ZocdocAnswersWhen should I start thinking about pain management?

Question

When should I start thinking about pain management?

I have had two surgeries on my neck to help with this pain I keep having but they haven't really worked because I am still in almost constant pain. I'm tired of just taking pills to help it. Should I start thinking about pain management therapy? When do people usually go to that?

Answer

I am very sorry to hear that you are having such trouble with neck pain! Unfortunately, for many people, this is a chronic issue. The fact that you have had two surgeries for neck pain without much relief suggest, to me, that it is definitely time to start thinking about multidisciplinary approaches to dealing with your pain, because it is unlikely that a third surgery will magically take care of all the problems that the first two surgeries did not. To this end, you might want to consider visiting a pain management or chronic pain clinic. These are multidisciplinary clinics that include doctors specialized in medications and other approaches to dealing with chronic pain, together with physical therapists, social workers, counselors, and other people all there to help you come up with a plan to be as functional and independent as possible in your life. If you do not have a pain clinic in mind, you could start by talking with your primary care doctor who should be able to give you recommendations and a referral to a local pain center. Good luck, and I hope that, with help from a pain clinic, you can start to have some relief of your symptoms!

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