pain management options

Pain Management Options

Pain affects everyone during their life. There are different types of pain and different treatments. Do not ignore your pain, because it is your body’s way of telling you there’s a problem needing your attention.

The American Institute of Medicine recently published a report calling on medical groups, the academic world and the government to formulate a national plan for treating and managing pain. Over 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain every year, and about 42 million people have pain that keeps them awake a few times a week. No less than 26 million people have regular back pain. It costs around $635 billion every year to treat or manage pain and to cover lost productivity due to pain.

The significant latest development is that doctors no longer treat it as a symptom of a different ailment. They now treat pain as a separate disease of its own. Basically, doctors break down the types of treatment into three distinct categories:

1. Noninvasive pharmacologic pain management, which involves pain and related medication throughout the treatment period from the onset right through to the rehabilitation stage. The most widely used types that fall into this category include:
– Analgesics and pain medications. Still, if used for a long period of time, they may be harmful to you liver or kidneys.
– Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin, naproxen and ibuprofen. Prolonged use can cause gastrointestinal ulcers and may even increase the risk of having a heart attack.
– Muscle relaxing medication is used to settle muscle spasms caused by pain and / or the body’s own protective systems.
– Neuromodulating medication is used for muscular and neuropathic pain.
– Narcotics are used for acute pain and / or pain after surgical procedures. Because these medications are addictive, they are not often used for chronic pain.
– Anticonvulsants and antidepressants are also used for nerve pain.

2. Noninvasive non-medication pain management involves no medication at all. Instead, other techniques are designed to ease pain.
– Exercise is the healthiest way to ease pain. The aim is to build up your strength, flexibility and restore your body back to its normal range of motions. Exercises can include aerobics, stretching, water therapy and much more.
– Manual techniques involve applying the right amount of force to your ligaments, muscles and joints.
– Behavioral modification helps people respond better to pain. Cognitive therapy teaches people to use relaxation, coping and other similar techniques.
– Alternating cold and hot packs or ultrasound can help to ease pain and is useful as part of an exercise regime.

3. Invasive Techniques involve injections, inserting devices into the body or corrective surgery. The injections deliver a steroid or anesthetic directly into muscles, joints ligaments or around nerves and are designed to give temporary relief from pain.

This is also a way to find out what area is the cause of the pain. Other methods are generally used as a last resort when everything else has failed and after considerable discussion with your doctor and / or medical specialists.

Pain management is necessary to prevent further problems occurring, which could affect you in the long term. Your doctor is the person to discuss these matters with, and he will help you decide on the best combination of treatment for your specific circumstances.

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