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Pain management is a specialized area of medicine devoted to relieving severe or persistent (chronic) pain in an effort to help a person regain function and resume normal activities. Pain can be debilitating. Daily or persistent pain can significantly impact quality of life and cause a person to lose the ability to work, be productive, and live a normal life.
Relieving pain is not always a straightforward effort. There are many causes of pain, and in some cases, the cause can be difficult to determine. Pain may be a symptom of an underlying condition or a disorder in and of itself.
For this reason, pain medicine specialists usually work in collaboration with specialists in other fields to try to pinpoint the cause or causes of a person's pain and to determine the best course of management. The health care team may include neurologists, internal medicine physicians, orthopaedic surgeons, anesthesiologists, psychiatrists, physiatrists (physical medicine physicians), and alternative medicine specialists -- among others.
The goal of the health care team is to understand the person's pain in order to provide the best quality care. The team will be knowledgeable in the function of pain, evaluating a person with pain, specialized tests to assess and diagnose pain conditions, the role of treatment, and specialized procedures for pain.
Because pain is unique to each person, there is no one treatment that works for everyone, and pain medicine specialists will work with other members of the health care team to customize a treatment plan.
Management of pain may be multifaceted and can include medication, rehabilitation services, pain-relieving procedures (e.g., nerve block), alternative medicine (e.g., acupuncture), chiropractic care, exercise, behavioral therapies, and counseling.
For more information about pain management physicians on the Medical Staff at Chester County Hospital, call our Physician Referral Service at 800-789-PENN (7366) or visit the Find a Doctor section of our website.
Last Updated: 2/18/2014