What is it?
Pain Management is essential for those suffering from long term illnesses, such as a spinal injury that cause chronic pain or those affected by short-term illness or trauma that can cause pain.
Pain management can be done in different ways depending on the cause of the pain. Treating the disease that causes the pain will eradicate it. In some cases, there are no treatment methods to cure pain; in these conditions, managing the pain is the only way to ensure ease of living and pursuing daily activities.
Symptoms and Causes
The sensation of pain may vary; it could be mild, sharp, severe or dull. Pain in itself is a symptom of many diseases both acute and chronic.
It is caused due to a variety of reasons, these include
- Aging causes weaker bones and joints
- Nerve damage
- Injuries that did not heal accurately
- Years of bad posture
- Lifting and carrying heavy objects inappropriately
- Obesity puts extra strain on the back and knees
- Traumatic injuries
- Wearing high heels
- Sleeping on an improper mattress
- Aging of the spine
- Congenital conditions, like, the curvature of the spine
- Chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia
- Other diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, stomach ulcers, AIDS, and gallbladder disease cause severe pain.
Some known options for managing pain are listed below,
- Drug therapy. These include both prescription and nonprescription drugs to relieve pain depending on the condition of the individual. The doctors may prescribe the required medications, including,
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as aspirin, ibuprofen etc.
- Topical pain relievers such as creams, lotions or sprays.
- Painkiller such as codeine,
- Anti-anxiety drugs such as valium,
- Anti-depressants such as duloxetine for musculoskeletal pain,
- Steroid injections may be given for joint problems to reduce swelling and inflammation,
- Spinal stenosis or lower back pain may be managed by injecting a type of aesthetic called epidural.
- Trigger Point Injections are usually prescribed to help relieve muscle pain. In this procedure, a small needle is injected to the trigger point in the muscle containing a local anesthetic, sometimes includes steroids. This will help the muscle to relax and it might be used for treating fibromyalgia, tension, and headaches.
- Physical Therapy. Here, a physical therapist helps patients with disabilities and injuries to improve their movement and also the impaired functions by using special techniques to relieve the pain.
- Regular Exercise can diminish pain by improving muscle tone, flexibility, and strength of the muscles. It also produces endorphins in the body which help reduce pain.
- Surgical Implants are used as a last resort when physical therapy and medicines are not effective. Intrathecal Drug Delivery and Spinal cord stimulation implants are the two types of surgical implants.
- TENS – Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation therapy is a procedure that uses electrical stimulation to reduce pain usually caused by diabetic neuropathy.
- Bioelectric Therapy blocks pain messages going to the brain in the body thus relieving pain. This procedure is used to treat pain caused by conditions such as back pain, migraines, arthritis, muscle pain, and scleroderma.