Providing effective treatment for patients with chronic pain requires clinicians to incorporate a variety of approaches. What matters most is how practitioners balance their treatment methods, Orvil Ayala, MD, a pain medicine specialist and board-certified anesthesiologist, told NJ.com.
Dr. Ayala, founder and medical director of Raritan Valley Pain Medicine Associates, said that finding the correct balance enables clinicians to individualize each patient's care to achieve an optimal effect.
"The focus on balance begins with medication choices," he said in the article. “We're all aware of the problems our society faces with people developing dependence on prescription drugs. The challenge is to identify the right agent or agents, in the right amount, and for the right period of time, to relieve pain without inadvertently fostering dependence.”
Collecting the right information from patients informs how Dr. Ayala chooses treatment methods. He goes beyond simply obtaining medical records by searching New Jersey's prescription drug monitoring database. Pulling these data enables him to construct an accurate representation of a patient.
Dr Ayala also relies on his medical training to perform a number of in-office and hospital-based procedures that aim to address the root cause of a patient's pain.
In addition to choosing pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatments, he also may refer patients to mental health professionals (eg, psychologists, psychiatrists, etc.). “Pain is not just about physical pathology,” Dr Ayala said. “It has an effect on our outlook and mental health. In turn, our outlook and mental health influence how we experience and respond to pain.”
Treating chronic pain effectively is largely a matter of balance, according to Orvil Ayala, MD. Dr. Ayala, a fellowship-trained pain medicine specialist and board-certified anesthesiologist, explains that this concern with balance drives several important treatment decisions, and is the key to individualizing each patient’s care to optimal effect.