A Comprehensive Guide to Pain Management After an Accident or Injury
Every time you get behind the wheel of a vehicle, you face the inherent risk of being injured in an accident. Studies show that 77% of drivers have been involved in a car accident at some point in their lives, and drivers have a 1 in 366 chance of experiencing an accident for every thousand miles spent on the road. Though many of these accidents aren’t serious, even minor accidents can lead to significant complications that require the care of a pain management specialist.
By 2050, over 26% of people over 65 will experience chronic pain. Long-term and short-term pain are both valid reasons to start a pain management regimen.
Our pain management office treats a wide range of injuries and symptoms, but some of the most common include:
- neck pain
- back pain
- knee injuries
- joint injury or pain
- tissue tears, sprains, and strains
- sciatic nerve pain
- tendonitis, bursitis, and other types of inflammation
A Complete Approach to Pain Management
Metro Healthcare Partners in Brooklyn, NY, the best pain management clinic in New York, is a full-service pain control center that uses the most advanced diagnostic equipment available in the United States.
When you visit with a complaint of pain — whether it’s centered in your head or in your toes — you’re assured of getting the best care because it all starts with an accurate diagnosis. But that’s not all that sets this pain management clinic apart from the rest.
Pain Management in Brooklyn, New York
If you have ever experienced an injury, you know how difficult it can be to find substantive treatment. Acquiring adequate care after a car wreck is no exception, and many feel they have nowhere to turn when it comes to managing pain effectively. Fortunately, pain management now offers more options than ever for those struggling with acute or chronic symptoms.
What Is Pain Management?
Pain management involves comprehensive care across different medical fields, using a combination of strategies unique to each discipline to diagnose and treat acute or chronic pain. Often, this pain results from an injury acquired during an accident, such as a fall, physical altercation, or car wreck. Sometimes, however, pain appears with no apparent cause.
What is the point of Pain Management?
Nearly any part of your body is vulnerable to pain. Acute pain warns us that something may be wrong. Chronic pain can rob us of our daily life, making it difficult and even unbearable. Many people with chronic pain can be helped by understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatments for pain – and how to cope with the frustrations.
Types of Pain
- Chronic Pain
- Nerve Pain
- Psychogenic Pain
- Musculoskeletal Pain
- Chronic Muscle Pain
- Abdominal Pain
- Joint Pain
How To Know When It’s Time For Pain Management
Many turn to pain management when traditional treatments fail to produce the desired results. Pain management is, therefore, often a “last resort” for stubborn injuries and illnesses that cause lasting damage, even after the patient has healed. It can help people cope with daily pain and reduce symptoms to achieve a manageable level of discomfort.
What Are Some of the Most Common Injuries?
Car accidents are responsible for many of the most common injuries seen by pain management specialists. These injuries can range from slight annoyances to full-body impairment, and they often cause persistent pain for months, years, and sometimes life.
Whiplash (Neck Injuries)
The most prevalent injury induced by car accidents is whiplash, which happens when the neck is forced backward and then forward quickly. Usually, whiplash occurs as the result of a rear-end collision, and in New York, we experience a lot of auto accidents, unfortunately. Our expert pain management specialists at Metro Healthcare know what treatment to do when it comes to whiplash.
Some patients are instantly affected by whiplash, which causes pain in the neck, shoulders, and sometimes back. Others find that they experience no pain upon initial impact, but they develop complications a day or so after the accident. Whiplash can be responsible for residual discomforts, such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, and vision impairment. Some of these symptoms can last for years, especially if not adequately treated.
Like whiplash, back injuries often occur during car accidents due to involuntary movement upon impact and may take several days to manifest. Unfortunately, back pain is notoriously difficult to treat. Surgery is reserved for only the most severe back injuries, as it can cause more damage than relief. For this reason, people often turn to steady, long-term solutions when it comes to addressing back issues, which are often debilitating.
Living in New York we experience more than the national average of car accidents because of how populated New York City is and as a result people struggle with back injuries. At Metro Healthcare we specialize in back injuries to alleviate any back pain.
Bone and Joint Problems
It’s not unusual for car accident victims to sustain sprained or broken bones during a crash. Although these are often “clean” injuries and require little more than a wrap or cast, breaks can be severe if they crush, shatter, or disfigure the bone. With enough force, broken bones can even break through the skin.
