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Pain Management Treatment

Pain Management Treatment

18 Treatment Types to Help with
Pain Management Treatment

Chronic pain remedies are as varied as the causes. There are numerous approaches, ranging from over-the-counter and prescription medications to mind/body treatments and acupuncture. When it comes to chronic pain, however, no single technique can promise comprehensive pain relief. A mix of therapy options may be used to find relief.

Medication | Nonprescription and Prescription

Over-the-counter pharmaceuticals like Paracetamol or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen can help with mild pain. NSAIDs and Paracetamol both ease discomfort from muscle aches and stiffness, and NSAIDs also reduce inflammation. Topical pain medications, such as creams, lotions, and sprays that are applied to the skin to relieve pain and inflammation caused by tight muscles and arthritis, are also available.

If over-the-counter medications don’t work, your doctor might prescribe something stronger, medications like muscle relaxants or anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressants for musculoskeletal pain, prescription NSAIDs, or a short course of stronger painkillers. Swelling and inflammation can be reduced by a small number of steroid injections at the site of a joint issue. For spinal stenosis or lower back pain, an epidural may be used.

Local medication can sometimes be used to block a set of nerves that cause pain in a specific organ or region of the body. A nerve blocker is an injection of a nerve-numbing medication. Nerve blocks come in a variety of forms, but they aren’t always effective. Blocks are frequently impossible, too risky, or not the greatest solution to the situation. Your doctor will be able to tell you if this treatment is right for you.

Another approach to pain reduction is patient-controlled analgesia (PCA). The patient can self-administer a premeasured amount of pain medicine laced with opiates by pressing a button on a computerised pump. A short tube connects the pump to a small tube that permits medicine to be administered intravenously (into a vein), subcutaneously (just beneath the skin), or into the spinal area. This is commonly used in hospitals to treat post-traumatic or post-surgical pain, as well as discomfort caused by terminal cancer.

Trigger Point Injections

Trigger point injections are a treatment that is used to treat painful muscular trigger points, which are knots that form when muscles are not relaxed. A healthcare provider injects a local anaesthetic that may include a steroid into a trigger point using a tiny needle during this operation, this can sometimes be a sterile saltwater injection. The trigger point is rendered inactive and the pain is relieved as a result of the injection. Typically, a short course of treatment will provide long-term relief.

Muscle pain in the arms, legs, lower back, and neck is treated with trigger point injection. This method has also been used to treat fibromyalgia, tension headaches, and myofascial pain syndrome (chronic pain affecting muscle tissue that does not react to conventional treatments) that has not responded to other treatments.

Onabotulinumtoxina better known as Botox is a toxin that stops nerve signals from reaching the muscles. Chronic migraine headaches can also be relieved by injecting them. Multiple injections across the head and neck are given every 12 weeks, and the surgery can relieve discomfort for up to three months.

Surgical Implants

You may be a candidate for a surgical implant to help you control pain if traditional medications and physical therapy have failed to provide appropriate pain relief. There are two primary types of pain-controlling implants that are employed when they are used, but they are uncommon:

  • Intrathecal drug administration. Also known as spinal medication delivery systems or infusion pain pumps. A pocket large enough to house a medicine pump is created under the skin by the surgeon. Typically, the pump is one inch thick and three inches wide. A catheter is also inserted, which transports pain medication from the pump to the intrathecal area around the spinal cord. Medicines like morphine or a muscle relaxant are delivered straight to the spinal cord, where pain impulses flow. As a result, intrathecal medication delivery can give significant pain relief while only requiring a fraction of the amount required by pills. Furthermore, because less medication is necessary to control pain, the system may have fewer negative effects than oral drugs.
  • Implants that stimulate the spinal cord. Low-level electrical signals are sent to the spinal cord or specific nerves in spinal cord stimulation to prevent pain signals from reaching the brain. This approach is very effective for back and limb discomfort. A device that provides electrical signals is surgically placed in the body during this surgery. The patient uses a remote control to turn the current on and off, as well as to adjust the intensity of the signals. While some gadgets produce a nice tingling sensation, others do not. There are two types of spinal cord stimulation systems. Units that have been partially or completely implanted. The most often used unit is fully implanted. The antenna and transmitter of the latter technology are carried outside the body, while the receiver is implanted inside.

