While any part of the body can be affected, common problems include chronic back and lower back pain; chronic back pain is described as physical discomfort occurring anywhere on the spine or back, ranging from mild to disabling, for 3 months or longer. When the lower back specifically is affected, this is diagnosed as chronic lower back pain. Chronic neck and shoulder pain are also common complaints.
Yes. General and chronic pain doctors alike are very interested in properly managing chronic pain symptoms to improve the welfare of patients. Depending on the nature of your pain, your medical history, and your ongoing health needs, you may ultimately need to meet with a chronic pain specialist to best manage your condition; these doctors have special training in evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of all different types of pain.
Our practice and practitioners believe that the management of pain can, and should, be managed within primary care. We want to bring pain care to the patient instead of forcing the patient to find a specialist elsewhere. Joanne Vogel, NP. - who oversees our Integrated Pain Care - practices holistic, patient-centered care while working and collaborating with our multidisciplinary care team. By engaging with primary care providers and behavioral health specialists, Joanne is able to create personalized interventional pain management treatments for all who need care. This type of patient-focused care plan allows us to engage patients and create positive outcomes - that is, healthier people!
The Matthews-Vu Medical Group takes a "bio-psycho-social" approach to pain care, taking into account not just your physical state but how you feel, think, and behave overall. With this full picture, we can prescribe a variety of measures, interventions, and strategies for self-management that will address your pain and allow you to live a fuller life. Ongoing chronic pain management at our practice can include any of the following:
Additional common pain management techniques that may be considered as needed include the following: