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Pain Awareness Month: Listen to your body

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Illustration of neurons, with bright red/orange highlight to suggest pain.

It might seem odd to have a Pain Awareness Month. After all, when you’re in pain, you know it.

That said, pain is the body’s way of telling you something is wrong. Don’t ignore pain.

Pain Awareness Month, which is observed in September, is an opportunity to bring attention to pain and pain management issues.

“When people come to us, we focus on identifying their pain, finding the source of that pain and then treating it with the goal of reducing pain or relieving it entirely,” says Dr. Christopher Howson, a pain medicine physician with BayCare Clinic Pain & Rehab Medicine.

Acute pain is sudden new pain, coming on quickly. It can be severe, but it usually lasts a relatively short time, typically less than three months. Acute pain often has a clear cause.

Chronic pain is ongoing, persistent or recurring pain that lasts more than three months, beyond the usual course of acute pain caused by injury or illness. It can cause long-term complications if left untreated.

Sub-acute pain is the stage between acute pain and chronic pain, typically experienced for at least six weeks but less than three months.

Minimally invasive pain treatment options offered by BayCare Clinic Pain & Rehab Medicine providers include:

  • Targeted injections
  • Nerve blocks
  • Epidural steroid (cortisone) injections
  • Medication management

Other pain management options may include surgery, chiropractic care and/or physical therapy.

Here are some of the conditions treated by BayCare Clinic Pain & Rehab Medicine providers:

  • Arthritis pain
  • Cancer pain
  • Chronic back pain
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Herniated or bulging disk
  • Neck pain
  • Neck-related headache pain
  • Pain after shingles
  • Sciatica
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Work injuries

“We’re here to work with people from throughout the region, managing their condition and coordinating their care options for as long as they’re experiencing pain,” Howson says.

Published: Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Author: Jeff Ash