What Can Your Doctor Do for Chronic Pain?

There is no quick fix for chronic back pain

Overtreament and complications from it can happen as people ask for pain medications that work for acute pain but become ineffective or even harmful when used for chronic pain.

Even if you are sure you have a pinched nerve and want an MRI to be certain, the imaging may not reveal the real cause of your pain. Having exploratory surgery out of desperation or extreme frustration with pain can also be a bad choice.

Some recent studies have shown that patients who are greatly satisfied with their doctors treating their pain actually may have poorer overall outcomes as a result of complications from overtreatment.

It is important to understand your chronic pain

Chronic pain is very difficult to understand. When doctors don’t explain it well, their patients can get upset thinking that chronic pain is just in their head. Don’t be misled into thinking there is a magic way to eliminate pain. Be especially careful of people who offer a simple explanation, procedure, medication, or supplement that promises to get rid of your pain.

If there were a simple, quick fix to your pain, all of the doctors, physical therapists, chiropractors, and massage therapists would clearly follow the same treatment. If you have already tried these different treatments and haven’t noticed much improvement, then a simple explanation or cure to your pain may not be available. No one would withhold a cure for your back pain.

Last reviewed: 
April 2018

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