The same is true of joint injuries, which often occur when a passenger braces for impact but cannot withstand the pressure exerted. A fractured joint can cause complications and pain for years after injury.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
TBIs, or traumatic brain injuries, are amongst the most devastating results of car accidents. TBIs often prove fatal, as damage to the brain or brain stem can leave a victim brain dead. Internal bleeding, another common consequence of TBIs, can also be deadly if left unattended. Others survive TBIs only to find that they are paralyzed or impaired for life.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments, vessels, and nerves is typical in car accidents, as well as in everyday life. While many write off soft tissue injuries as minor complications, they can be as disabling as severe breaks or fractures. The pain from a soft tissue injury can last for years, mainly if not attended to by medical professionals in a timely fashion.
What Are Some of the Most Common Treatments?
Knowing what injuries to look out for after an accident can prevent years of pain and even save your life. Knowing the treatment options, however, is just as important. Often, people delay or avoid medical appointments after accidents with pain management doctors because they are unsure which doctors to see or which pain management methods are the safest, most effective, and most affordable. Unfortunately, this hesitance can lead to avoidable suffering.
With so many options to choose from, it’s easy to see how people become overwhelmed by treatment options. Then, a succinct overview of the most common pain management plans is a valuable tool with which every accident victim should arm themselves.
Physical Therapy and Exercise in New York
If you’ve ever experienced an injury or provided for someone who has, you’re likely familiar with the fact that physical therapy and exercise are critical to regaining complete control and utilization of the injured area. While training is ideal, it’s often risky to attempt it alone, as you can exacerbate the problem by exerting too much energy or applying too much pressure to the site of injury. Thus, physical therapy is usually recommended so that you can work up to exercising on your own.
Physical Therapists treat a wide range of injuries and symptoms, but some of the most common include:
- neck pain
- back pain
- joint injury or pain
- tissue tears, sprains, and strains
- sciatic nerve pain
- tendonitis, bursitis, and other types of inflammation
Physical Therapists provide several treatment options, ranging from cold/heat compresses, deep tissues massages, nerve stimulation, and targeted exercise plans. Their exact methods depend on the type and location of the injury and the treatment goals.
Physical Therapists in Brooklyn
If you’re looking for comprehensive care, physical therapy is an ideal treatment, as physical therapists work closely with your pain management doctor, as well as your other specialists, to ensure you’re receiving the best and most up-to-date care given your unique needs.
Exercises for Pain Management
Everyone should have some exercise routine because it helps relieve pain management. Exercise improves overall health, endurance, and flexibility. Each of these factors is a prevalent issue in the people. Poor health, perseverance, and flexibility lead to dangerous falls, chronic pain, and mobility problems.
- strength training
The number of available exercises drastically decreases as a person gets older since many activities are too high-impact for aging bodies.
Yoga is all about balance and stretching, which are two exercises that are vital for every person and can be very important when it comes to pain management. Balance is essential for people to maintain because stability helps prevent falls, which are more life-threatening for older adults.
Yoga also lowers blood pressure and encourages better mental health. Better yet, yoga is straightforward to learn and doesn’t require much equipment. The relaxing nature of yoga makes it easy to introduce to older adults who don’t exercise much.
While you don’t need to bulk up your muscles, you need to maintain good strength and stability by regular strength training. Strength training helps maintain muscle mass, balance, and overall strength. It also helps maintain joint and bone health, as well as prevent chronic diseases.
Strength training is highly customizable and easy to learn for those seeking pain management. People who aren’t used to exercising or already have chronic pain benefit from smaller weights and slower routines. As long as a daily routine is followed, positive results will appear.
One of the most approachable exercise routines is a long walk. Walks are simple and don’t require equipment. Plus, walks are scenic and relaxing, making them the perfect daily workout for anyone.
Not only does walking help regulate stress, but it also lowers blood pressure and improves coordination skills. Walking is also a social exercise and perfect for the whole family.
Cardio is essential for heart health. However, strenuous cardio workouts are potentially dangerous, so it’s necessary to keep the cardio workouts simple. Pilates is a low-impact exercise and strengthens core muscles and balance.
Exercise classes are fantastic ways for older adults to socialize easily, which gets more complicated. Mixing socializing with exercising helps people stick to their routine.
Swimming is one of the lowest-impact cardio exercises available for anyone accessing a pool, river, or lake. The best part about swimming is that it’s fun and easy to learn.