TENS

TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) is a pain-relieving technique that involves electrical stimulation. Low-voltage electrical current is supplied through electrodes placed on the skin near the site of discomfort during the treatment. The electrodes stimulate the nerves in the damaged location, which transmit messages to the brain that “scramble” typical pain signals. TENS is a non-painful therapy that may be beneficial in masking pain caused by diabetic neuropathy.

Bioelectric Therapy

Bioelectric therapy works by stopping pain signals from reaching the brain. Bioelectric therapy also causes the body to manufacture chemicals called endorphins (which are also released during exercise) that reduce or eliminate painful sensations by preventing the pain message from reaching the brain.

Back pain, muscle pain, headaches and migraines, arthritis, TMJ dysfunction, diabetic neuropathy, and scleroderma are just a few of the chronic and acute pain conditions that bioelectric therapy can help with.

Bioelectric therapy can help with short pain relief, but it should only be used as part of a comprehensive pain management plan. When used in conjunction with traditional pain medicines, bioelectric treatment has the potential to cut the dose of some pain relievers by up to 50%.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy helps to reduce pain by improving movement and function that has been hampered by an accident or handicap. A physical therapist may utilise TENS to help with treatment in addition to stretching, strengthening, and pain-relieving treatments.

Exercise

Although small periods of rest might help relieve pain, too much rest can exacerbate it and put you in danger of harm when you try to move again. Regular exercise has been demonstrated to reduce pain in the long run by improving muscular tone, strength, and flexibility. Endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, may be released as a result of exercise. Swimming, biking, walking, rowing, and yoga are some of the workouts that are simpler for chronic pain sufferers to do than others.

Psychological Treatment

You may have sentiments of rage, grief, hopelessness, and/or despair when you are in pain. Pain can change your personality, interfere with your career and relationships, and interrupt your sleep. Depression and anxiety, as well as a lack of sleep and stress, can all exacerbate pain. Psychological treatment is a safe, non-drug approach to treating pain by lowering excessive levels of physiological stress, which can increase pain. Psychological counselling can also help with the indirect effects of pain by teaching you how to deal with the various issues that come with it.

Education is an important aspect of psychological pain treatment, as it teaches patients how to manage a challenging situation.

Alternative Therapies

Many patients have found pain alleviation through mind-body therapies, acupuncture, cryotherapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, ozone, red-light therapy and nutritional supplements in the last decade. Others seek pain relief through massage, chiropractic and osteopathic (bone) manipulation therapies, therapeutic touch, herbal therapies, and dietary changes.

Mind-Body Therapies

Mind-body therapies are treatments that aim to improve the mind’s ability to influence the body’s functioning and symptoms. Relaxation techniques, meditation, guided imagery, biofeedback, and hypnosis are all used in mind-body therapy. Chronic pain can be made more bearable by using relaxation techniques.

Another effective pain-relieving strategy is visualisation. Try out the following activity: Close your eyes and try to conjure up a mental image of the pain, complete with colour, size, and movement. Now gradually replace this image with a more harmonised, appealing — and smaller — image.

Another option is to keep a journal of your pain occurrences, as well as the causes and remedies for them. Review your diary on a regular basis to look for opportunities for improvement. Make an effort to see pain as a part of life rather than the entirety of it.

Electromyographic (EMG) biofeedback can help you see how muscular tension is contributing to your pain and learn to manage it. Through refocusing techniques, hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis may be able to assist you to block or altering the discomfort. Glove anaesthesia is a self-hypnosis technique that involves entering a trance, laying a hand over the painful location, pretending the hand is relaxed, heavy, and numb, and visualising these sensations as replacing other, unpleasant feelings in the affected area.

