When it comes to pain, don’t just grin and bear it. Know when it’s time to consult an interventional pain management specialist.
At the onset, pain may feel like a temporary condition—until it’s not. That old sports injury may have seemed bearable to begin with, but now those occasional flare-ups are becoming more persistent. Rather than suffer through the pain, it may be time to see a pain management specialist. Here’s how to know when to go.
What Is an Interventional Pain Management Doctor?
An interventional pain management doctor specializes in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of acute, chronic, and severe pain conditions. He or she will often collaborate with your primary care physician to accurately diagnose the underlying cause of your pain. Then, they will work with you to devise a long-term treatment plan.
“With my patients, my primary goal is always to identify and treat the original cause of the pain itself, rather than the symptoms of it,” says Dr. George Jiha, the lead interventional pain management specialist at St. Francis Pain Management. “In my practice in West Feliciana Parish, I use a non-narcotic approach to treat chronic pain, which is safer for patients in the long run.”
Know the Signs
1. How do you decide that enough is enough when it comes to living with pain? Pain is usually considered chronic if it persists for more than six months, Dr. Jiha says. If your pain will not go away, or if it has decreased but your progress has stalled, consulting with a pain specialist can help determine the best course of action to eliminate your pain.
2. Many pain medications tend to become less effective over time as your body develops tolerance. If you find that you are having to take a higher dose of medication, and/or the original dose no longer helps to control your pain, a pain specialist can review your medications and suggest alternative treatment options.
3. If you’re currently taking prescription painkillers but would prefer to avoid long-term opioid therapy, a pain doctor can help you do just that. Pain specialists are trained to utilize a broad spectrum of traditional and alternative treatments to effectively manage pain. Your interventional pain management specialist will create a treatment plan tailored to address your particular condition, and the demands of your work and lifestyle.
Treating the Real Source of Pain
Dr. Jiha is double-board certified and practices a non-narcotic approach to managing pain while minimizing the need for surgery. He utilizes a variety of treatment methods shown to reduce pain. These include therapeutic injections, nerve blocks, acupuncture, and tailored physical therapy regimens. Dr. Jiha has more than two decades’ experience treating a wide range of conditions. He has treated patients who suffer from neck and back pain, joint pain, arthritis, sports injuries, migraines, and many more.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to finding an effective treatment. But, the sooner you consult an interventional pain management specialist, the sooner you’ll be on your way to the pain-free life you deserve.