Pain Management And Endometriosis
Last updated: February 2022
There are a number of different treatment options for endometriosis. These include surgery, the contraceptive pill, the Mirena coil, GnRH agonists, and dietary changes, amongst others.
Unfortunately, endometriosis, which can cause chronic and, often, debilitating pain, doesn’t always respond to the standard methods of treatment, and sometimes another approach is required.
This is where a referral to pain management may be required.
What is pain management?
Pain management consists of a team of doctors, specialized nurses, physiotherapists, and psychologists. They will assess you and your needs, and provide a treatment plan for your chronic pain.
Pain management sees patients with a variety of ailments and illnesses. For example, some people may visit them for back pain, or following an accident or injury, others for chronic illnesses, or cancer.
Because of this, pain management can look at your chronic pain from an outside perspective and treat issues that may not necessarily be endometriosis like nerve pain, bladder pain, etc.
What happens at a pain management appointment?
From my own experience, pain management usually consists of one main appointment, occasionally with a follow-up. This may differ from case to case.
At the appointment, you will meet with a pain management consultant. You may also meet doctors from other specialties that will be working alongside pain management.
For example, I once met with a pain management doctor, a medical psychologist, and a urologist.
The main appointment is where all the information on you and your pain is gathered by the doctors. They will want to get a full overview of you, your life, and how your pain affects you so they can put together a treatment plan.
The doctors will discuss their suggestions with you, then, after the appointment, they will make all of the necessary arrangements for the treatments and/or referrals.
What are some pain management suggestions?
Pain Management will initially look at your lifestyle and suggest ways in which you can make small changes in order to aid your situation. They will also look at any medications you may, or may not, currently take and assess if any changes need to be made.
Pain Management can refer you to a variety of different treatments depending upon what your needs are. These include analgesic injections or infusions, physiotherapy, acupuncture, and medical psychology.
They can also suggest relaxation techniques and give you access and advice on using devices such as a TENS machine.
Can pain management help?
I think the important thing to remember with pain management is that they are not miracle workers and they may not be able to rid you of your pain completely.
I’ve sometimes felt with endometriosis, doctors would put me on painkillers or the pill and not invest any more effort in helping. But pain management should give you access to treatment options you might not be offered elsewhere.
So, in short, yes, I do think pain management can help endometriosis patients. But please remember, it's about managing the pain - not curing it.
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