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Managing Chronic Pain After Surgery

Undergoing surgery and recovering afterward can be a painful experience. However, with proper preparation, management, and treatment, post-surgical pain can be minimized for improved healing and recovery. This guide provides a deep dive into the causes, risk factors, and innovative solutions available for effectively treating post-surgical pain.

Defining Post-Surgical Pain

Pain is a natural part of the body’s healing process after surgery. Acute post-surgical pain usually lasts from the time of surgery up to several weeks afterward. However, improper management of acute pain can lead to the development of chronic post-surgical pain lasting months or years beyond normal healing time.

Post-surgical pain can arise from several sources:

  • Incisional pain at the surgical site
  • Deep internal pain from affected muscles, organs, and bones
  • Nerve damage or inflammation during surgery
  • Muscle spasms from surgical positioning

Side Effects of Anesthesia or Medications

Additionally, factors like genetics, psychological state, and pain levels before surgery can influence one’s risk of developing chronic post-surgical pain. Successfully managing pain after surgery depends on understanding these various causes and risk factors for each patient.

Why Effectively Treating Post-Surgical Pain Matters

Beyond just improving comfort after surgery, proper post-surgical pain management provides important benefits for healing and recovery:

  • Allows mobility and deep breathing critical for recovery
  • Reduces risk of blood clots, pneumonia, and other complications
  • Speeds up recovery and return to normal activities
  • Lowers risk of developing chronic pain long-term
  • Reduces the need for opioid pain medications and risks of dependency

Additionally, uncontrolled post-surgical pain can negatively impact outcomes by:

  • Delaying healing and increasing recovery time
  • Increasing hospital length of stay and costs
  • Impairing immune function and increasing infection risk
  • Contributing to the development of chronic pain syndromes

Making post-surgical pain management a priority plays a crucial role in optimizing surgical outcomes and improving patients’ quality of life during recovery.

Innovative Options for Post-Surgical Pain Treatment

While opioid medications were once the mainstay of post-surgical pain control, their risks of adverse effects and addiction have driven the exploration of safer alternatives. A multi-modal analgesic approach utilizing various synergistic therapies allows for better pain relief with fewer side effects. Options include:

  • Local anesthetics – Long-acting local anesthetic nerve blocks and wound infiltration provide localized, opioid-sparing pain relief.
  • NSAIDs – Anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen help control inflammation contributing to pain.
  • Acetaminophen – Used for mild to moderate pain without risks of NSAIDs.
  • Gabapentinoids – Medications like gabapentin calm overactive nerves and reduce sensitivity to pain.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants – In low doses, these medications provide analgesic effects for nerve-related pain.
  • Topical analgesics – Creams, gels, and patches deliver pain medication directly to the affected area. Options include lidocaine, capsaicin, ketamine, and more.
  • Counter Stimulation – TENS units, cold/warm therapy, massage, and acupuncture interrupt pain signals.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy – CBT and mindfulness techniques help patients mentally manage pain.
  • Preventive analgesia – Pre-surgery pain medication helps reduce central sensitization to pain.

Utilizing a personalized, multimodal approach that combines pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic therapies provides the most effective post-surgical pain relief with minimal side effects.

Evidence-Based Tips to Prevent Post-Surgical Pain

Certain evidence-based practices have been shown to successfully prevent post-surgical pain from developing in the first place:

  • Carefully plan surgery to avoid unnecessary trauma to muscles and nerves.
  • Utilize minimally invasive laparoscopic techniques when possible for faster recovery.
  • Prevent nerve damage through careful surgical handling and technique.
  • Administer local anesthetics, NSAIDs, gabapentinoids, etc. before surgery.
  • Optimize patients’ mental health pre-operatively to reduce anxiety and catastrophizing.
  • Set realistic pain expectations through thorough patient education pre-operatively.
  • Develop a plan for multimodal, around-the-clock analgesia after surgery.
  • Monitor pain levels diligently and treat aggressively in the acute post-operative period.

With vigilance and evidence-based therapies, post-surgical pain can be minimized for the majority of patients. Some pain is expected after surgery, but lasting chronic pain is not inevitable. Prioritizing pain prevention and treatment leads to faster, smoother recoveries.

In summary, post-surgical pain management should be a top priority for surgical patients and providers alike. By understanding the causes, implementing preventative strategies, and utilizing cutting-edge analgesic therapies, most patients can recover with minimal agony. The future of surgery will focus on optimizing the patient experience through research-driven pain medicine innovations.

