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Pain, Pain Go Away: June 18, 2013

Pain, pain go away.
If only wishing could make it true. Millions of Americans are battling pain, for many it will become a lifetime endeavor.

“Pain is basically a cluster of symptoms. It can be a part of another disease process or it can be its own disease,” says Dr. Andrew Gross, orthopedic pain specialist on Lee Memorial Health System’s medical staff.

Common trouble spots are neck, shoulders and back. Determining its origin is a first step.

“And a lot of times we have to play detective. I like patients, when they are hurting, to try to really associate any change of activities, anything you’ve been doing that's abnormal, any recent injuries, any recent illnesses that you’ve had. And try to see if you can see on a timeline where that pain kicked in,” says Dr. Gross.

And get rid of the notion that you should toughen up and bare the pain until you just can’t take it. Declaring war on pain early is more likely to end in victory.

“Once your brain gets use to a pain signal, it kind of becomes common place and the longer you have it, the harder it is to get rid of,” says Dr. Gross.

Seeking pain treatment within the first few months may have long-lasting implications. There’s a better chance of getting rid of the pain rather than managing it chronically. And initial therapies are much less invasive.

“Even early treatment with ice therapy, heat therapy, anti-inflammatory, physical therapy, doesn't have to be anything really advanced or cutting edge,” says Dr. Gross.

More intensive techniques are available if other options are exhausted, including injections, nerve ablation and sometimes surgery. By being aggressive with pain, you stand to make the biggest gain.

View More Health Matters video segments at leememorial.org/healthmatters/

Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries.

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