This exercise is gentle on the joints and perfect for those who have experienced a recent accident. Swimming is also ideal for increasing endurance and lung capacity.
Diets for Pain Management
Alongside a daily exercise routine, older adults should also maintain a healthy diet. Pain in adults may be helped with a diet lacking sugar, carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats. There are plenty of tasty and healthy diets to choose from, even for the pickiest person.
Inflammation is a common cause of chronic disease like rheumatoid arthritis. While low-grade inflammation is often unavoidable in adults, it’s essential to keep an eye on it.
An anti-inflammatory diet consists of whole grains, beans, fish, nuts, and more. These foods are loaded with healthy fats and nutrients that are essential for fighting inflammatory issues.
Vegetables are rich in fiber and help maintain a full feeling, which prevents overeating. Leafy green vegetables are beneficial. These greens are dense in much-needed nutrients that people need as they age.
Fiber also lowers blood sugar levels, which is vital for people with diabetes. By adding a mix of vegetables into each dish, older adults will quickly get a healthy variety of nutrients.
Low-Calorie, High Protein Diet
For older adults who plan on incorporating daily strength training, a low-calorie, high protein diet is ideal. Protein helps provide energy for workouts, while low-calorie food prevents unnecessary weight gain.
This diet helps maintain muscles and curb fat accumulation. In turn, this helps prevent and manage chronic ailments like diabetes and high blood pressure.
Pain Management Doctors in New York
Chiropractic specialists, like physical therapists, work closely with doctors to offer individualized care. In fact, many chiropractors are also certified physicians.
Though similar, chiropractors differ from physical therapists in their methods for dealing with musculoskeletal issues. Whereas physical therapists offer more holistic care, chiropractors rely on manual pressure and even force to re-align the spine, joints, and muscles.
The impact of this, however, is no less substantial. In addition to easing pain, chiropractic care can reduce headaches, dizziness, and other symptoms that are secondary to alignment issues.
Orthopedic Therapy in New York
Another common form of therapy for injuries is orthopedic care. Orthopedic specialists work with physical therapists, chiropractors, and pain management physicians to provide more medically specific care for injured patients. Orthopedic doctors can assess and diagnose injuries and treat them and can use more aggressive treatment methods to reduce recovery time.
Orthopedic treatment is ideal for injuries requiring more invasive care or surgery as a last resort. Many rely on orthopedics in conjunction with physical therapy and chiropractic care to reap the benefits of each of these overlapping forms of treatment.
Oral and Topical Medications
In addition to various types of therapy, over-the-counter and prescription medications are a great way to manage pain after an accident. You can find analgesics and NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, at any drugstore, although doctors can prescribe higher-strength pills if necessary.
Pain medication can be a short-term solution when an injury is causing acute pain, and sometimes it can even be approved for chronic issues. However, due to the risk of physical dependence and addiction, these medications can rarely act as long-term solutions. Muscle relaxers work similarly but tend to be less addictive and disorienting than traditional painkillers.
Typical medications are less common, but with the rise of CBD lotions, they have seen a resurgence in recent years. Some of these topicals act as calming anti-inflammatory agents, while others provide a touch of heat or cold to numb the affected area.
Whether or not your medications are prescribed, you should always consult a doctor before beginning a medication regimen to ensure that it’s safe for you and does not conflict with any other medications or treatments. Most internal medicine doctors are happy to address these questions and concerns.
Electrotherapy and Electrical Nerve Stimulation
Doctors and therapists have been using electrical devices for pain management for many years, but technology has made it easier than ever to not only obtain this style of treatment but to administer it at home as a means of continued therapy.
Perhaps the most commonly used electrotherapy device is the TENS or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation unit. To use a TENS device, a practitioner will apply sticky pads to the injured or symptomatic area. When activated, these pads send electro waves into the body, confusing nerve sensors and, as a result, reducing overall pain. Usually, a TENS unit causes a painless tingling or stinging sensation.
Many patients invest in their own devices after seeing how to use a TENS unit or other electrotherapy device. As with medications, however, it’s never wise to self-treat without first consulting a doctor or physical therapist who can show you how to use the device properly.
Injections and Blocks
When people hear the word “epidural,” they often associate the term with childbirth, as epidural injections are commonly used as a means of reducing pain below the waist. However, bone and joint injections, which are sometimes called “blocks,” are frequently used to treat other types of pain, too.
