by Nikhil Patel, MD Board Certified Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Board
Eligible Pain Management
Fellowship Trained Pain Management
If you or someone you know suffers from pain, know that you are not alone. In fact, more that 86 million Americans suffer from pain and about 80% of Americans will suffer at least one episode of back pain in their lives. The truth is pain is a growing epidemic that can negatively impact all aspects of life, from work and leisure time, to social and home life. But there is hope in the form of new treatment options, growing support for improved access to pain management care and new specialized pain physicians. As a physician, I have worked with numerous patients who just want to find a way to reduce their pain and get back their quality of life. I am always glad to tell them that it is possible with current medical advancements. Whether it is back pain, neck pain, headaches, joint pain, cancer pain, anything – there are treatment options out there, you sometimes just have to take the time to do a little research and talk with your primary care doctor. There are some simple things that you can do to help reduce pain or even to prevent the future occurrence of pain. • Eat a healthy diet – with a well balanced and portion controlled diet including fresh fruits, vegetables, proteins and dairy. In addition, most patients will also benefit from calcium supplement and multivitamin. • Lose weight – excess weight puts increased stress on the spine and joints which commonly leads to back and knee pain. • Quit smoking – smoking cessation is important for multiple medical reasons and also nicotine has been shown to slow the body’s natural healing process from spinal injuries • Stay active – being active and focusing on strengthening your core muscles will help keep your bones and muscles strong, reducing the likelihood neck and low back injuries • Good posture – maintaining good posture throughout the day can help you build strong spinal muscles reducing pressure on your spine which can help reduce the occurrence of back pain. If you do have pain, I encourage you to talk to your primary care physician or to a pain management physician, who specializes in diagnosing and treating painful conditions. These doctors can work with you to pin-point the source of pain and find appropriate treatments. Remember, there is always hope; you can take control of your pain and regain your quality of life.