Whether you are initially experiencing pain with a recent injury or illness, or whether you have experienced chronic pain for an extended period of time, there are pain management solutions available to you.
At the root of all pain is an underlying issue so the goal should always be to identify and treat the underlying issue to rid the patient from pain altogether. Dr. Wong believes that alot of the time the investigation part is missing from the treatment plan and patients therefore do not receive a correct diagnosis from their health care provider.
‘‘…the investigation part is missing. People don’t want to find out the cause. They’re placed on strong pain medication for a long time and I think, in a good proportion of patients, that’s the wrong treatment.”
Upon correct diagnosis Dr. Wong will outline a treatment and pain management plan specific to your needs.
Dr. Wong utilizes a range of techniques and methods to diagnose patients including:
X-Ray – Will identify fractures or any bone abnormalities. An X-Ray will show the alignment of the spine so can be a good first investigation method.
CT Scan – Used for looking at discs in the spine and will identify herniated discs where as an X-Ray could not. A CT Scan will show bone density, blood vessels and tissue.
Nuclear Bone Scan – A bone scan will show abnormal bone growth, infection, metastases, looking in detail at the condition of the bones. A radioactive dye is injected into your bones.
MRI Scan – An MRI takes a clearer picture than an X-Ray or CT scan and is ideal for diagnosing problems in soft tissue like the discs in the spine and/or the spinal cord and nerves.
EOS Scan – Reduced X-ray dose absorbed by the patient in a sitting or standing position when compared to an X-Ray or CT Scan.
If you don’t feel you have received a correct diagnosis for your pain or need a second opinion, get in touch with Dr Wong and his team here.
Simple pain medication like Panadol can be taken to relieve some of the pain, and muscle relaxants can help with sleeping or resting with pain.
If you have recently injured yourself or your injury/issue is re-aggravated & inflamed, non-steroidal ant-inflammatory drugs such as Nurofen can help alleviate pain while reducing inflammation.
Long term consumption of pain medication is never recommended by Dr. Wong and should always be monitored carefully by your health care professional.
Prescription Opioids: Dr. Wong strongly advocates for limited use of prescription opioids as a long term pain management solution. Read more about issues with opioids here.
Physical therapy can be extremely beneficial in treating spinal pain and its causes. A physical therapist or physiotherapist is able to use a combination of techniques like massage, movement and manipulation to treat issues such as pulled muscles, posture problems, stiff neck etc.
Massage and acupuncture can also provide significant pain relief and can be very therapeutic to people suffering from pain. Generally, atleast 3 sessions will be required to see significant results however even just one session can provide some relief and relaxation depending of course on the injury or issue.
While it may sound contradictory, gentle exercise can actually be beneficial at relieving some pain. Movement creates blood flow and stimulation, so gentle exercises can help to speed up the recovery process and keep you mobile even with an injury.
Swimming, Pilates and cycling are all great examples of low-impact exercises.
It is always best to work with a professional such as a physiotherapist who can outline the correct exercises and techniques you should adapt specific to your injury.
Steroid medication can be inserted directly into the area causing pain. This can provide significant relief to some chronic pain sufferers. The relief can be short term for some patients while others experience long term relief.
Typically an injection is used when physical therapy and/or other methods have failed and before surgery.
Injections can also be used as a diagnostic tool, by identifying the exact location of the source of the pain.
Surgery needs to be assessed on a case by case basis. There are a number of factors that contribute to a patients eligibility for surgery – issue/injury, treatment history, lifestyle, overall health etc.
Surgery can seem like the most extreme pain management solution however in some cases surgery is the best initial option for the patient with certain issues/injuries. If the issue is correctly identified, then sometimes the correct treatment for that issue is surgery and the above options will provide none or only short term relief.
To make an appointment with Dr. Wong to have your case assessed, and to determine the right treatment option for you, click here.