Chronic Pain Doesn't Have to Rule Your Life

When you’re in pain, you want one thing: relief.

Whether your pain is due to an injury, a chronic condition or other factors, a pain management specialist can help streamline the treatment process and help you find the best, least invasive and most effective solution.

According to Dr. Harry Sukumaran, a board-certified doctor in anesthesiology and pain medicine with the Pain Management Clinic at Detroit Medical Center (DMC) Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital, today there are more pain management and treatment options than ever.

“Often there are alternatives to explore that don’t involve taking major time off from work and can help people get back to living life sooner rather than later,” said Dr. Sukumaran. “Our goal is to restore function and quality of life through individualized care for pain management.”

One of the biggest misconceptions about pain management is that physicians just prescribe medications. But the field has changed significantly over the past 10 years, and there are now a host of minimally invasive ways to bridge the gap between medications and major surgery when treating pain.

When to see a Pain Management Specialist

People develop pain for several reasons. Pain after an injury, recent surgery or illness is called acute pain. However, if you have chronic pain, which is pain that lasts longer than three months or past the time of normal healing, your primary care doctor might refer you to a pain management specialist.

Pain management specialists commonly treat:

  • Pain associated with injuries and accidents
  • Failed back syndrome
  • Facial and headache pain
  • Radiculopathy/sciatica
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Cancer pain
  • Fibromyalgia pain
  • Extremity pain
  • Neuropathies

“Patients don’t have to suffer in pain and should see a pain specialist very early on in their treatment so we can devise a plan aimed at treating them appropriately and accurately,” said Dr. Mahmoud Sabbagh, a board-certified pain management specialist at DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan’s Pain Management Clinic.

“The goal of pain intervention is not to just treat the symptom, but to quickly and accurately diagnose the root cause so we can address the patient’s pain and help prevent it from reoccurring. Every patient can be helped, do not let previously failed attempts for relief discourage you,” adds Dr. Sabbagh.

When selecting a pain management physician, make sure they are board-certified and fellowship-trained in pain management; this helps to ensure they have received the highest level of training in pain management.

About Pain Management at the DMC

The DMC Pain Management Clinics utilize a multidisciplinary approach that incorporates the expertise of board-certified pain management specialists, surgical and nonsurgical physicians, nurses, physical therapists and other healthcare team members. Working together, they develop a comprehensive treatment plan designed around each patient’s needs and goals.

DMC offers many advanced procedures that are not often seen in the area. They include injection-based treatments, physical therapy and minimally invasive treatments for lumbar spinal stenosis.

To learn more about the DMC’s Pain Management Clinics at DMC Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital and DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, click here.

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