Pain’s job in the body is to let you know that something is wrong. It can present in various ways; pain can be steady, throbbing, aching, pinching, or stabbing. Some types of pain are only an inconvenience, while others are debilitating.
Most people experience acute pain at some point in their lives. Acute pain is usually sharp and sudden and has a specific source. Treating the cause of the pain makes acute pain disappear.
However, sometimes the body’s pain response continues even after treating the cause of the pain, or pain occurs with no identifiable reason. Many sufferers of chronic pain live with this frustrating condition.
What Is Chronic Pain?
Pain that lasts for at least three months is known as chronic pain. It can occur anywhere in the body and may or may not have an identifiable source. This type of pain persists beyond a typical recovery period or may appear along with a chronic condition like osteoarthritis.
Chronic pain may present as a steady throbbing or aching pain, or it may come and go. Patients suffering from chronic pain often struggle with other areas of their lives, as the pain can keep them from working, participating in physical activities, or even eating.
How Is Chronic Pain Managed?
The treatment plan for chronic pain conditions depends on the cause of the pain. For example, chronic pain caused by degenerative disc disease requires a different treatment plan than the pain caused by fibromyalgia.
However, most pain management plans treat pain using a multi-faceted approach utilizing some or all of the following remedies:
Medicine management plans may use over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medications to alleviate pain symptoms. OTC medicines may include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin, or acetaminophen.
Patients with stronger pain symptoms may require prescription pain medication, such as opioids, to manage pain. However, these drugs require close monitoring by a medical provider.
Antidepressants are also commonly prescribed for pain management. These medications increase the body’s supply of serotonin, which is part of the pain-controlling pathway in the brain.
Therapeutic care for pain management may include hot and cold treatments to reduce stiffness and pain and local electrical stimulation to target nerve endings and provide pain relief.
Physical and occupational therapy also provide pain management strategies to strengthen the muscles around the source of the pain. These treatments involve mitigating and relieving pain through movement, massage, and whirlpool remedies.
Although most chronic pain sufferers instinctively avoid exercise and movement to keep from aggravating their pain, activity is often one of the most helpful treatments for pain management.
Exercise can reduce spasticity, joint inflammation, and joint contractures. It also benefits spine alignment problems and prevents muscles from weakening or shrinking, which can cause further pain issues.
In choosing a multi-treatment approach to chronic pain management, many patients can find relief and restore their enjoyment of everyday activities.
This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine for back pain, also known as stem cell therapy for degenerative disc disease. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.