Defined as an unpleasant emotional and sensory experience, pain is the body's way of letting you know something is wrong.
Unfortunately, it’s not always a temporary annoyance. If ongoing discomfort is taking a toll on your quality of life, you may be on the hunt for the best pain clinic in Los Angeles. Here’s what you can expect when you visit a first-rate clinic specializing in pain treatment and management.
Discussing Your Symptoms
Pain, especially if it sticks around, affects the body both physically and emotionally, which is why a visit to the best pain clinic in Los Angeles usually involves a detailed discussion of your symptoms. With your physical symptoms, you might be asked to use a pain scale to describe your level of discomfort. You may also be asked about any depression or anxiety you may be experiencing because of your pain.
Making an Accurate Diagnosis
Most people with chronic or severe acute (sudden) pain turn to both over-the-counter and prescription medications to manage pain symptoms. The problem with doing this is that medication does not treat the actual source(s) of discomfort.
For this reason, the best pain clinic in Los Angeles is a place that focuses on determining what’s actually causing your pain so treatment can be based on treating the pain source and not just masking the symptoms. Along with a review of your medical history and symptoms, such efforts may involve:
- CT scans, MRIs, and other image tests
- Nerve conduction studies if you have nerve-related pain
- Muscle strength testing to evaluate abnormal weakness
- Tests performed with special contrast dye
Personalizing Your Physical Therapy Plan
If you’ve been avoiding exercise or regular activity because of your pain, you may be unintentionally making your symptoms worse. This is common with back pain since weak back-supporting muscles result in increased pressure on the spine itself.
The same thing can happen with other sources of pain, which is why a comprehensive treatment plan includes various forms of PT. At the best pain clinic in Los Angeles you may be advised to consider a PT plan that involves:
- Massage therapy and/or soft tissue manipulation
- Therapeutic exercises based on your capabilities and goals
- Gentle stretches that stimulate certain muscle groups
- Water-based exercises
Exploring Other Pain Management Methods
Visiting a top L.A. pain clinic also allows you to explore pain management methods you may not have yet considered or tried. Once an accurate diagnosis has been made, you may experience welcome relief with a customized treatment/pain management plan that also includes one or more of the following options:
- Hot/cold therapy
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy to treat the mental aspects of pain
- TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
- Relaxation techniques
A visit to the best pain clinic in Los Angeles can also be beneficial if one of your goals is to reduce your risk of developing new or worsening symptoms in the future. Preventative advice is usually based on your lifestyle. If you are normally athletic, for instance, you might be advised to prevent a painful re-injury by doing proper warm-up exercises before working out or playing sports.