Whether or not someone is suffering from acute or chronic pain, it is possible to make things worse by engaging in certain activities, or refraining from others which could reduce one’s pain. Dr. Harvey Finkelstein, as an expert in pain management, would be sure to recommend some or all of the following to help a person manage better his pain.
1. Pain is made worse by overdoing physical activities. Listen to your body. If there is more pain, it means you are doing too much and it is time to rest.
2. Rest and relaxation helps your body to heal. Rest is an essential part of life, and your body needs it. Fatigue leads to more pain, which leads to more fatigue. Break the cycle and rest.
3. Exercise helps keep your body in shape which can actually help to reduce chronic pain. Even gentle but regular movements keep your muscles toned, avoiding weakness which can lead to pain.
4. Not taking medications the way the doctor prescribed them can lead to more pain. The doctor knows the optimal dose and time period for taking the medicine so that you feel your best and get the most from the medicine
5. Sleep is an important component of healing. Getting the sleep that one needs can go a long way to reducing pain.
Pain can be described in two basic ways: it is either acute pain or chronic pain. Most acute pain is a result of disease, injury or inflammation. It usually comes on suddenly, either from an injury, or from medical procedures like surgery. Acute pain can often be diagnosed and treated, and it is of temporary duration. When whatever problem is causing the pain goes away, so too does its accompanying pain.
Chronic pain is different. This type of pain is persistent and continues over extended periods of time. It is also highly resistant to most types of medical treatment and can be highly debilitating for those suffering from chronic pain.
Dr. Harvey Finkelstein, as a specialist in managing and controlling acute and chronic pain, can help patients get on with their lives experiencing less pain. In the case of acute pain, such as after surgery, Dr. Finkelstein can help the patient get through the healing process until the pain subsides and pain management techniques and pharmaceuticals are no longer needed.
In the case of chronic pain Dr. Harvey Finkelstein can also help patients get on with their lives in as relatively pain free a way as possible, improving greatly their quality of life.
Exciting research which could have profound effects on pain management and the practice of pain control by experts like Dr. Harvey Finkelstein is taking place now in the area of regenerative medicine. There are many ongoing research studies examining ways to take tissue of a particular type, like lung tissue or kidney tissue, and create replacement tissue for that organ in places where damage has occurred. Even more ambitious is to create an entirely new organ from the tissue of the old organ.
Neurotransmitters are the basic means through which pain signals are transported throughout the body. They transmit the nerve impulses from one nerve to the next. There are a large variety of neurotransmitters, each playing different roles in many essential physiological tasks. Some of these neurotransmitters have a role in disease. Some others act in combination to produce feelings of pain in the body. Some are in charge of mild pain, and others send messages of severe or intense pain.
The human body produces its own painkillers, such as serotonin, nor-epinephrine and other chemicals which resemble opioids. Drug companies today study these various natural chemicals in the hope of creating in the laboratory medications which can reduce or eliminate pain based on the design of these natural substances. Dr. Harvey Finkelstein, pain management specialist, uses pain medications along with many other modalities to treat his patients who are experiencing pain and its effects.
The thalamus is the part of the brain which plays a major role in pain perception. From the thalamus the signal is further relayed on to the cortex, famously known as the place where complex thought takes place. In addition to receiving pain signals relayed from the spinal cord, the thalamus is also the brain’s area where images of the body are stored. The thalamus plays a major role in sending messages from the brain and all the different parts of the body. If a limb needs to be amputated the picture of that limb is still stored in the thalamus. This accounts for the ‘phantom limb’ phenomenon experienced by amputees in which they continue to feel their missing limb.
In order to treat, control and manage patient pain which doctors such as Harvey Finkelstein do every day, knowledge of the physiology of pain is a basic prerequisite.
Dr. Harvey Finkelstein, as a specialist in pain management, frequently uses epidural anesthesia in the course of his practice. Epidural anesthesia, or just epidural, as it is frequently referred to, can produce both analgesia (pain relief) and anesthesia (lack of sensation) in a regionalized manner. The epidural is able to achieve this by blocking the ability of signals to be transmitted through the nerves that are near to or inside of the spinal cord.
There are many possible reasons and ways an epidural can be used:
• An epidural can be used just for analgesia. One example would be in childbirth, when pain relief can be achieved without the loss of muscle function. In this case an epidural would not be enough to perform surgery.
• An epidural can also be used for many surgical procedures in general, and is often used for surgery in childbirth in particular, for the procedure known as Cesarean section. In this case the dose of medication is considerably higher than when the epidural is used only for analgesia.
• An epidural can be used in conjunction with general anesthesia. This would be done to reduce the patient’s need for opioid analgesics. This type of approach to pain relief can be used for a variety of surgical procedures, such as hysterectomy, hip replacement and more.