What is Pain Management?

The study of pain prevention, diagnosis, and treatment focus on pain management, a branch of medicine that incorporates complementary and alternative healing modalities. Pain management is used as an active conservative (nonsurgical) therapy approach for painful spine and musculoskeletal issues to help find the cause of neck and back pain and rehabilitate the patient as an alternative or follow-up to surgery.

Treatment Options

While the most common pain treatment is medication, other treatment options are available in a pain clinic St Augustine, FL. These include physical therapy, nerve blocks, injections, acupuncture, biofeedback, relaxation training, and psychotherapy. Injections are commonly used to short-circuit pain signals. Surgery is another option for pain management. Some people may find that medications for chronic pain do not work for them. However, the right treatment for your pain can improve your quality of life.

Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are commonly prescribed for chronic pain, along with stronger opioids such as oxycodone, codeine, Percodan, or morphine. These drugs can be highly effective but have serious side effects. These medications may also be combined with antidepressants to counteract their adverse effects. Treatment options for chronic pain have improved significantly over the last decade. Injections are one of the best options to manage chronic pain. These injections block nerve signals and are often composed of corticosteroids.

Goals of Pain Management

Chronic pain is a devastating diagnosis. People often experience extreme pain, which affects their ability to perform daily tasks. The primary goal of pain management is to eliminate the cause of pain, as well as improve the condition of the patient’s body. In addition to pain relief, the treatment of chronic pain also includes proper medication and goal-setting. Goal-setting for chronic pain should be measurable, achievable, and realistic and be paired with practical lifestyle changes.

The patient’s goals for pain management should be regularly reviewed, integrated into the overall management plan, and followed. Communication is key, including open, sensitive discussions about the patient’s pain level and symptoms. The healthcare team should express a commitment to the patient and family throughout the treatment process, even at the end of life. A routine pain assessment should determine the pain’s location, intensity, and functional impairment. It is also important to educate patients and caregivers on the process of pain management.

Medications 

Medications used in pain management may include both prescription and over-the-counter medication. While prescription medications have their place in pain management, over-the-counter medication can be helpful for acute or chronic pain. Medications to treat aches and pains include acetaminophen, aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen. These drugs may be helpful in acute or chronic pain, but many people also use them to reduce fever.

In addition to being effective in treating acute pain, medications used to treat chronic pain can harm your health. NSAIDs, for example, can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. They may also cause bleeding and ulcers in the stomach. Additionally, excessive amounts of acetaminophen can lead to liver and kidney problems. Overusing these medications should be avoided, but long-term use may be necessary for some patients. Taking pain relievers regularly is not recommended unless accompanied by other measures to reduce or eliminate them.

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