Are you finding it difficult to manage your pain?
- Dr. ABC describes different approaches to pain management
One may not be able to get rid of the chronic pain completely. Chronic pain may be difficult to treat at times, although there are a wide range of medication and treatments available to help reduce the symptoms and the effects of pain.
There are many different treatments to ease your pain, the most common being medicines. You will also need to do more like reducing your stress level or changing how you think than just taking medicine to feel better.
The prescription for your pain will depend on…
- How bad is your pain
- The type of pain you have
- Your other health problems
- The medication you are on currently
- Whether a drug has worked for you before
- Any side affects you have experienced from medications before
- Your risk of developing addiction
Not all medication works for everyone and it may take a while to find what works best for you.
Pain may be treated with over-the-counter and prescription drugs, mind/body techniques, and acupuncture. When it comes to treating chronic pain, no single technique guarantees complete pain relief.A combination of treatment options may be used for pain relief. Remember that you may not be relieved of your pain straightaway, when you are taking medications for pain. It may take some time for the medication to work, perhaps several weeks. Here are a few points to keep in mind:
- Short-term pain will disappear by itself over time. It is normally treatedwith painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs that are available over the counter from the pharmacies.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used for chronic nonspecific back pain.
- Paracetamolis considered alone or in combination with NSAIDs in the management of pain inpatients with osteoarthritis (hip or knee)along with the non-pharmacological treatments.
- Topical NSAIDs can complement oral NSAIDS in chronic musculoskeletal pain and can help alleviate pain at the area of local application. Topical capsaicin patches may be used inperipheralneuropathic pain (burning or tingling pain resulting from nerve damage), topical lidocainein postherpetic neuralgia (burning pain result from an outbreak of shingles which is caused by the chicken pox virus) and topical rubefacientsin musculoskeletalconditions.
- Strongeropioid-based medication may be helpful in some types of chronic pain. Also, medications not typically used to treat pain like antidepressants (drugs used to treat depression) and anticonvulsants (drugs used to treat epilepsy), may be used in the treatment of some types of chronicpain (e.g. nerve pain).
To achieve good pain control, it is important that you take your medication as advised even if your pain doesn’t feel as bad. You should not be changing the dose of your medication or the time you take your medication without consulting.
Treatments other than medicines that could help you relax and ease chronic pain...
(Consult your doctor before you try any of these)
- Heat or cold that may help for sore muscles and other aches and also in arthritis
- Massage to reduce muscle tension
- Meditation may help you focus your mind on something other than your pain and also reduce stress
- Physical therapy may improve how you move and your overall fitness
- Yoga may increase your strength and how well you move and also can reduce stress
- Hypnosis may help you focus your mind on something other than your pain
- Acupuncture wherein very thin needles are put into your skin at certain places on your body to relieve pain
- Biofeedback is used to help control muscle tension, heart rate, and other reactions to pain
- Transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation (TENS) is a mild electrical current to relieve pain
Following your treatment plan and giving it time to work is the best way to control your pain
Some of you with persistent pain may need a more specialist approach and may be referred to a pain clinic, where you may be seen by a number of specialists i.e. doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists and occupational therapists where each of them have a different role in managing your pain.