Understanding Pain

Be Healthy

Pain affects more lives than heart disease, cancer and diabetes combined.

An estimated 100 million people in the United States suffer from pain, mostly in the form of back pain, severe headaches or arthritis.

However, many patients with chronic pain still have difficulty finding information about their condition and treatment options, and getting the care they need.


What is Pain?

Pain can be caused by injury, illness, sickness, disease or surgery. It also can slow healing and keep you from being active.

There are many different kinds of pain.

Acute pain is caused by a health problem or injury, such as arthritis or a shoulder strain, and usually goes away when the cause is treated.

Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts longer than six months. For some patients, it can last much longer.

Chronic pain also can be caused by a health problem or injury, but it also can exist without a clear cause.

In both cases, chronic pain can be an isolating and extremely difficult experience for patients, their loved ones and families.


How to Manage Pain

There are many ways to manage pain. A pain specialist can help you determine what treatment, or combination of treatments, might be best for you.

The field of pain management has rapidly evolved in recent years. Treatment options available include:

  • Physical therapy.
  • Pain medication.
  • Nerve blocks or injections.
  • Implanted medical devices that deliver medicine or electrical stimulation to the affected areas.
  • Spinal surgeries and interventions (often used as a last resort).

If you are suffering from chronic pain, you have a right to have your symptoms evaluated and treated as effectively as possible.

With the support of an experienced pain management specialist, you don’t have to live with the pain alone. 


Contributed by Eric Grigsby, MD

Eric Grigsby, MD, has more than two decades of experience as a clinician, researcher and advocate for patients with chronic pain. He opened the Spine and Pain Center of Kauai in 2014 to address the needs of those in the community suffering from chronic pain. Grigsby and his team offer treatment and support to patients, their loved ones and families while working closely with Wilcox Memorial Hospital, where he performs outpatient surgical procedures. 

Published on: April 26, 2016