Pain Management

The pain management program at Onslow Memorial takes a multidisciplinary team approach to easing the suffering and improving the quality of life for people living with acute, chronic and cancer pain. Our team includes board-certified physicians, anesthesiologists, clinical psychologists, physical and occupational therapists, clinically trained nurses and staff, all specializing in the latest methods and procedures for managing pain.

The two most common forms of pain are acute and chronic.

Acute pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong that needs immediate attention. Acute pain ranges from mild to severe and the cause can usually be easily identified:

  • inflammation
  • illness
  • injuries
  • surgery
  • constipation
  • childbirth
  • kidney stones
  • heart attacks

Acute pain is short-term, and usually ends when the cause of the pain has healed.

Chronic pain is pain lasting for three months or more; it stems from long-standing (chronic) medical conditions or from damage to the body. Common sources for chronic pain include:

  • diseases
  • cancer
  • injuries
  • migraines
  • backaches
  • arthritis
  • sinus pain
  • tendinitis
  • overuse injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome
  • insomnia
  • depression
  • anxiety

Chronic pain has a different effect on the nervous system and needs to be treated differently. It can have a significant effect on our quality of life by interfering with our ability to work, eat properly, participate in physical activities, or enjoy life. The psychological side effects of chronic pain can include irritability, anger, depression and difficulty concentrating. These side effects can produce a cycle of pain; the stress, anger and depression can cause pain to worsen, and the worsening of pain can increase these negative psychological side effects.

A multidisciplinary approach is often the most successful approach to alleviate or manage chronic pain.  This approach involves a combination of treatments: 

  • medications to manage pain, including:
    • over-the-counter pain medications
    • prescription pain medications
    • antidepressants
  • massage
  • exercise
  • heat and cold therapy
  • electric stimulation
  • nerve block therapy
  • disc compression
  • emotional and psychological support
  • surgery
  • patient and family education and counseling