Chronic pain is real. I suffer from it myself every day. I currently treat mine with heat, ice, stretching, and meds. But what’s right for me might not be right for you. In the past I’ve done traction, physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, and acupressure. Each has provided the proper relief at the time as needed, but my doctor and I switch up the therapy to treat the current issues.
I got the chance recently to participate in an online chat with Dr. Jennifer Caudle from the American Osteopathic Association to learn more about chronic pain. Dr. Caudle spent about an hour talking with us about her profession, how she treats her patients, and she answered some of our questions. I’m thrilled to be able to share some of the information I learned during that event with you.
Interesting Facts and Tips About Chronic Pain
- A recent survey found that people over the age of 45 can suffer more pain in the winter months because of the cold temperatures. Their pain can also be triggered by slips and falls or by shoveling snow.
- People avoid seeing their doctor about their pain, but that’s exactly what they need to do to get a handle on their pain. Many put off doing anything about it until after the game, the holiday, or other events.
- Treating pain is not a one-time diagnosis. You may need more than medication – there are plenty of ways to treat pain – your doctor should work with you to find a treatment or treatments that work for you.
- Should you exercise through the pain? It depends on what’s causing the pain. You need a proper diagnosis before that decision can be made. Some pain is made worse by exercise,while pain caused by some diseases can be benefited by it. If you make a self-diagnosis and guess wrong, you can do additional damage or increase and/or prolong your injury.
- Find a doctor that you trust, one you can talk to, and one you feel listens to you.
Need Help Talking About Your Pain?
Take the “Living with Pain Quiz” at the American Osteopathic Association website. Then print it out and bring it to your next physician’s appointment to kick start a conversation with your doctor. While you’re on the AOA website, take a look at some of the other resources available including information on chronic back, neck, or knee pain as well as general, children’s, women’s, men’s, and senior’s health issues. There’s a plethora of additional information available so take a moment to check it out.
But what is a DO?
A DO is a fully qualified physician who is licensed to prescribe medicine and perform surgeries just like an MD. They’ve also completed the same four years of basic medical education and the three to eight years of internships, fellowship, and residencies. A Doctor of Osteopathy generally marries cutting edge medicine with a hands-on and caring approach. They may provide Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) which can include gentle stretching, pressure, and resistance to treat everything from asthma, carpel tunnel syndrome, migraines, and sinus disorders.
Finding a DO in My Area
I’m excited that I got a chance to learn more about DO’s. I went online to find a DO in my area (search the AOA’s Physician Database) for my migraines, back, and neck pain. Ironically, it turns out I’ve been seeing a DO! My Ophthalmologist is one and I had no idea! Now I’m looking forward to finding someone for chronic pain and adding something new to my treatment plan!