No Quick Fixes for Chronic Pain

‘I just want this pain to go away now!!!’

‘I have this nagging shoulder tension that bothers me all the time…. can you fix it?’

‘Whenever my chronic knee pain flares up, I just pop some Advil and wait till it goes away.’

These are comments often heard from clients when it comes to their bodies and how they deal with pain, tension, and discomfort. Understandably so, the discomfort and malaise of chronic pain issues feel like a nuisance and, in exasperation, clients want their issues resolved NOW and QUICKLY. I am grateful to have the privilege to change their mentality on the ‘quick-fix’ solution. 

Culturally, we live in a fast-pacedworld that feeds and indulges our immediate gratification on a daily basis. We have instant information at our fingertips via the Internet, buy food at restaurants and groceries at supermarkets within walking or driving distance from our homes, connect with friends and family instantaneously with our cellphones no matter where you are, and multitudes of medications to immediately solve any medical problem out there.

A broken leg, and the acute pain it causes, can often be treated relatively quickly, says Perry Fine, MD, a pain specialist at the University of Utah. But chronic pain is more akin to bigger problems like diabetes or advanced cancer, which can’t be so quickly or easily “fixed.”

The goal when treating chronic pain isn’t necessarily to become pain-free. Instead, the target is often a good quality of life while managing pain at a tolerable level.

“What’s important is for people in chronic pain to communicate … with their doctor, and let them know what their pain level is that keeps them from doing certain things,” Fine says. “For example, ‘My pain is keeping me from sleeping, going to work, and getting around and walking.’ Then talk to the practitioner about establishing specific, measurable goals such as being able to vacuum, go to work, have sex, and get to sleep.”

To reach these goals, doctors may try:

  • Medication that address pain from different angles. For example, antidepressantscan help “calm down” the nervous system and make it less sensitive to the pain, Fine says. The anti-seizure drugs gabapentin and pregabalin can also be effective for certain types of nerve pain.
  • Injecting anesthetic or steroids into injured areas.
  • Doing surgery to treat the source of pain. This includes joint replacements, repairing damaged discs in the spine, or taking pressure off a pinched nerve.

Your doctor may also suggest that you work with a physical or occupational therapist. You may also want to seek answers to the mental components of pain rather than just the physical side, Fine says.

Chronic Pain Statistics

Pain is the TOP Cause of Disability in U.S.

The following Statistics pertain to the Prescription Pain Pill epidemic:

• More Americans now die from drug overdoses than in car accidents, according to a new government report released last December. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/managing-your-healthcare/articles/2011/12/20/drug-overdoses-kill-more-americans-than-car-accidents-cdc

• Abuse of the drugs has been tied to overdose deaths, burglary of pharmacies and increased crime nationally.

• Prescription drugs are the second-most abused category of drugs in the United States, following marijuana. http://www.painmed.org/patientcenter/facts_on_pain.aspx

How is chronic pain treated?

Treatment of chronic pain usually involves medicines and therapy. Medicines used for chronic pain include pain relievers, antidepressants and anticonvulsants. Different types of medicines help people who have different types of pain. You usually use long-acting medicines for constant pain. Short-acting medicines treat pain that comes and goes.

What drugs can treat chronic pain?

Many medicines can decrease pain, including the ones listed below. Each one may have side effects. Some side effects can be serious. It’s important to listen to your family doctor carefully when he or she tells you how to use your pain medicine. If you have questions about side effects or about how much medicine to take, ask your doctor or your pharmacist.

Acetaminophen

Acetaminophen (one brand name: Tylenol) helps many kinds of chronic pain. Remember, many over-the-counter and prescription pain medicines have acetaminophen in them. If you’re not careful, you could take more acetaminophen than is good for you. Taking too much acetaminophen could cause liver damage, especially if you drink alcohol. If you often find that you have to take more than 2 acetaminophen pills a day, tell your doctor.

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)

Other drugs that help with pain are called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs. Examples include aspirin, ibuprofen (two brand names: Motrin, Advil) and naproxen (one brand name: Aleve). NSAIDs come in both over-the-counter and prescription forms. These medicines can be taken just when you need them, or they can be taken every day. When these medicines are taken regularly, they build up in the blood to levels that fight the pain of inflammation (swelling) and also give general pain relief.

If your doctor wants you to take an NSAID, always take it with food or milk because the most common side effects are related to the stomach. They can also cause increased bruising or risk of bleeding in the stomach. When taken for long periods of time, they may cause kidney damage. NSAIDs may make high blood pressure worse or interfere with blood pressure medicines.

If you are taking other pain medicines, don’t take NSAIDs without talking to your doctor first.

Opioids

Narcotics can be addictive, so your family doctor will be careful about prescribing them. For many people who have severe chronic pain, these drugs are an important part of their therapy. If your doctor prescribes narcotics for your pain, be sure to carefully follow his or her directions. Tell your doctor if you are uncomfortable with the changes that may go along with taking these medicines, such as the inability to concentrate or think clearly. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery when taking these medicines.

When you’re taking narcotics, it’s important to remember that there is a difference between “physical dependence” and “psychological addiction.” Physical dependence on a medicine means that your body gets used to that medicine and needs it in order to work properly. When you don’t have to take the pain medicine any longer, your doctor can help you slowly and safely decrease the amount of medicine until your body no longer “needs” it.

