How Pain Management Can Help to Relieve Chronic Pain
Approximately 1 in 4 adults in the United States suffers from chronic pain, making it one of the most common reasons people seek medical attention. Pain management specialists have new and varying ways to keep pain under control, so the quality of life is not reduced. Seeking help is a great way to put the pain behind you and get on with your life.
Advice on Pain Management in Rocky Mount, NC: Relieving Chronic Pain
What is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is a condition in which a person experiences pain for at least three months or more. This pain can come and go, or it can be constant. Chronic pain can interfere with an individual's ability to work, do activities they enjoy, and even sleep, severely affecting their quality of life.
Chronic pain can originate anywhere in the body, not just physically but mentally, such as chronic depression.
Where is your pain? On a scale of 1-10, what is its intensity? Is the pain constant? These are all questions that your health provider will ask to understand your pain better and determine the best course of action to help manage it.
There are Options
Pain management is a term that encompasses the various methods of treatment used to help someone manage pain, whether it be chronic or acute.
To effectively manage your chronic pain, your health provider can develop a plan that includes lifestyle changes, medications, and therapies depending on the type of pain, its location, and severity.
Your lifestyle can play a huge role in effectively managing chronic pain. Diet, exercise, stress relief, and sleep are called "the four pillars of chronic pain" and are essential to the success of any pain management plan.
Eating a healthy, non-inflammatory diet, getting regular exercise and sleep, and actively finding ways to lower your stress are significant first steps to minimizing pain.
Medications can also be very helpful in managing chronic pain, though consideration should be given to the pros and cons of a long-term medication regimen.
Common medications are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are good at relieving mild to moderate pain and decreasing inflammation, corticosteroids, antidepressants, sedatives, muscle relaxers, topical pain relievers, and even medical marijuana.
Because of their highly addictive nature, opioids are usually only prescribed as a last resort for chronic pain sufferers. Still, they can be very effective in treating severe pain, such as that experienced by cancer patients. Therefore, it is essential to closely follow the regimen prescribed by your doctor when using opioids to minimize risks and unwanted side effects.
Some treatments minimize chronic pain by targeting the nerves stimulating the body's pain response. For example, epidural steroid injections are an anti-inflammatory treatment used by doctors to treat pain caused by inflamed spinal nerve roots. Doctors can also use nerve-blocking injections for pain relief or electrical impulses, known as transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).
Therapies can be used alone or combined with a medication regimen to help manage chronic pain. Occupational therapy can teach a patient how to perform tasks in ways that lessen their pain. A physical therapist can help patients perform exercises that can strengthen their bodies to ease their pain.
The power of thoughts should never be underestimated. Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) can help patients cope with pain by establishing more helpful thinking patterns.
Other valuable therapies include acupuncture, massage, meditation, guided imagery, reiki, biofeedback, yoga, and hypnosis.
Carolina Regional Orthopaedics, P.A.
There are many treatment options available for chronic pain sufferers. For help with pain management in Rocky Mount, NC, contact Carolina Regional Orthopaedics, P.A. Our team will conduct a thorough evaluation and recommend a treatment plan that meets your specific needs. Contact us today at 252-443-0400 and set up an appointment.