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Chronic Pain

Visiting the ER for Chronic Pain

Living with chronic pain is challenging and may affect your quality of life or ability to perform daily activities. Early prevention and management of your chronic pain is the best way to prevent a hospitalization. What happens though when your chronic pain is unbearable? This may be a time to seek medical attention and possibly lead you to the ER.

How to Prepare

To help the process run smoothly, make sure you have the name of your insurance card, primary medical doctor, your diagnosis (if you have one), the names of any medications you are on, and any allergies. Be ready to answer a series of questions as the health care providers assess the best course of treatment for you. You will be asked to describe your pain specifically, where it is located, and events prior to coming to the ER. You may also be asked how you usually manage your pain and if there are any triggers that exacerbate the pain.

What to Expect

Emergency departments triage patients based on how critical each patient’s condition is. If there is another patient whose life is in immediate danger or is in critical condition, they will be treated before you. Unfortunately, as difficult it is to endure chronic pain, you may be waiting multiple hours before you are seen.

Deciding the Appropriate Setting to Seek Treatment

Due to the order patients are triaged in the ER, it may not always be the best place for chronic pain to be treated. An urgent care may be more suitable for your condition. Urgent care facilities treat less complex medical conditions and because of this, they are able to treat patients much more quickly. If your chronic pain is becoming more acute pain and hard to manage, talk to your doctor to discuss an alternative plan of care or medications to improve your quality of life.

If it is a true medical emergency you are having, call 911 or have someone take you to the nearest ER.


At Advanced ER, we help patients in treating and managing their health symptoms. Call our office today at (214) 494-8222 for more information.