What Options Do I Have For Pain Management?

Pain Management

There are hundreds of thousands of people all across the United States that lives with chronic pain. This debilitating condition is as prevalent in Orange County as it is in the rest of the US. There is no doubt that pain is a real and physical thing. However, every person will feel pain different since the sensations that they experience are based on their actual perception of the pain. That is why there are so many options available for pain management.

In order for treatment for pain management to be started successfully, a board certified doctor who is a specialist in the field will require a comprehensive first appointment. The more that they know about your condition, what caused it, and the type of pain that the patient is experiencing, the better they will be able to tailor a treatment plan that is suited to their preferences, circumstances, and needs.

Medications

• Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) include both over the counter and prescription medications such as Motrin or Aleve.

• Tylenol is often used in a variety of strengths such as over the counter, Tylenol # 1, Tylenol # 2, or Tylenol # 3. Prescription-strength acetaminophen also contains Codeine.

• Corticosteroids are only available with a prescription, but they are often used for severe conditions causing inflammation due to their cortisone-like effects.

• Opioids, when given, are monitored carefully to ensure that addiction does not occur. Similar to Morphine, these drugs work quickly and are extremely strong. This is why they are not normally prescribed for long-term pain management.

• Antidepressants are no longer used just to treat the symptoms of depression. They can be very effective in the treatment of various types of pain. One side effect is drowsiness, making them useful for patients who are unable to sleep due to pain.

Other treatment options

• Injections: Both corticosteroids and local anesthetics can be injected into joints and muscles to relieve spasms, swelling, and irritation, or into the roots of nerves.

• Electrical Stimulation: Nerve fibers can be stimulated through the skin with the use of a battery-powered device in a procedure known as TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation).

• Nerve Blocks: When groups of nerves are causing pain in one specific area of the body or organ, local anesthetics injected into the nerves can sometimes block the sensation of pain to that area.

• Aquatic and Physical Therapy: Either a physical therapist or a physiatrist can work out an exercise program that is tailored specifically to decrease pain and improve function. Some of these programs may also include therapies such as deep-muscle massage, ultrasound therapy, and whirlpool therapy.

• Chiropractic Intervention: Many patients find that they get relief from the manipulation of bones and muscles by a Chiropractor. Along with relieving the pain, patients often report greater function and mobility.

• Acupuncture: Very thin needles are placed under the skin to relieve pain in certain areas in this Chinese method of alternative healing.

• Surgery: Although it is normally used only as a last resort, sometimes the only way to fully experience relief is with surgical intervention. The doctor will likely explore other less invasive options before deciding to proceed surgically.

Once patients have decided upon pursuing treatment in Orange County at a clinic for pain management, the doctor will decide on the best course of action. With all of the options available for pain management treatment, it may be a process of elimination to discover what the best approach is for each individual.