Pain management begins with family physician

ask-the-doctor-2web Q: My shingles rash healed six months ago and I am still in a lot of pain. Is this normal? What should I do to end the pain? Frank V., Allen Park A: It is possible, but unlikely to have residual neuropathic pain in the same region as the outbreaks. Visit your family physician for further evaluation. Medications like tricyclic anti-depressants and topical creams are sometimes helpful for managing the pain. Q: I was diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome recently and was told there is no cure. I currently cannot walk on one foot due to pain and swelling. My doctor tried spinal injections, but it did not help and he is now recommending a pain management specialist. Can you provide any information about the kind of treatment plan I should expect? Sheryll T., Dearborn A: After careful evaluation by a pain management specialist, further treatments can be outlined. One of the treatment modalities is spinal cord stimulator. This would involve a trial period of seven days with a spinal cord stimulator and if there is greater than 50 percent improvement in pain, you would proceed with a permanent implant of the device. Ask a pain specialist to give you more information about this treatment. Q: I think I may have arthritis. Where do I go or how can I find out the best kind of practitioner to consult? Victoria B., Lincoln Park A: Visit your family doctor for an evaluation. A referral to a rheumatologist is likely as they are they have specialist training in the field of arthritis and knowledge of the most up-to-date treatments and medications. A pain management specialist can also conduct some beneficial treatments if you have pain in multiple areas (hands, knees, hips, back, etc.). Daniel Mekasha, M.D., is board-certified in anesthesiology and pain management. His practice, MAC Pain & Spine Institute, is at 13383 Reeck Court in Southgate. Do you have a health question for Dr. Mekasha? Submit it by email to: askthedoctor@cscmi.net. All information provided in Ask The Doctor is intended for your general knowledge. Consult with your personal doctor or pharmacist for any specific health or nutrition issues. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of information you have read in any publication.