According to a recent report from U.S. News, American doctors have made significant strides in the field of pain management in recent years:
The percentage of American patients who experience serious post-operative pain appears to have fallen significantly over the past decade, a new survey reveals.
How significantly? In 2003, 63 percent of those polled said they struggled with some kind of notable pain two weeks after in-hospital surgery, but in 2014, only 39 percent had similar experiences, according to the survey.
“I should say, first off, that surgery patients generally will experience some pain following surgery,” noted study author Dr. Asokumar Buvanendran, director of orthopedic anesthesia at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. “But in the last 20 years, our understanding of the way different classes of pain medicine work has improved, enabling physicians and anesthesiologists to combine different drugs to better treat the specific needs of each patient. And this has led to a decrease in the incidence of serious post-op pain.”
If you are scheduled to undergo surgery in the near future, the findings above should be music to your ears. While pain medication itself has come a long way in a decade, however, there are still certain things you can do to help ease your pain further. Some of these steps include:
Treating Current Pain Issues
In some cases, pre-existing pain issues such as back pain can amplify the pain you may experience after surgery. To avoid this, be sure to let your doctor know of any conditions you may already be suffering from before you go under the knife. This allows your doctor to craft a better post-op pain management plan. You should also inform your anesthesiologist of any pain medication you may be currently taking.
Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
Before being sent home, your doctor will give you a medication schedule for any painkillers you may be prescribed. It is important that you follow this schedule to the tee. Increasing your dosage arbitrarily can result in tolerance to the painkiller. In some cases, taking too many painkillers can result in dangerous side-effects.
Generally, pain treatment is more of a reaction to pain. Many of the top pain consultants of Atlanta, however, claim that seeking treatment only when the pain becomes severe only serves to stymie the effectiveness of treatment.
No one knows the signs your body exhibits better than you do. If you begin to feel a twinge of pain, do not hesitate to drop by trusted pain clinics in Atlanta, like Atlanta Spine and Anesthesia. Certified pain doctors can help you prevent the pain from escalating further.
(Source: Post-Op Pain Management Improves in Past Decade, Survey Shows; U.S. News; October 14, 2014)