I am sorry @martoof, to hear of this awful experience. That is not Pain Management. I would love to have people refer to the process (subspecialty) as "Active Pain Management" because it is not a passive process of adding another pill…
Pain management as practiced by my Pain Management specialist consists of the following:
– Review patient medical records for history and present and past symptoms and treatments
– Interview patient (in my case remote, due to Covid) to determine current state, hopes, expectations and willingness to fully participate
– Coordinate with primary care practitioner
– Explain the concepts of actual physical pain response, Central Sensitization Syndrome (CSS), Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), Neuropathy and philosophy of using a multi-pronged strategy to deal with whichever is causing the most problem. In my case, I have CSS and physical pain from arthritis.
– Explain that opioids do not really cure pain, and that the goal, if currently used, is to end or minimize their use. My body had never become dependent on narcotics for pain management, so I didn't have to break that cycle.
– Explain that the goal is to minimize and manage pain, as the underlying causes usually don't "go away"
– Develop a comprehensive pain management strategy. In my case it was a combination of physical therapy (PT) and myofascial release (MFR) by a specially trained therapist, a home routine of stretching, strengthening and walking, medication (non-narcotic), visualization exercises, and becoming attuned to what my body is saying to me.
– Review progress and adjust to find balance.
Since I started active pain management almost a year and a half ago, I have gotten my life back. It is not perfect – there are bad days and good days, I have learned to take them as they come, and which tactic to use for specific issues. I have learned that all of the strategies must stay in place for life – if you stop, the pain can come roaring back. I have hard surgery 3 times since I began active pain management, and managed recovery from each one with minimal opioids (2 days max) by using Tylenol, ice and my PM strategies. I use topical NSAIDS only for arthritis pain because I cannot use the meds internally, combined with ice or heat as needed.