Call Holistiq Spine and Orthopedic at 469-444-7246

Post-Surgical Pain Treatment

Dealing with post-surgical pain can be an excruciating experience that affects your daily life. At Holistiq Spine and Orthopedics, we understand that pain management goes beyond traditional treatments like medication and surgeries. Our approach to pain management focuses on treating the entire patient, including their physical, emotional, and mental well-being. We offer a wide range of treatments and therapies that work in harmony to help alleviate your pain and improve your overall health.

Anti-inflammatory Food Plan

Diet plays a critical role in our overall health, especially when it comes to pain management. Our center offers an anti-inflammatory food plan that helps reduce inflammation in the body, which is a common cause of pain. Our team of nutritionists works with patients to create individualized food plans based on their specific needs and health conditions.

Virtual Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is essential to promoting faster post-surgical recovery and reducing pain. Our center offers virtual physical therapy sessions that can be easily accessed from home, making it more convenient for patients to attend their scheduled sessions. Our experienced physical therapists will guide you through the therapy exercises, tailor-made to your specific needs and conditions.

Medications (oral & topical)

We offer a range of medications, both oral and topical, to help manage pain as part of your overall treatment plan. Our specialists carefully review your medical history and current condition before prescribing any medication. We also prefer to use non-addictive medications that are less likely to lead to dependency issues.

Health Coach

Trauma and chronic pain often have a connection, and it’s essential to address this to manage pain effectively. Our health coach works as the quarterback of your care team and focuses on soft components of trauma in the brain that contribute to pain. The health coach works with you to develop a plan for managing your pain by addressing potential triggers and coping mechanisms.


In extreme cases, interventions like nerve blockers or minor surgical procedures may be required to manage pain. Our team will discuss these options with you, ensuring that you understand the risks associated with each type of intervention.

We work with most major insurances.

Major health insurance accepted

Managing Your Pain After Surgery

Surgery, regardless of its newfound advancements, leaves patients in post-surgical pain and discomfort for quite some time after the initial procedure. Pain relief is imperative, and seeking the right center for post-surgical pain management is essential. Holistiq offers a different approach to traditional pain management solutions, providing an all-inclusive treatment plan that works with both your body and mind. In this section, we’ll dive into what holistiq has to offer for post-surgical pain management and why ours is the best choice for you.

A focus on the entirety of the person

Holistiq Spine and Orthopedic care is built around a healthy body approach. We focus on treating the entire person, not just the symptoms of their ailment. Our center understands that surgery recovery is not only physical but also emotional and mental. It’s crucial to identify the root cause of the patient’s discomfort and tailor a plan that treats the whole person, not just the physical body.

Personalized treatment plans

Our care center understands that no two individuals are the same. The same goes for post-surgical pain management. Each patient is different and requires a personalized treatment plan tailored to their needs. We will take into consideration your medical history, current medications, and any allergies or sensitivities you may have. This level of personalization in your treatment plan ensures optimized results towards pain relief from your post-surgery pain.

Non-invasive treatments to reduce pain

Many conventional pain relief medications have adverse side effects. Holistiq’s approach uses non-invasive treatments like specialized diet plans, non-lethal medications, and physical therapy to reduce pain and inflammation. These options greatly reduce the need for prescription medications, cutting down the risks of adverse side effects.

Counseling and emotional support

Post-surgery can impact the mental and emotional states of an individual; our care center offers counseling and emotional support to help you cope. Our experts will work with you to identify any hindrances in your emotional or mental recovery. We hope to provide the support needed to minimize psychological distress and help you manage it through your recovery journey.

Long-term plans and sustainability

Many traditional pain management solutions offer quick-fix solutions that do not get to the root of the problem. We understand the importance of addressing the issue with a plan geared towards long-term pain relief. With our holistiq approach, we create a unique regimen for each patient focused on your daily activities, diets, and exercise habits. Our holistiq plan will not only reduce post-surgical pain but ensure pain-free living in the long term.

Experience Pain Relief After Your Surgery

At Holistiq Spine and Orthopedic, we believe that patients benefit from a comprehensive approach to pain management that addresses the root cause of their pain. Our multidisciplinary team consisting of post-surgical pain specialists, therapists, health coaches, and nutritionists offers personalized care that’s tailored to meet your specific needs, ensuring that you receive our holistiq treatment experience. Visit our center today to experience the transformative power of holistic care.

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