September is Pain Management Awareness Month. At Bridges Palliative Care we are often questioned on the difference between palliative care and pain specialists. How do we know what is a good fit or the right decision? Palliative care specialists are trained in complex pain management resulting from serious and chronic illnesses such as COPD, cancer, and Alzheimer’s Disease so they are experts in administering pain medications. Pain management specialists usually treat pain that does not result from complex, serious illness.
The purpose of palliative care is to provide a comprehensive review of the physical, spiritual and psychological needs you have. We help patients to better manage their pain and discomfort, but also provide the added layer of support to patients and their families or caregivers. Our goal is to always support you in your goals of care.
Proper pain management is an ongoing process. The palliative care team needs to review medications, therapy and treatment options to find the right balance for the patient.
An important aspect of palliative care is to help both patients and medical teams see the big picture. It’s about making sure patients and families understand the options available to them for their care and to make informed choices. When palliative care is brought in early, it allows patents and families to have more options-so they can live their life on their own terms!