Living with chronic pain has a big impact on your life. Pain might limit you from being socially active, and you may feel depressed and miserable much of the time. Pain management can be a complex issue since there are many causes of pain. The cause has to be narrowed down first, and then different pain management treatments may need to be tried to find the solution for your pain. Here are some chronic pain treatments that could help.
Prescription And Over-The-Counter Medications
Chronic pain may need medication so you can function normally. This might include anti-inflammatory drugs, since inflammation can make pain worse. You might also need painkillers for the short or long term. Sometimes, anti-depressants can even help with pain. Your pain management doctor can help you decide if medications are right for you, and whether you need to take them daily or just when you're having a bad flareup.
Your doctor might recommend injections directly into the site of your pain. This could include nerve blocks that deaden pain and corticosteroids that reduce inflammation. The two medications may be combined so the nerve block can provide instant relief and the steroid can provide longer-lasting relief. These injections help with pain relief, but they are temporary because they don't help correct the underlying cause of your pain. Results can vary with these injections, so your doctor will assess your condition to decide if these treatments are right for you.
Some people get pain relief from electrical stimulation devices. If this pain treatment works for you, you may need to use the unit as you do activities that would make your pain more noticeable, such as when you walk or need to prepare your meals. You can apply this treatment yourself once you've learned how. It involves applying patches to your skin in the area where you have pain. The patches have wires that lead to a stimulation device that's small enough for you to wear on a belt clip.
Your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes that could help reduce your pain. For instance, losing weight might help, or eating an anti-inflammatory diet might be recommended. You may be encouraged to get more exercise or have regular massages. Your doctor might even send you to a physical therapist to learn exercises that help the area where you're having pain.
Eliminating chronic pain could also require healing of the underlying cause when that's possible. If the cause can't be eliminated, then pain management options are available that can help. Even if they don't eliminate your pain completely, treatments may keep your pain in control so it doesn't dominate your life.