Pain management is mainly focused on alleviating your pain and enabling you to carry out day to day activities. Pain can be treated in a variety of ways and depends on the type of pain being experienced by you.
Some of the most common treatments used for effective pain management include:
- Use of medications such as analgesics, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, narcotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These drugs may be sold over-the-counter or prescribed by your doctor.
- Anesthesia is ideally used during invasive and non-invasive diagnostic and treatment procedures. It includes general, regional and local anesthesia, and sedatives.
- RICE protocol (rest, ice, compression and elevation) helps relieve joint and muscle pains such as sprains and strains.
- Electrical stimulation is a procedure that uses electrical signals to stimulate nerves and the brain, in order to block pain transmission. They include peripheral nerve stimulation, spinal cord stimulation and intra-cerebral stimulation.
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation involving massage and manipulation are often prescribed to restore function, control pain and speed up recovery.
- Biofeedback is generally used to treat headaches and backache. In this method, an electronic machine is used to train you to be aware of and have control over certain body functions such as muscle tension, skin temperature and heart rate, and change your response to pain with certain techniques such as relaxation.
- Acupuncture involves the insertion of fine needles at specific points of the body to stimulate the body’s energy flow.
- Chiropractic therapy is a hands-on method of treating back pain, musculoskeletal conditions and neck pain. It involves adjusting the coordination between the structure and function of the different parts.
- Exercise is also a widely prescribed treatment for the reduction of pain. Simple exercises, such as walking and swimming, help to improve blood supply and oxygen to the muscles, and release endorphins, chemicals that reduce the perception of pain.
Apart from these direct methods, pain management also includes treating the underlying condition that is causing the pain. Cognitive-behavioral therapy and counselling helps you to cope with pain and learn techniques such as relaxation and imagery to distract your mind from pain. Whatever the form of pain, it can be managed and treated.