I am 22 y/o and have a significant amount of pain on a regular basis. It is in my joints (hips, knees, shoulder, hands), my lower back/sacrum, and my jaw. I also get migraines. I am finding it hard to find treatment because they say "you're too young" What is the best way to proceed in finding a good provider and treatment?
I'm sorry to hear of your chronic pain. Your best bet, I think, would be to start with a good GP (general practitioner - a.k.a primary care physician). Make an appointment for a good complete physical and discuss your pain with the doctor. They may want to run some blood work and perhaps get some xrays or scans. Do not let the doctor dismiss your complaints - you are paying them to provide you a service - to determine why you are hurting! If the GP cannot discover the cause of the pain, ask for a referral to a rheumatologist or neurologist - they may be able to do further in depth testing than the GP can. Just do not accept the "you are too young" thing - there are no age restrictions on pain and everyone, no matter how young or old, deserves to find good medical care and pain relief.
Now - HOW to find a good GP - that can be tough sometimes. Do you have a trusted family member or friend who is happy with their doctor? Of course, everyone is different and just because a family member or friend likes and trusts their doctor does not mean that that particular doctor will be a good "fit" for you - but it is a place to start - especially if you do not know anything about any of your local doctors. you can also call your local hospital or social services department and ask them if they have a physician referral line - ask for a doctor who is used to and comfortable treating young adults.
If you go to one doctor and are not comfortable with him/her or don't feel like you are being taken seriously, move on to the next doctor. It may take a few tries to find the best doctor for you.
I wish you the best of luck and relief from your pain.
I agree with the last comment from geminigirl1963, DO NOT listen to anyone who says you are too young to have chronic pain, I have had a chronic and very painful illness called Crohn's disease since I was 15, I am now 36. I've seen many pain doctors over the years and have finally found one that listens to me and has helped me a lot. You should look online for local pain management physicians in your area, hopefully you will find a good compasionate dr like I did, good luck!
I think everyone above provided you some excellent advice that you should really follow up on. The only thing that I would like to add is that you need get all the diagnostic tests completed that fit the symptoms you are experiencing. Without a diagnosis, it is difficult to get effective pain management for your condition because doctors need to have medical evidence to back up the treatment plan they are providing to you to support a potential random audit by the DEA. If you already have a medical diagnosis, if you don't mind sharing that information, it would be very helpful to us so that we can offer treatment suggestions that are effective for those with your condition.
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