Everyone experiences pain at some point. But how do you know when the regular aches and pains of life are a more serious problem and warrant a visit to a Pain Specialist? People with ongoing, chronic pain often feel hopeless about finding answers. The fact though, is that pain doesn’t have to define your life. Seeing a Pain Specialist can make a measurable difference in how you feel, what you can do each day, and improve the overall quality of your life.
4 signs it’s time to see a pain specialist
While some tension due to exercise or aging might be expected, there are many instances in which experiencing chronic pain is not normal. But how do you know when you need to schedule a visit to a specialist? If you are experiencing any of these signs it might be time to consult a specialist.
1. You Can’t Sleep
There are any number of reasons your sleep can be disrupted. However, if your pain is keeping you from falling asleep or waking you up multiple times during the night, it’s time to see a Pain Specialist. Poor sleep can have a detrimental effect on your overall health, both physically and mentally, which can exacerbate your pain and make it feel even worse, creating a vicious cycle. Therefore, treating your pain so you can get a good night’s rest can make a measurable difference in how you feel overall.
2. Have You Been Unable to Participate in Normal Activities?
Are you canceling plans because it hurts too much to go out? Have you stopped engaging in your favorite hobbies, or skipped events or activities that you wanted to do because of pain? Are you not doing your regular chores, such as laundry or grocery shopping, because of your pain? If so, you need to see a specialist. Missing your normal activities can contribute to depression, which can worsen your pain. Pain treatment can help you get back to living your life and enjoying the things you did before pain slowed you down.
3. Are You Taking Over-the-Counter Medications, Even if They Don’t Work?
For minor, occasional aches and pains, over-the-counter painkillers can be useful. If you are taking these medications every day, though, and feel you cannot function without them, or are taking more than the recommended dosages to manage your pain, it is important to work with a Pain Specialist — especially if the medications work less and less. Dependence on medication, even OTC medication, can have negative effects on your health. Working with a Pain Specialist doesn’t always mean you’ll be given stronger medications. Most people who work with a Pain Specialist actually take fewer drugs, and have less pain than they did while taking OTC medications.
4. Do You Have a Tingling Sensation in Your Extremities?
A tingling sensation in your hands, fingers, feet, or toes can actually be an indicator that you have nerve damage. It’s important to have that checked out. Left untreated, nerve damage can be permanent — which means the unpleasant tingling is also permanent — so it’s best to schedule an appointment with a Pain Management Specialist to determine the cause of the pain and tingling sensation and work toward correcting it.
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