Injections work for both acute and chronic pain, and sometimes they are used as an alternative to more intensive treatments, such as pain medications or surgery. There are various types of joint injections, and the ideal type depends on the specific type or location of the injury.
Hyaluronic acid has risen to popularity over recent years, as many realized that it is a great way to stimulate collagen growth in the skin. For this reason, it’s a common component in fillers and topical age-defying treatments. Hyaluronic acid injections benefit more than just the skin, however. When used as a method of pain management, patients find that these injections are one of the most effective ways to minimize joint pain, as the acid creates a cushion that prevents the joints from grinding together painfully.
Another popular injection is the corticosteroid block, which works to reduce inflammation by stimulating cortisol production. When injected into a specific joint or region, this is useful for local inflammation, but it can also be injected into the bloodstream to create a full-body anti-inflammatory response.
Injections are an ideal alternative to long-term pain medication and risky surgeries, and they require minimal upkeep. Most injections can be administered weekly or biweekly, with results lasting for months or even years.
How Long Does It Take for These Treatments To Work?
No matter what type of treatment you seek, you hope to hear that it has immediate benefits. This is, unfortunately, usually unrealistic, as manual therapy and medications alike take time to produce a noticeable improvement. The specific length of time it will take to see results also depends on the type of treatment and the severity of the injury.
Hot and cold compresses are beneficial in providing short-term relief, so here at Metro, we routinely rely on temperature therapy as a means of accelerating the healing and recovery process. Game Ready therapy, in particular, offers body wraps and electrotherapy devices that ensure optimal coverage and stimulation of the skin, muscles, tissues, and joints.
What Kind of Doctors or Clinics Offer These Treatments?
Once you’ve become acquainted with the potential injuries and symptoms that follow an accident, such as a car wreck, you can narrow down the solutions that you think will best suit your needs, both physical and emotional. This involves knowing where to look and what to look for when stepping foot inside any treatment facility.
What To Look For in a Pain Management Specialists
When searching for a pain management specialist, it’s crucial to know where to go and what to look out for so you know you’re getting quality service, especially in New York. An unqualified pain clinic or specialist can create more problems than solutions, costing both time and money that you don’t have, especially when suffering from a debilitating injury or illness.
Pain Management Doctor
Most importantly, make sure you find pain management doctors who are willing to work across disciplines. Your treatment team should consist of several pain management specialists, such as physical therapists, chiropractors, and orthopedic doctors, but your general physician, also known as an internist or internal medicine doctor, can point you in the right direction. A qualified and cooperative team ensures that you get an accurate diagnosis and that your treatment plan is comprehensive, with each type of therapy building off of the other ones.
Pain Management Specialists
It’s equally vital to find physicians with whom you feel comfortable discussing your treatment options. If you think that your doctor or therapist is not listening to you, do not hesitate to address those concerns. Having your mind and body on the same page is critical to the success of any recovery efforts.
What To Expect At Your First Visit (and Every Other Visit)
Usually, your first visit consists of an intake appointment in which your physicians or therapists assess and diagnose your injuries. This may take a while, as they will request your complete medical history to determine the primary cause of pain and identify any underlying factors contributing to the issue.
Once your history and diagnosis have been reviewed, you can begin developing a treatment plan with your team of specialists. The frequency and intensity of your visits depends on the injury, but you can expect weekly visits after your team has completed your initial evaluation.
Visiting Pain Management Doctor
Many patients want to know how much pain they can expect at these visits, and the answer is again dependent upon the injury and treatment. It is, however, common to experience more pain initially, as you are working with muscles and joints that are either unused, overworked, or unhealed.
What’s the Bottom Line in Pain Management?
Pain management is a highly individualized process that involves the cooperation of multiple specialists across varying medical disciplines, and each is just as important as the other. Familiarizing yourself with the most common post-accident injuries and sources of acute or chronic pain can help you determine which doctors to see and which methods of treatment can best treat your symptoms.
Best Pain Management Doctors in Brooklyn NY
If you’re ready for our team of specialists at Metro Healthcare Partners to help you with pain management, we have you covered. Whether you’re experiencing a minor case of whiplash or a life-altering traumatic injury, we offer several treatment solutions that suit both your body and your budget. Contact Metro Healthcare Partners today to begin your journey toward a pain-free life.