Meditation and yoga, for example, have been demonstrated to alleviate stress-related discomfort when done on a daily basis. Yoga’s gentle stretching is very beneficial for strengthening muscles without placing undue strain on the body.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is supposed to reduce pain by increasing the production of endorphins, pain-blocking molecules. Many acupoints are located close to nerves. These nerves cause a dull discomfort or a feeling of fullness in the muscle when activated. The activated muscle transmits a message to the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), which causes the production of endorphins, which inhibit the pain message from reaching the brain.

Many pain-related illnesses, such as headaches, low back pain, menstrual cramps, carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis (particularly of the knee), and myofascial pain, may benefit from acupuncture as a complementary treatment. Acupuncture could potentially be used as an alternative to or as part of a complete pain management regimen.

Chiropractic Treatment and Massage

The most frequent nonsurgical treatment for back pain is chiropractic treatment. Some studies found that persons who received chiropractic manipulations improved. The treatment’s effectiveness in treating persistent back and neck pain, on the other hand, has not been proven in the majority of scientific investigations. More research is now being conducted to determine the effectiveness of chiropractic treatments in the treatment of pain.

Osteopathic doctors are also trained in bone manipulation procedures comparable to chiropractors. Massage is becoming more popular among those who are in pain, mostly to treat chronic back and neck issues.

Massage can help to ease stress and tension by increasing blood flow. This treatment can also help to lower the presence of chemicals that can cause or prolong the discomfort. Massage treatment, like chiropractic procedures, appears to have a lot of potentials when it comes to treating back pain. However, due to the limitations of current studies, it is impossible to make definitive conclusions about the usefulness of massage in the treatment of pain.

Therapeutic Touch and Reiki Healing

Therapeutic touch and reiki healing are supposed to aid in the activation of an individual’s self-healing mechanisms, hence reducing pain. Despite the fact that these so-called “energy-based” therapies do not require actual physical touch, they do necessitate close physical closeness between the practitioner and the patient.

Several reviews published in the last several years assessed the usefulness of these healing treatments in reducing pain and anxiety while also improving health. Although some trials found positive results with no major negative side effects, the limitations of some of these studies make it difficult to draw firm conclusions. Before these techniques to pain therapy may be advised, more research is needed.

Nutritional Supplements

Supplements such as fish oils and SAMe have also been shown to be beneficial, though further research is needed.

Herbal Remedies

It’s been difficult to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of herbs, while there is a handful that has some proof behind them, such as white willow bark, devil’s claw, cat’s claw, ginger, and turmeric. Tell your doctor if you decide to utilise herbal medicines to help you manage your pain better: Some herbs may interact with medications you’re taking for pain or other ailments, causing harm to your health.

Dietary Approaches to Treating Pain

Some people feel that reducing dietary fat intake and/or eating anti-inflammatory plant foods can aid with pain relief by reducing inflammation.

Some persons with fibromyalgia found that eating a primarily raw vegetarian diet helped them, however, the study was not well-designed. A low-fat vegetarian diet was linked to lower pain intensity and duration in a study of women with premenstrual symptoms. For persons with osteoarthritis, weight loss achieved through a combination of dietary adjustments and increased physical activity has been found to be beneficial.

However, further research is required to assess the efficacy of dietary changes as a pain treatment.

Things to Consider

Alternative treatments aren’t always harmless. Some herbal remedies, as previously said, can interact with other prescriptions you may be taking. Always consult your doctor before attempting an alternative treatment, and make sure to inform all of your doctors about your alternative treatments.

Other Options: Pain Clinics

Many patients with chronic pain can achieve some control over their condition by attempting many of the aforementioned treatments on their own. However, some people continue to suffer from terrible pain regardless of which therapy method they use. Pain clinics, which are special care centres dedicated solely to the treatment of intractable pain, maybe the answer for them. Some pain clinics are affiliated with hospitals, while others are independent; in either case, inpatient and outpatient care are frequently available.

In most pain clinics, doctors, psychologists, and physical therapists work together to treat patients. The patient should also participate actively in their own treatment. In many circumstances, the goal is not just to relieve pain, but also to teach chronic pain sufferers how to cope with it and function in spite of it.

According to many studies, chronic pain sufferers can have up to a 50% reduction in discomfort after attending a pain clinic, and most people learn to manage better and can resume normal activities.