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The Emerging Trends in Pain Assessment and Management

Training is an important part of our approach at Princeton Health Care Center. We take a great deal of pride in the work we do every day, and our continual efforts to stay abreast of the latest developments in our respective fields plays a significant part of the quality we deliver your loved ones. With that in mind, we keep a close eye on new developments — some of the most important center on pain management.

New Approaches to Pain Assessment

The “Pain Number” has been part of standard clinical practice for years, but it may be on its way out. According to a recent article in Practical Pain Management, a new approach considers not only the intensity of pain, but also how it affects patients’ everyday functioning. The goal here is not just to address pain, but to take a systematic approach that restores an individual to health and function.

This is part of a broader strategy to rethink the assessment and treatment of pain. It also leads to deeper conversations between patients and healthcare providers, which should in turn improve patient outcomes.

New Approaches to Pain Management

Amid concerns about the over-prescription of, and possible addiction to, pain medications, a number of pain management alternatives are being explored.

Medical Devices

To that end, medical devices like TENS units — which use electrical stimulation to ease muscle pain — are proving to be an effective and non-addictive alternative to narcotic painkillers, as well as an option for those whose systems don’t tolerate NSAIDs and other OTC remedies well.

Holistic Approaches

Other approaches seek to address the mind-body connection in pain management. Those suffering from fibromyalgia or rheumatoid arthritis, for instance, often find that a change in diet can be sufficient to bring pain down to manageable levels. Other treatments, including massage, chiropractic, and acupuncture, likewise alleviate pain without resorting to pharmaceuticals.

Another simple prescription? Activity. Many patients, especially older adults, find that exercise doesn’t simply improve fitness; it promotes mental well-being, and the release of endorphins has also the added benefit of ameliorating pain.

Supporting Diversity

You may wonder what diversity has to do with pain management. Recent studies have shown that many populations, especially the elderly and minorities, underreport their pain levels. That leads to challenges from a care provider’s standpoint, and can also lead to unnecessary suffering on a patient’s part. Dealing with diverse populations entails a willingness to listen and to try new approaches so the patient’s best interests are always front and center.

There isn’t much in life that’s certain. Paradoxically, change is one of the few constants. Providing quality care means anticipating and responding to those changes with creativity, knowledge, and compassion. At Princeton Health Care Center, we’re fortunate as we have each of those things in abundance. To see how that makes a difference to you, and to your loved ones in our care, call 304-487-3458 today and schedule a visit.

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