Psychological addiction is the desire to use a drug whether or not it’s needed to relieve pain. Using a narcotic this way can be dangerous and may not help your pain. If you have a psychological addiction to a narcotic, your doctor may give you another drug to help with your psychological problems. Or your doctor might recommend that you talk to a counselor. Your doctor might also change the medicine that you are addicted to by lowering the dose, changing to another drug or stopping the medicine altogether.

Narcotic drugs often cause constipation (difficulty having bowel movements). If you are taking a narcotic medicine, it’s important to drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water every day. Try to eat 2 to 4 servings of fresh fruits and 3 to 5 servings of vegetables every day. Be sure to tell your doctor if constipation becomes a problem for you. He or she may suggest taking laxatives to treat or prevent it.

Other medicines

Many drugs that are used to treat other illnesses can also treat pain. For example, carbamazepine is a seizure medicine that can also treat some kinds of pain. Amitriptyline is an antidepressant that can also help with chronic pain. Your doctor may want you to try one of these medicines to help control your pain. It can take several weeks before these medicines begin to work well.

Remember — if you are taking any pain medicine, be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist before you take any other medicine, either prescription or over-the-counter. You should also check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking an herbal supplement or vitamin.

Types (classes) of pain medication

Pain medications are drugs used to relieve discomfort associated with disease, injury, or surgery. Because the pain process is complex, there are many types of pain drugs that provide relief by acting through a variety of physiological mechanisms. Thus, effective medication for nerve pain will likely have a different mechanism of action than arthritis pain medication.

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) act on substances in the body that can cause inflammation, pain, and fever.
  • Corticosteroids are often administered as an injection at the site of musculoskeletal injuries. They exert powerful anti-inflammatory effects. They can also be taken orally to relieve pain from, for example, arthritis.
  • Acetaminophen increases the body’s pain threshold, but it has little effect on inflammation.
  • Opioids, also known as narcotic analgesics, modify pain messages in the brain.
  • Muscle relaxants reduce pain from tense muscle groups, most likely through sedative action in the central nervous system.
  • Anti-anxiety drugs work on pain in three ways: they reduce anxiety, they relax muscles, and they help patients cope with discomfort.
  • Some antidepressants, particularly the tricyclics, may reduce pain transmission through the spinal cord.
  • Some anticonvulsant drugs also relieve the pain of neuropathies, possibly by stabilizing nerve cells.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia has only recently been utilized as a term to diagnose patients that endure from a particular series of abnormalities revolving about chronic muscular irritation. The name Fibromyalgia alludes to painful fibrotic modifications in the muscle tissue, but has come to mean considerably much more to the patients who suffer using the syndrome. Even though no pathological changes within the muscle tissue have been demonstrated on any type of imaging procedure, Fibromyalgia patients have really tender muscular points which trigger a fantastic deal of pain. Individuals who suffer with Fibromyalgia may well have a whole host of other signs and symptoms including but not restricted to extreme fatigue, irritable bowl, headaches, insomnia, and depression. Even via Fibromyalgia in itself is just not life threatening, it may be incredibly life altering if not dealt with properly. Whilst presently nobody remedy exists to fully resolve Fibromyalgia, understanding the disease can go a lengthy strategy to helping cope and reside an usual life-style with it.

Some physicians have speculated that Fibromyalgia begins with the Mononucleosis virus, and followed by the lingering Epstein’s bar virus. It has also been noted that numerous Fibromyalgia patients have had a current heavy emotional or physical trauma prior to the onset of the illness. Fibromyalgia patients have also been recognized to not get into the deepest phase of sleep, identified as the delta stage, and therefore don’t let their muscles shut down and rest properly. It really is also possible that a mixture of these explanations may well combine to trigger a person to acquire Fibromyalgia. Either way, you will need to address any probable causes, as well as assist get your muscles on the best healing track by way of therapeutic procedures covered in this section.

When a person has Fibromyalgia, they’re more susceptible to various other types of muscle issues for instance tendonitis, bursitis, muscle strain, muscle cramping and spasm, thoracic outlet syndrome and several other nerve compression syndromes. The method to treating Fibromyalgia therapeutically will be comparable to other muscle issues by emphasizing procedures to support and protect the muscles, enable them to loosen up and lessen the pain and reduce any inflammation. Due to the extreme sensitivity of a Fibromyalgia patient, extreme care should be taken to not over irritate the musculature from any process, as this may well set their condition back temporarily. It really is critical for a person with Fibromyalgia to obtain at the source of any tension, lessen the physical stress placed on the physique through improving poor posture and not overusing the muscles. Staying as active as your body will tolerate, and eating a suitable balanced diet are also extremely critical components. In reality, 1 issue in prevalent that many Fibromyalgia patients who are living a lot more active lifestyles share, is typical an workout routine.

The listed Therapies, Products and Actions section will give a lot more details on how you can aid your problem, on the other hand, as each and every Fibromyalgia situation is various, usually consult your doctor to decide what treatment is suitable for your distinct situation.

Felipe Emilio Evans Is a writer involved in medicine article writing, and devoted to the practice of osteopatia ( osteopathy), which he finds has been an effective remedie for some of his afflictions as bicep tendonitis and pinched nerve in back.

1 24 25 26