FAQs

Q?What if I have seen a surgeon and they want me to have surgery, but at this time it is not an option for me or something I want to pursue?
A.

You can request that your surgeon refer you to our office for a consultation with Dr. Tschickardt to see if there are other options

Q?What are the steps for Coastal Bend Pain Management to become part of my medical team?
A.

Becoming a patient at Coastal Bend Pain Management can be done two ways.  You can ask for a referral from one of your current medical providers.  Their office will contact our team and we will help do the rest.  You can also give us a call at 361.854.1910.  A member of our team will ask some basic information.  A provider will review your information and a team member will call you back to proceed forward appropriately.

Q?How do you say your doctor’s name?
A.

Dr. Tschickardt’s name is pronounced “Chick-Art”

Q?What do I need to bring to my first appointment?
A.

It is very important that all new patients bring a valid photo ID, insurance card (s), a list of ALL medication they are taking and copies of any recent X-Rays or MRI’s.

Q?What is the difference between acute and chronic pain?
A.

Acute pain is of short duration, usually the result of an injury, surgery or illness.

Chronic pain is an ongoing condition, often in the back, neck, head, as well as neuropathic pain (nerve injury pain), musculoskeletal pain, and pain related to illness. Your physician may refer you to Coastal Bend Pain Management because your chronic pain condition has not responded to conventional therapies.

Treatments for acute and chronic pain are generally quite different. In some cases, acute and chronic pain can be stopped or alleviated by a single procedure or series of procedures. Sometimes, chronic pain is part of a widespread disease process, and the specific cause may be difficult to pinpoint. Once we have identified the specific factor causing the pain, we may be able to treat it so that the condition no longer occurs. In some patients, the specific factor causing the pain–such as cancer–cannot be changed, but we may be able to reduce the pain or help the patient to better cope with the pain through a combination of medical, psychosocial and rehabilitation techniques.

Q?What are the most common problems that result in chronic pain?
A.

While there are a multitude of conditions that may lead to chronic pain, we have found the following to be most prevalent in our patients:

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Muscle Pain (Myalgia)
  • Nerve Pain
  • Headaches
  • Post Herpetic Neuralgia (Shingles)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Osteoarthritis
Q?What is pain management?
A.

Pain is a complex medical problem that can have profound effects on your physical and mental well-being. The goal of pain management is to help you decrease your level of pain and suffering, to return you to your maximum level of functioning and independence, and to help you restore your quality of life.

Q?What are the major issues surrounding pain?
A.

Chronic pain can become so intense and overwhelm the body and mind to such a degree that it can affect all areas of life. People become so afflicted that they often cannot work. Their appetite falls off. Physical activity of any kind is exhausting and may aggravate the pain. Often, the person becomes the victim of a vicious cycle in which total preoccupation with pain leads to irritability and depression. Adding to these ailments is the fatigue sufferers experience from not being able to sleep at night.

In other cases of chronic pain, issues of secondary gain may arise. This may develop when patients associate pain with some form of benefit — as when a sufferer has a coworker help out at work, or a spouse is extra- supportive. In these cases, the sufferer may receive a benefit for not treating the pain effectively.

Q?What medications are most commonly used to manage pain?
A.

While drug therapies differ for each person, the most common are:

  • Adjuvant pain medications, including: antidepressants, anticonvulsants and muscle relaxers.
  • Opiates or “pain killers” used to treat acute pain or cancer-related pain, and often prescribed for chronic pain.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs to alleviate pain by reducing swelling and irritation.

There are alternative delivery methods for medications. Common methods used at the office are oral medications, topical creams, sublingual medicines, nasal sprays, injections and patches.

Q?What about the stories of addiction surrounding Opiates? Is there a difference between physical dependence and addiction?
A.

A common misconception about Opiates is that they are addictive. The fact is when used properly for the treatment of pain; there is little risk of becoming addicted. Addiction is defined as continuing to use a substance when it has become detrimental to the person’s life. Being dependent is not the same thing as being addicted.

Many people with health problems are dependent on medications, for instance people with high blood pressure are dependent on blood pressure medications. Diabetics are dependent on insulin. Furthermore, when opiates are taken as directed for legitimate pain, the person does not get “high” from taking them.

Opiates consist of the same chemical makeup as your body’s natural painkiller, endorphins. People that have lived with pain over a long period of time sometimes have reduced levels of natural endorphins because the body has stopped producing them.

Q?Is pain management covered by health insurance?
A.

Most policies provide for pain management. Please call our office for more information, 361-854-1910.

Q?Do you accept my insurance?
A.

Coastal Bend Pain Management is in network with a comprehensive list of insurance providers.  Our team will take your insurance information and verify coverage with your insurance provider.  If you are unsure of your health coverage, do not hesitate to ask a member of our team.