Pain FAQs

Why does pain occur?

Pain tells you something may be wrong with your body. What you think, feel, and even how you were raised can determine how you experience the physical sensation of pain.

Pain is your body's way of sending a warning to your brain. Your spinal cord and nerves provide a pathway for messages to travel to and from your brain and the other parts of your body. Pain medication blocks these messages or reduces the effect on your brain.

Why is pain control important?

People seem to get well faster when their pain is under control. With less pain, you can start moving about sooner and get your strength back more quickly.

Left untreated, pain can lead to suffering, anxiety and depression. When pain is treated successfully, these feelings often go away.

What are my options for pain control?

Every person reacts differently to medication because of his/her body type, metabolism and sensitivity. Advances in pain treatment have lead to a wide variety of safe, effective options for controlling pain. By combining drugs with non-drug therapy, such as meditation, guided imagery, deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation, you strike pain where it resides -- in your body, as well as your mind.

Working together with our medical team, a personalized plan to meet your pain needs can be developed. Additional educational material and/or consultations with specialized clinicians are also available.

I'm afraid I'll get addicted.

Studies show that addiction to pain medication is rare, unless you already have a problem with drug abuse. When your physician gives you pain medication and you take it as directed, you are using it correctly and legally.

What about side effects?

The most common side effects associated with pain medications are constipation, nausea, vomiting and drowsiness. All side effects are treatable and should be reported to your physician immediately.

If I talk about pain, everyone will think I'm a pest.

Many people think it is a sign of strength to keep pain a secret and refuse pain medication. They use words like "sissy" or "whimp" and say they don't want to be a bother. However, good pain control can be a key to strength. It allows you to do the most you possibly can to feel more rested and more in control of your life. Proper pain control also helps your family and friends worry less about you.

For more information about Memorial's SpineWorks Pain Center, call 217-788-3792, or email us.