When managing chronic pain, pain specialists often follow a series of treatment levels. This means that a pain specialist will often begin with more conservative therapies, such as exercise programs and physical therapy. If the pain continues, he or she will try more advanced therapies, such as pain medications, nerve blocks, or surgery, until sufficient pain relief is attained.
The chronic pain treatment continuum can be broken down into three levels (see below). After a thorough diagnosis, you and your doctor can decide the best management option for your pain. These are general guidelines and can vary depending on your condition, your response to previous treatments, and the recommendation of your pain specialist.
Click the following links to learn more about the different pain management therapies at each of these levels: