There are many reasons why facial pain begins but often it is attributed to the development of craniofacial complications. While most of these individuals suffer from temporomandibular joint disease, there are some that simply suffer from neuropathic pain that cannot be readily identified in origin. If you live with craniofacial pain, it is important to understand what your treatment options are and to fully discuss those options with your healthcare practitioner.
It is unfortunate, but many chronic pain treatment facilities face a great challenge in treating individuals with craniofacial pain. The reason the chronic pain treatment programs are challenging lies, primarily, in the improper or delayed diagnosis. Because many patients are unsure what the origin of the pain may be, managing that pain can be extremely challenging. It is not uncommon, therefore, to find that your history of treatment may include a variety of healthcare specialties from neurologists to physical therapy specialists to dieticians and even chiropractors.
As a craniofacial pain sufferer, it will be important that you insist upon an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment as, in the long term, the medical costs will only amount as you move from healthcare specialty to healthcare specialty. In fact, many craniofacial patients suffer peak chronic pain complications by the time they reach 43 yeas of age and of these same individuals, nearly four healthcare specialties have been consulted for chronic craniofacial pain.
If you are actively seeking medical treatment for your craniofacial pain, you will want to gauge you healthcare experience against this standard. If you have seen more than four healthcare specialists since being diagnosed with craniofacial pain, it is important to assess where the healthcare costs are being expended. Because, at this point, you will be approaching the point at which your treatment is potentially greater than the average pain patient and, ultimately, this may be a clear indication that your diagnosis has not been made appropriately.
Craniofacial pain can be difficult to treat but also quite difficult to even diagnose. If you have been diagnosed with craniofacial pain of an unknown origin, your healthcare team at the onset will be vital to your long-term health. Be certain, therefore, that you find a physician you feel confident in and try to remain below the average number of healthcare specialists, finding less than four physicians who can manage your craniofacial pain effectively. In the long term, you will have far fewer costs associated with your pain and even fewer visits to the physician’s office.
Sources: Journal of Orofacial Pain 2000: 14(4):304-307. Pain 2002: 99(2):454-456.