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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I set up an appointment?

If you are presently under the care of a physician for your pain and/or pain-related problem, you should discuss a referral to the Pain Management Center with your physician. Once it is decided that the center is appropriate for you, your physician should send us a letter describing your pain problem and, to avoid duplication, include an outline of any previous medications, tests, X-rays and treatments.

What should I bring with me?

Please bring with you to your appointment any medical records or X-ray reports you have related to your pain, medications you are currently taking, and any information you have relating to health insurance coverage.

What should I expect during my first visit?

You will be asked to complete a questionnaire about your medical history and pain, and will be examined and evaluated. An individualized treatment plan will be developed for you relating to the nature of your pain. Treatment will be performed at Lowell General Hospital on an outpatient basis.

What are some of the treatments offered at the Pain Center?

The doctor may decide that some of the following treatments would be helpful for you:

  • Nerve Blocks - Temporary numbing medications injected around various nerves in your body may be very helpful in the diagnosis and treatment of certain conditions. Numbing medication is used so that very little discomfort is felt from the actual injection site.
  • Intralesional Injections - A local anesthetic is injected into the shingles lesions which will promote healing and decrease pain.
  • Medications - Anti-inflammatory drugs, seizure medications, antidepressant drugs, and other new medications recently have been demonstrated to have very promising effects in treating pain. We seldom use narcotic-type drugs in the treatment of patients with chronic painful disorders.
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) - TENS helps alleviate pain by increasing your body's own anti-pain substances. This is a battery-operated, pocket-sized device you carry on your belt which sends signals to small pads taped to your skin, thereby stimulating your own nerves to release these pain relieving substances.
  • Physical Therapy Exercise Programs - Exercise can be very helpful in strengthening weak muscles and relieving muscle spasm. The most popular of these programs is back pain therapy. Our physical therapists are trained in a number of techniques, including posture training, ultrasound, whirlpool, ice and deep tissue massage, and acupressure. When needed, our occupational therapists will work with you to help you develop skills that will enable you to function effectively with your pain in everyday life.
  • Cancer Pain Management - Pain is one of the most feared symptoms of cancer. However, when pain does occur, it is almost always treatable. This is due to tremendous advances being made in the treatment of cancer pain. Physicians studying the effects of various medications, have developed new ways to give patients pain relief. At Lowell General Hospital, we offer a variety of mind/body medicine programs through our Cancer Center.
  • Psychological Counseling - Lowell General Hospital offers all our pain patients individual and group therapy designed to help you deal with the various emotional issues that can often accompany pain. Our Oncology Social Workers can provide you and your family with crisis intervention, brief counseling, and referrals to community mental health services if needed.

 

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