Chronic pain is something very hard to live with. It can be debilitating, therefore suffers need to do something in order to improve their quality of life. There are several types of therapies, their choice being influenced by the specific type of pain and the severity of the situation. Sometimes, a combination of several treatments is the best option, but the only individual who can decide upon such choices is the doctor. This article is an overview of various types of chronic pain treatment options. It has only an informative purpose. If you suffer from any form of chronic pain, you should address a medical specialist to get a proper diagnosis and a treatment for your condition.
Many doctors prescribe medication as the first line treatment for chronic pain. The most commonly used pain relievers are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also known as NSAIDs. They are very effective on the pain, but they might cause adverse reactions of digestive nature, therefore they can’t be taken for very long periods of time.
If NSAIDs aren’t effective anymore or in case of very severe pains, the doctor may prescribe opioids. They are more powerful, but some of them can be dangerous. Codeine is one of the weakest opioids and it is available in oral form. I Morphine, which is a much stronger opioid, can also be given orally, but also via an infusion system.
When long term pain management is needed, it is possible that the patient is left with a catheter implanted under the skin and connected to a pump that delivers precise doses of the medication at regular intervals.
Joint and muscle pains can be effectively managed with the help of physiotherapy. A certain type of activity is good, as it promotes the mobility of the joints, thus easing the pains and addressing the stiffness of these patients. Physiotherapy is done under medical surveillance and it consists of a series of exercises meant to improve one’s posture and restore the normal alignment of the bones.
This kind of physical treatment is usually recommended to people who have suffered various injuries that affected their mobility. In case of long periods of pain-related inactivity, physiotherapy can help patients improve their range of motion in the joints. All exercises should be recommended by a therapist and executed under medical observation. They shouldn’t stress or overextend the joints, as this would do more harm than good.
These electrical stimulation systems consist of electrodes that get applied on the skin in some key points nearby the painful areas. Electric pulses are generated with the help of a battery, and sent to the spinal cord. These impulses have the role of blocking the pain signals, so the brain can’t receive them anymore.
Since it doesn’t involve the use of any medication, neurostimulation is usually free from side effects. This makes it one of the preferred treatments for pain suffers who are currently under treatment for other medical conditions.
There are situations in which chronic pain can be corrected through surgery. Low back pain is a very good example. If the pain is generated by a nerve irritation, it is possible to treat it by removing the problem which causes this irritation in the first place. However, this is only possible in cases when the irritation has a clearly determined mechanical cause. Besides, surgery has associated risks, therefore the doctor should carefully assess the risks versus the benefits before recommending it to a patient.
If you are a chronic pain sufferer, it is important that you trust your doctor and communicate with him closely. As you can see, there are multiple treatment options, so if one of them is ineffective or gives you nasty side effects, inform your doctor immediately. He will seek for better options, so you two should closely cooperate for an effective management of your pain.