Chronic pain can change a happy, optimistic person into someone who may choose to miss out on fun activities and seeing the people they love due to pain, which is something they believe is beyond their control. Add to this the depression that not living the quality of life you want brings to the equation, and chronic pain can eventually take over your being.
However, there is hope for those who deal with chronic pain. That hope may not be a cure for a lifelong condition, but rather, learning to manage the pain through a variety of treatments. Learning how to manage pain is a way of resetting the bar, allowing for realistic expectations when it comes to living life better. To manage your pain, it’s good to know your treatment options. Here are a few to consider when dealing with chronic pain.
Chronic vs. Acute Pain
Each medical condition brings with it its own set of challenges when dealing with pain. Defining your condition through an accurate diagnosis is the first step to managing chronic pain. Anyone living with chronic pain understands the nature of their condition, but the actual clinical condition means that the pain – whether caused by an initial injury or no known cause – has lasted more than 12 weeks.
Chronic pain differs from acute pain, which is less persistent than chronic pain and usually goes away after a medical attention or treatment. It is chronic pain which, when left untreated, can limit a person’s ability to fully function and negatively affect their quality of life, even leading to a life-changing disability. However, it is important to note, that even chronic pain associated with terminal conditions can be treated and managed.
Pain Management Options
As previously mentioned, multiple conditions can cause chronic pain. Pain management can be applied to each condition, regardless of the type of illness or injury causing the pain. Talk with your healthcare or pain management professional to determine if any of the following pain management techniques might be helpful in treating your chronic pain.
Following a diagnosis of your condition, your doctor may prescribe medication to address your chronic pain. Depending on the severity and frequency of pain, your doctor will prescribe either over-the-counter medications or prescription.
In most cases, your doctor won’t prescribe narcotics, at least not for long periods of time. Managing long-term pain with opioids isn’t always the best solution, since narcotics can have severe side effects and can also be addictive. However, the uses of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) are often prescribed to treat chronic pain; your doctor also may prescribe other medications such anti-depressants, sleep aids, anti-seizure medications to treat chronic pain brought on by nerve damage, or steroids to reduce inflammation.
Nerve Blocks are effective for treating chronic neuropathic pain due to nerve damage. Your doctor might order a nerve block for a patient with back and neck issues, such as a bulging disk or stenosis of the spine. Depending on which nerve block procedure the specialists uses, the pain could be eliminated permanently or temporarily.
Some electrical stimulation techniques will provide short-term relief from chronic pain. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation therapy is employed to relieve back pain and other conditions. Electrothermal therapy is a similar pain management technique.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy
PRP therapy is a safe, simple and effective way to speed healing, reduce inflammation, and lower pain. With PRP, platelets play an important role in blood clotting and the healing process. Platelets extracted from your body work with your body’s natural healing system to repair it. Treatment is virtually painless and usually take less than half an hour to complete. PRP therapy can be used in conjunction with other treatments such as stem cell therapy, surgical procedures, and others
Surgery is an invasive form of pain management and often is used as a last resort to not only manage, but eliminate pain. Surgery usually is followed by a course of physical therapy to help regain strength.
There is little need for anyone to suffer with chronic pain with so many treatment options available. Tarpon Orthopedics will explain your options and can also help with any orthopedic issue you may have. We can begin with a conversation and then follow up with a diagnosis of the condition. Reach us by calling (972)-596-1059.