We all experience pain from time to time, and this pain will usually go away if you give it enough time and take the right medication. However, sometimes the pain can linger for a long time, and this is when it turns into chronic pain. Chronic pain can disrupt your life by making it harder to walk, sleep, sit and even complete everyday tasks. Because of this lowered quality of life, it is important to see a doctor so they can find a way to get rid of your pain. The doctor can recommend various management and treatment options, and this article can help you understand them better.
Medication is usually the first intervention your doctor will recommend. This is because it can give you relief and help the doctor understand the extent of your pain and what is causing it. The first class of medications is over the counter medication such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen. These usually give relief for pain associated with inflammation. If you are in constant pain, your doctor will recommend long-lasting pain medication.
The next class is prescription medication. These are drugs that are used in the treatment of pain associated with cancer, lower back issues, severe headaches, and chronic pain syndrome. These medications can have side effects and be addictive, and this is why they are only prescribed by a doctor. Oxycodone and other opioids are the main options here. These medications change how our brains perceive pain giving you relief.
Next, we have medications that treat pain caused by neurological issues. These include medications that treat seizures as well as antidepressants. Antidepressants change brain chemistry, thus interfering with pain signals that travel to the brain.
Lastly, we have muscle relaxants. These relax the muscles and reduce inflammation which in turn reduces pain.
Surgery is often used as the last resort when over the counter and prescription medications as well as other interventions have not worked. Surgery is prescribed when the source of the pain is the musculoskeletal system. Because this is one of the largest systems in the body there are numerous points where pain can emanate, and this is why there are several surgical interventions that are considered depending on the source of the pain.
For example, pain that is caused by increased pressure on the nerves in your spine requires spinal surgery while pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis requires a different type of orthopaedic surgery.
The first step in getting any type of chronic pain treated is booking a consultation with a specialist. After the consultation, you can have orthopaedic surgery in one of the various private hospitals you will find through Circle Health Group. Circle Health Group provides an easy way to not only find specialists and consultants for various conditions, but also private hospitals where you can get the best care. They also give you access to various treatments, including orthopaedic surgery, so you can better understand the care and support you will receive when you need it.
Several types of therapy have had great success at helping reduce chronic pain. Physical therapy is quite common, and it involves stretching the muscles, massaging them and other activities that help strengthen the muscles. Done right, physical therapy can also help deal with the underlying cause of the pain.
Next is low-impact exercise. We all need exercise, but pain can make this harder or even impossible. The main issue with not exercising is that our muscles can get weaker which would lead to more pain. Exercise stretches and relaxes the muscles while also prompting our brains to release endorphins. These endorphins can ease pain and improve our moods.
Next is occupational therapy. This is normally prescribed for those whose pain starts when they do something like lifting. Occupational therapy teaches you how to do things differently. The aim is to stop you from straining yourself or even causing additional injury.
Behavioural therapy is also common and includes activities like sleeping better, relaxing, meditating and reducing stress. You just need to find activities that relax you and help you deal with daily stress.
Food plays a crucial role in our well-being as well as how we experience pain. A major cause of pain is inflammation so eating meals that contain foods with anti-inflammatory properties can help. These include food like legumes, whole nuts, lean proteins, vegetables, and fruits as well as healthy fats.
Omega-3 fatty acids, normally found in fish, have been shown to provide relief to those with arthritis. Other anti-inflammatory compounds found in foods like spinach and broccoli can also help.
Living with chronic pain is difficult and no one should have to live with it. Fortunately, there are management and treatment options that are suited for the different types and sources of chronic pain. Talk to your doctor today to see which interventions they recommend.