Michigan Association of Health Plans

Managing Chronic Pain

This story is from McLaren. Read more here

What is pain?

Pain occurs when something hurts, which causes an uncomfortable or unpleasant feeling. It is usually a sign that something is wrong. If pain persists, it can be debilitating and frustrating, and interfere with activities, sleep, work and quality of life.

Acute pain vs. chronic pain

Acute pain is caused by something specific, such as an injury or surgery. It goes away when the underlying cause of the pain is healed.

Chronic pain is ongoing, continuing even after the injury or condition that caused it has gone away or healed. Some people suffer from chronic pain even when there is not a previous injury. Chronic pain can cause stress and emotional effects, often leading to a lack of energy, limited mobility, anger, anxiety and depression.

If you are living with pain, talk with your primary care physician about treatment. He or she will work with you to find a safe and effective treatment plan. If you suffer from chronic pain, your doctor may refer you to a pain clinic.

McLaren Port Huron offers both diagnostic and therapeutic pain management services for individuals who suffer from pain. Pain is unique to each person, so our pain management professionals tailor each treatment plan to the patient’s specific needs.

If you suffer from one or more of the following conditions, you could benefit from pain management services:

• Back, neck or joint pain
• Osteoarthritis
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Headaches
• Cancer pain
• Pain caused by injury
• Chronic pain

The first step to diagnosing pain is through a consultation with one of our pain management professionals. This consultation will include:

• Questions about your pain and how it impacts your daily activities.
• Questions about your emotional well-being.
• A pain diary that documents your pain occurrence throughout the day.
• A physical exam and psychological testing.
• Diagnostic testing such as X-rays, CT scans and/or MRI scans.
• Other tests to determine the exact location and source of your pain.

Then, you’ll work with a pain management specialist to create a treatment plan that treats your pain as well as your body, mind and spirit.

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