Chronic pain management

Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts or grows worse over a long period of time. Chronic pain usually signals that there is a severe problem within the body. It may be caused by an injury or by illness. Chronic pain needs to be managed as it is very unpleasant and can affect you not only physically but mentally and emotionally. Chronic pain can often last for many months or even years, depending on the condition. Many people who experience this long lasting pain will feel depressed and hopeless. They often have a difficult time eating, sleeping, or interacting with others, and simply enjoying life the way they did before they started experiencing this pain. Diagnosing chronic pain, and the condition causing it, will help to get the pain under control and help the individual get back to their life.

Chronic pain can be caused by one or more problems. In many cases, chronic pain is caused by nerve or tissue damage. Skin, muscles, and organs are often involved where there is long lasting pain. Some of the more common causes of chronic pain include cancer, arthritis, migraines, and back problems. Hormonal changes, surgery, accidents, and even chemical imbalances can cause or contribute to chronic pain.

Chronic pain management can often start by keeping a pain journal. This will help to track specific cycles of pain and will make the patient and the doctor aware of when and how the pain may start and stop. Because there are not any tests for chronic pain, it is important that the patient or the care givers track the pain and relay the information to the doctor. With this, the doctor may order imaging tests to determine what could be causing the chronic pain, if it is not already known.

Chronic pain is managed mainly through medication. There are different medications that can be used to treat chronic pain. Analgesics are a group of medications that include most of your over the counter medications for pain such as Tylenol, aspirin, and ibuprofen. These are often not effective in treating chronic pain. Anesthesia may be another option. This is the use of medications that will numb the areas that are in pain by blocking the pain signals from the nerves. Opiods or narcotics are often used to treat chronic pain and are usually preserved for those who have moderate to severe pain.

Because chronic pain is often not curd by traditional pain killers, other medications may be used. These may help to relieve pain or even offset the side effects of other medications. Your doctor may prescribe anti-anxiety medications, anti-depressants, anticonvulsant medications, muscle relaxants, sedatives, and steroids.

Many doctors will require alternative therapies such as acupuncture or acupressure. These therapies are often very helpful, and can help relieve most of or all of the pain that traditional medicine was not able to relieve. Others may benefit from chiropractic treatment, which will help to realign the body. Dietary supplements may also help provide the balance of vitamins, minerals, and even herbs that could relieve pain.

If you are not experiencing the healing you would like, you may also want to check out biofeedback training. This is a way to control the way your body responds to pain. This does not work for everyone, but many patients have found it to be a very helpful part of their chronic pain management. Others have opted for hypnosis, meditation, and relaxation therapy. Physical therapy may also be appropriate for those that are recovery from an injury. While physical therapy may cause more pain in the short term, it can help to rebuild the body to decrease pain in the future.

Surgery is often thought of as a last resort by doctors. Some causes of chronic pain cannot be helped my surgery, so all of the other pain management techniques need to be exhausted to do away with the pain. Luckily, with the combination of medications and other therapies, most patients can find a chronic pain management program that will allow them to continue to live their life despite the underlying level of pain.

Last updated on Jan 12th, 2010 and filed under Neurological Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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