Helping you get past the pain
Physician anesthesiologists on the staff at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Temple can help you manage pain during and after your treatment. These doctors are trained to deliver medical care in the operating room and manage life-threatening illness and acute pain outside it.
Baylor Scott & White in Temple also has teams and resources to help patients deal with chronic pain.
Types of care
Physician anesthesiologists oversee the following types of care:
General anesthesiaThis type of anesthesia makes you completely lose consciousness and is used for major operations, such as heart surgery.
Monitored anesthesia or sedation
This type of anesthesia causes you to feel relaxed and can result in various levels of consciousness. Depending on the procedure, the level of sedation may range from being light (making you only mildly drowsy) to deep (meaning you may not remember the procedure). This type of anesthesia is often used for minor procedures, such as colonoscopies. Sedation is sometimes combined with local or regional anesthesia.
Regional anesthesiaThis type of anesthesia numbs a large part of the body, such as from the waist down. You may be awake but unable to feel the area that is numbed. Spinal blocks or epidurals are often is used during childbirth and for chest or abdomen surgeries. Nerve blocks are often used for arm or leg surgeries.
Critical care medicine
This type of medical care involves managing all aspects of your recovery from severe injury or illness. It can include managing ventilators, treating severe infections, using medicines to support circulation, and managing pain.
Dealing with acute pain
Acute pain is discomfort that lasts anywhere from a few moments to a few months. It can be mild or severe, but it generally doesn’t continue after your illness or injury resolves.
Causes can include surgery, injuries like broken bones or pulled muscles, or infections and other illnesses. It is normal for you to have pain and soreness sometimes, but severe acute pain can slow down your recovery, so prompt treatment is important.
Care for acute pain involves using medicines and other treatments to help reduce discomfort and improve recovery from surgery, illness or injury.
Combining non-medical treatments (like ice, heat and compression) with non-opioid pain medicines (like acetaminophen and ibuprofen) will lower the amount of opioid medicines you will need. This reduces side effects and helps with your recovery.
Resources to help you manage acute pain
- Managing pain after surgery
- Pain medication explanation card
- Conversation starter: If you recently had an injury
- Opioids for acute pain: Get the facts
- Opioids for acute pain: What you need to know
- Why things hurt (video)
- Understanding pain in less than 5 minutes (video)
Managing chronic pain
Chronic pain is discomfort that lasts longer than six months and can go on even after your injury has healed or your illness has gone away. Some people experience chronic pain for years. It can disrupt your daily life, impairing your ability to work, drive, handle household chores—even walk or sit up.
Examples of chronic pain include lower back pain, neck pain, fibromyalgia, complex regional pain syndromes and nerve pain.
Treatment for chronic pain focuses on managing symptoms that interfere with your daily life. Some treatments include reconditioning programs, physical therapy, stress management, coping skills training, biofeedback, epidural steroid injections, nerve blocks, nerve ablations and medicine management.
Resources to help you manage chronic pain
- How being mindful can help you manage your chronic pain
- Pain really is in your head
- Five myths people believe about lower back pain
- Three exercises to relieve lower back pain
- Neck and arm pain? What to do about a pinched nerve
- Four exercises for aching knees
- My journey to get better: How I lost weight and overcame chronic pain
Using opioids safely
Opioids are powerful medications that can provide relief from severe pain when used correctly. But misuse can lead to devastating side effects, addiction and even death.
If your doctor prescribes an opioid to help manage your pain, be sure you understand when and how to take the medication, as well as what to do if you experience side effects or feel the medication isn’t effective.
Read more about opioid safety
- How Baylor Scott & White Health is combating the growing opioid epidemic
- Reducing the risk of opioid abuse after surgery
- Amid the opioid crisis, it's time we rethink how to treat pain
- Preventing an opioid overdose
- For chronic pain, opioids are not a good long-term solution
- Misuse of opioid medication
- Where and how to dispose of unused medicines