Acute pain is typically a symptom of an illness or injury. Once the illness or injury is resolved, the pain typically goes away on its own. However, some people experience pain that lingers for months or even years. This type of pain is known as chronic pain.
Treatment for chronic pain isn't always straightforward. While it's true that painkillers can alleviate pain, there are drawbacks to opiate use. Furthermore, painkillers alone may not offer the most effective pain relief long-term. Pain management specialists can offer chronic pain treatment that is tailored to patients' individual needs. Here are some therapies and medications that may be used as part of your chronic pain treatment:
Steroids can help some people with chronic pain manage their conditions. Steroids can be used in both oral and injectable forms. Oral steroids can relieve inflammation in a person's body, which can lead to a resultant lack of pain. Steroid injections can do the same, but they are used to target specific parts of the body. Someone who suffers from tendinitis or another repetitive stress injury that continues to be exacerbated can benefit from steroid injections. Since steroid use carries some side effects and risks, it is often used as a short-term measure against pain.
2. Anti-inflammatory Medication
Anti-inflammatory drugs are highly effective at treating some kinds of pain. Many patients start their pain management journey by self-medicating with NSAIDs, a class of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. However, NSAIDs can be hard on the stomach over time, which may prompt doctors to offer alternatives. COX-2 inhibitors work similarly to over-the-counter NSAIDs, but they are less damaging to the digestive system. These drugs can be used to help people with arthritis and similar conditions.
Antidepressants are commonly prescribed to treat mental illnesses, but they can be used for other purposes, as well. Antidepressants can be used to treat nerve pain, which makes them ideal for helping people manage conditions like fibromyalgia. Antidepressants can also treat the low mood that can come with chronic pain.
4. Physical And Occupational Therapy
Physical therapy and occupational therapy can also be instrumental in treating chronic pain. In some cases, chronic pain can be relieved by strengthening certain joints and muscles. A physical therapist can help people perform safe exercises that will strengthen their bodies without exacerbating their existing pain. Occupational therapy is often used in combination with physical therapy. Occupational therapists help patients to modify the movements they perform every day in order to find more comfortable, pain-free alternatives.