Chronic pain affects your physical and mental health. A never-ending discomfort may trigger negative emotions that eventually mess up your interpersonal relationships. As such, you shouldn’t wait too long to find treatment for chronic pain. Otherwise, it will complicate your life further. If you’re struggling with chronic pain, you could use medication, non-pharmacological treatments, or both.
Keep in mind that there’s no silver bullet for alleviating severe aches for good. But a combination of treatment plans is more effective at producing relief. Whether you choose over-the-counter drugs or physical therapies, don’t forget your psychological well-being as well. Mental health support can provide the resilience necessary to manage throbbing discomfort.
Definition and Causes of Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can be described as pain lasting more than six months even after the root cause (illness or injury) has been treated. Many people have reported this kind of agony following a medical operation. Sometimes, it is not attributed to any bodily damage or disease. Unlike acute pain that happens for a while and fades away, chronic pain can persist despite medication. Common causes of pain that stays in the nervous system for too long include:
- Traumatic injury and nerve damage
- Lifestyle conditions e.g. obesity and poor posture
- Spine curvature
- Degenerative illnesses e.g. osteoarthritis and cancer
Chronic pain is also associated with back pain, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, and gall bladder disease. Work with a doctor to find effective and safe treatment. Take a look at possible options.
Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs
They are popularly known as NSAIDs and can help you cope with a pain that brings about inflammations and swellings. Consider NSAIDs if you have arthritis or when experiencing menstrual cramps, muscle sprains, neck and back pain. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs inhibit cyclooxygenase. This enzyme is produced in the body when your tissues are damaged. To be on the safe side, take NSAIDs as directed by a qualified physician. Avoid excessive dosage as it can cause kidney issues, hypertension, and fluid retention.
Trigger Point Injections
Trigger points are hyperirritable areas in your body that start aching upon compression. Trigger point injections are therefore directed at these spots. Your doctor will administer local anesthesia using needles to make the trigger points less sensitive to muscle spasms. Try trigger point injections to treat pain in the lower back, neck, arms, and legs. It may also work for myofascial pain syndrome, fibromyalgia, and tension headaches.
While they are known to relieve depression and anxiety disorder symptoms, antidepressants can also treat a physical sprain. However, it may take a few weeks to get positive results. In addition to physical therapy, you can use antidepressants to cope with fibromyalgia, pelvic pain, arthritis, facial pain, and nerve damage. Beware of potential side effects such as dry mouth, nausea, dizziness, constipation, and insomnia.
Anticonvulsants help to control epileptic seizures, but they double as pain medicine. So, they can be classified as adjuvant drugs (medication used for pain relief though not predominantly developed for this purpose). Anticonvulsants work by hindering particular transmissions in the nervous system. In the process, they reduce pain sensations, especially those emanating from diabetic neuropathy. One of the side effects of anticonvulsants is drowsiness.
Opioids are derivatives of opium or narcotic drugs like morphine and heroin. Your doctor may prescribe opioids for any pain stemming from a broken bone, traumatic injury, or surgery. However, you should take opioid medications as the last resort because they are addictive. Opioid addiction might aggravate your suffering or make you fall into depression. It is also possible to develop violent behavior or start abusing other substances. When taking addictive drugs, it is very easy to overdose, which can lead to death. If your healthcare professional prescribes narcotics, follow the instructions to the letter.
An effective treatment plan for chronic pain addresses physical, psychological, and emotional health. Working with a psychologist can help you transform your beliefs about pain and suffering. You’ll learn new coping mechanisms like relaxation techniques. You can also find relief from alternative therapies such as acupuncture, therapeutic massage, and chiropractic manipulation. Physical therapy is another pain-relieving technique. Don’t stay physically inactive for too long, as it puts you at a greater risk of injury.
When visiting a doctor, always mention any medication or therapy you’re using to manage chronic pain. Never take any drug before the doctor approves it. As mentioned earlier, chronic pain medicines produce side effects, so it is crucial to follow instructions to avoid creating more health issues. Regular check-ups are fundamental to managing severe aches. Do not stop your dosage without consulting an expert. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you think you have developed a dependency on a specific pain-relieving drug. Also, call us immediately if your loved one is addicted to any medication. Call us at 772-934-6580.