Because of the opioid crisis, chronic pain sufferers face a powerful stigma surrounding their care. Doctors often label people with chronic pain “drug seekers” and refuse to listen to them or offer them relief. Overprescribing is an issue in the United States. However, disparaging attitudes toward the nearly 50 million Americans with chronic pain creates an undue burden on patients. Thankfully, if you live in San Antonio and are searching for a “pain specialist near me,” you have access to Texas pain specialists who will take your pain seriously. Dr. Raul Martinez and his staff follow a patient-centered approach designed to handle all levels of discomfort. We offer a wide selection of treatments to ensure that we meet this goal because we understand how chronic pain may be affecting your day-to-day life.
You do not have to suffer. Dr. Raul Martinez and his staff are here to help you gain control of your life.
Unpacking the Effects of Chronic Pain
People living with chronic pain deal with discomfort that lasts from weeks to years. Inflammation or dysfunctional nerves typically cause it, and, as of yet, there is no cure. In a September 2018 article, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) researchers found that roughly 50 million adults reported chronic pain in 2016. 20 million of these sufferers had “high impact chronic pain,” which disrupts daily life.
The CDC found that chronic pain contributes to “restrictions in mobility and daily activities, dependence on opioids, anxiety and depression, and poor perceived health or reduced quality of life.” The majority of those affected are of lower socioeconomic status, and quality chronic pain management is often beyond their reach. Coupled with the overwhelming stigma against afflicted people, coping with chronic pain isn’t easy.
Barriers to treatment are especially unfortunate because comprehensive care makes an enormous difference in patients’ lives. Cameron Morgan of the Center for Disability Rights explains, “For people with chronic pain, effective pain management is what enables daily life. It is synonymous with the capacity to work, get from place to place, and enjoy time with family and friends. It allows someone to get out of bed and focus on anything other than unbearable pain.” Everyone deserves this relief.
After considering how chronic pain may be affecting your day-to-day life, know that it doesn’t always have to be this way.
Chronic Pain Strategies
The U.S. government realizes that, in addition to an opioid crisis, we have a chronic pain crisis. As a result, the Department of Health & Human Services issued a National Pain Strategy in 2016. In a press release, the Assistant Secretary for Health declared that the plan aims to lessen “the burden of chronic pain that affects millions of Americans.” The program takes a multilevel approach, which includes:
- Developing a system to observe and promote chronic pain management
- Developing patient-centered integrated pain management practices that allow patients to obtain a variety of pain treatment options
- Reducing obstacles for underserved and stigmatized populations
- Raising public awareness of chronic pain and patient knowledge about it
On a local level, Dr. Raul Martinez and his team utilize methods outlined in this report. We offer both integrative and interventional pain management options.
Treatment Options for Chronic Pain
Integrative pain management is an alternative or supplement to more aggressive procedures. Acupuncture, massage, meditation, laser technology, physical therapy, and yoga are typical integrative pain management techniques. While integrative treatments are helpful, they might not be enough for many people with chronic pain.
Patients with high impact chronic pain opt for interventional techniques when their pain is relentless and long lasting. Interventional pain specialists might use minimally invasive injections. These injections help obstruct the nerve signals that hurt patients when they reach the brain. For the most severe pain, doctors might suggest surgery. While integrative pain management might complement this approach, patients requiring interventional therapies are usually less responsive to integrative treatments on their own.
Because pain affects everyone differently, a tailored plan will be most effective for you.
Take Action Today
San Antonio residents searching for “the best pain specialist near me” should know help is within reach. Our Texas pain specialists are here to help you move forward. In life, pain is inevitable, but suffering doesn’t have to be. Schedule an appointment with us today.