Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Pain Management Health Center

Font Size

Living With Pain

Some people with chronic pain are seeking help from pain management specialists.
By
WebMD Feature

Donald feels like a new man. After years of enduring debilitating back pain, he's finally feeling well enough to coach his daughter's soccer team, to take his kids fishing and camping, and to go on a cruise with his wife. He said goodbye to sickness, short tempers, the heating pad, couch, sedating medication, and seemingly ineffective surgeries after he sought the services of a pain specialist.

"It's changed my whole life," says Donald, who now wears a prescribed patch on his upper arm, which steadily administers a pain-killing medicine.

Recommended Related to Pain Management

Prescription Painkiller Addiction: 7 Myths

Prescription pain medicine addiction grabs headlines when it sends celebrities spinning out of control. It also plagues many people out of the spotlight who grapple with painkiller addiction behind closed doors. But although widespread, addiction to prescription painkillers is also widely misunderstood -- and those misunderstandings can be dangerous and frightening for patients dealing with pain. Where is the line between appropriate use and addiction to prescription pain medicines? And how...

Read the Prescription Painkiller Addiction: 7 Myths article > >

The 40-year-old registered nurse is resigned to the idea that he will probably be on drugs for the rest of his life because of permanent nerve damage. All the same, he's marveling at his renewed strength and capacity to think of something else besides pain.

Donald is one of many who have turned to pain management experts for help with never-ending hurts. The specialty is relatively new and still suffers from misconceptions, but it is gradually earning the acceptance and respect of both health professionals and the general public.

With acknowledgement have come the pressing questions: What causes chronic pain? How is it diagnosed? How is it treated?

Unfortunately, the answers don't come so readily, for there could be several reasons for the same affliction; there is no one way to identify and measure the physical distress; and there is no magic bullet for treatment.

The good news is that doctors are now paying more attention to the issue of pain and, as a result, there are more ways than ever to tackle the problem.

Yet in the near future looms a darker picture: aging baby boomers are expected to ache for quick fixes, faster than the medical establishment can possibly provide.

Nevertheless, the optimistic search for reasons and relief continues.

Today on WebMD

pain in brain and nerves
Top causes and how to find relief.
knee exercise
8 exercises for less knee pain.
 
acupuncture needles in woman's back
How it helps arthritis, migraines, and dental pain.
chronic pain
Get personalized tips to reduce discomfort.
 
illustration of nerves in hand
Slideshow
lumbar spine
Slideshow
 
Woman opening window
Slideshow
Man holding handful of pills
Video
 
Woman shopping for vegetables
Slideshow
Sore feet with high heel shoes
Slideshow
 
acupuncture needles in woman's back
Slideshow
man with a migraine
Slideshow