About Chronic Pain

One thing about pain — you know it when you have it. And if you suffer from constant chronic pain, over time it wears you down — physically, mentally, emotionally. However, you may not know what kind or what category of pain you have.

There are 2 main categories of pain — both of which can be mild, moderate, or severe:

  • Acute pain: Occurs immediately after an injury and lasts no longer than 2 months when treated properly.
  • Chronic pain: Any type of pain that lasts 6 months or longer. Chronic pain is often difficult to treat, because the cause can be hard to determine. It can also vary from one person to the next — individuals with seemingly the same kind of chronic pain may need different treatments.

Managing Chronic Pain

The treatment option that will work best for you depends on your type of pain, how severe it is, and how you respond to pain treatment. The fact is, only a doctor can determine if you are a good candidate for various pain treatment options. Pain Management Specialists are doctors who specialise in treating chronic pain. These doctors receive years of advanced, specialised training in pain management and focus on treating patients with severe pain.
There are 3 levels of pain, and each may have different forms of treatment. Usually, your doctor will follow a treatment plan that begins with basic therapies (like resting and nutrition) and progresses to more aggressive solutions, depending on the type and severity of pain. The treatment plan also depends on how you respond to any particular treatment.
1 Basic Pain Treatments
  • Rest and diet changes
  • Exercise and physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g.: ibuprofen)
  • Cognitive and behavioural modification
2 Mid-Level Pain Treatments
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • Opioids (prescription painkillers)
  • Nerve blocks (injection of an anesthetic, steroid, and/or anti-inflammatory into the pained area)
  • Thermal procedures (extreme heat or cold delivered through needles or probes)
3 Advanced Pain Treatments
  • Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS)
    SCS, also known as nerve stimulation, uses electrical signals to mask the perception of pain travelling from the painful area to the brain. In place of pain, patients feel a mild tingling sensation called "paresthesia". SCS may provide long-lasting pain relief and can be used with other therapies. Patients are able to control the intensity of the therapy, as well as turn it on and off, using a wireless remote control. Learn more »
  • Surgery
    Surgical treatments may range from minor outpatient procedures to brain and spinal procedures. Surgery may be needed when structural problems occur within the spinal column often caused by injury or disease.
  • Implantable drug pumps
    Pumps deliver pain medication directly to the space surrounding the spinal cord. Direct application reduces the amount of opioids needed to relieve painful symptoms.
  • Neuroablation
    Often used as a last resort when other therapies fail. Neuroablation is a surgical technique that destroys nerves and tissue, permanently blocking nerve signals to the brain.

Infographic

Get back the little things that pain has taken away

Is SCS for you?

Is SCS right for you or your loved one? It very well could be. If you suffer from chronic pain, a Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) system may be the right choice. SCS therapy is often considered when medications or surgery are not an option or when the side effects of your current therapy are impacting your quality of life.

Evaluate your pain now. Then talk with a Pain Management Specialist to discuss if SCS may be right for you.*

Evaluate your pain

Answer a few questions to see if SCS may be an option for you (or a loved one)

*Required Information

*1
I am completing this assessment for:
*2
How long have you or your loved one been suffering from chronic pain?
*3
I am:
The patient in my care is:
*4
Age range:
*5
Are you currently being treated by a pain specialist?
Is the patient in your care currently being treated by a pain specialist?
*6
Where is the pain located? [Select all that apply]
Where is the patient's pain located? [Select all that apply]
*7
Are you currently taking pain medication?
Is the patient currently taking pain medication?
*8
What is your current average pain level?
What is the patient's current average pain level?
*9
Which of the following pain management treatments are you currently using?
Which of the following pain management treatments is the patient in your care currently using?
*10
What activities does chronic pain prevent the person in your care from enjoying?
What activities does chronic pain prevent you from enjoying?
NM-563112-AA

Your Results

Based on your answers, you may be a candidate for spinal cord stimulation, but only a physician can make this determination.*

Based on your answers, your loved one may be a candidate for spinal cord stimulation, but only a physician can make this determination.*

Based on your answers, you do not appear to be a candidate for spinal cord stimulation, but only a physician can make this determination.*

Based on your answers, your loved one does not appear to be a candidate for spinal cord stimulation, but only a physician can make this determination.*

What's next?

Use the Physician Locator below to find a Pain Management Specialist in your area.

Download your printable Discussion Guide to bring to your next appointment.

*Individual symptoms, situations, circumstances, and results may vary. Please consult your physician or qualified health care provider regarding your condition, appropriate medical treatment. The information provided is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for professional medical advice.
*Individual symptoms, situations, circumstances, and results may vary. Please consult your physician or qualified health care provider regarding your condition, appropriate medical treatment. The information provided is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for professional medical advice.