Pain Management Treatments for Minor, Moderate, and Severe Conditions
In the medical world, pain can originate anywhere on the body for any number of reasons. How that pain is treated by a doctor or other medical professional will vary depending on the root cause of your pain. For instance, the pain that you experience from a sinus headache will be addressed quite differently compared to the pain being caused by arthritis. Different varieties of pain call for different treatment methods, and since everyone experiences pain differently (no two patients are alike) then it’s up to the doctor to determine how aggressively they need to treat you, especially when it comes to prescribing pain medication.
To bring you up to speed on how medical professionals treat patients who are experiencing pain, here is a list of six examples of the most common treatments.
1. NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), acetaminophen, and other over-the-counter medications:
In most cases, pain can be substantially reduced by the usage of NSAIDs, which don’t require a prescription. These drugs are inexpensive and effective in treating a number of conditions that cause pain such as toothaches, arthritis, muscle aches, headaches/migraines, and so forth. You can think of NSAIDs as the first line of defense when it comes to treating pain. In the majority of cases, patients take it upon themselves to try over-the-counter methods before seeking out more aggressive treatments through their doctor.
When people think of steroids such as dexamethasone and prednisone, they normally don’t associate them with ways of controlling pain. However, in certain cases, they actually can do just that because of their anti-inflammatory properties. This is perhaps best illustrated when it comes to arthritis and/or osteoarthritis. By reducing the inflammation in the joint, this can decrease the pain that the patient experiences.
3. Physical Therapy (PT):
Physical therapy is the cornerstone of any pain management regimen when it comes to recovering from a major surgery, sports-related injury, or other musculoskeletal issue. By doing these exercises, patients can increase their range of motion and improve the condition of their muscles. By extension, this helps reduce the amount of pain that they experience and decreases their reliance on medications. PT is widely regarded as one of the most effective varieties of pain management due to its holistic nature and overall success rate with patients.
4. Heat/Ice Therapy:
Another go-to method that is often used for treating pain – especially with sore muscles and aching joints – is heat and ice therapy. This can be applied in a variety of ways including cold/heat packs that you’d get from the pharmacy or by using the iced/heated towels you have around the house. Heat therapy improves circulation and blood flow, which can help relax and soothe sore muscles. Cold therapy – or cryotherapy, as it’s sometimes called – reduces blood flow to a particular area, which can help reduce inflammation and swelling.
5. Massage Therapy:
Due to its holistic nature and how effective it can be when treating pain, many doctors will recommend massage (but only with professional and high quality equipment) when it comes to treating sore muscles/soft tissue injuries or other issues like anxiety and stress. By manipulating the body’s muscles, licensed massage therapists (LMTs) can help find a person’s pain triggering points and effectively alleviate them. Massage is also a relaxing and calming experience, which benefits those who are dealing with anxiety and stress.
6. Prescription Pain Medications (Narcotics):
Sometimes a person’s pain may be so intense that it becomes debilitating and they can’t function normally and/or they’re in a constant state of agony. In those cases, your doctor may prescribe prescription pain medications such as codeine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, oxycodone, or tramadol. Although these are highly effective medications when it comes to treating pain, they are not intended to be a long-term solution. They also can become habit-forming if the patient is on them for too long. For these reasons, any narcotics should only be taken on an as-needed basis under strict supervision of a doctor.
Contact a Medical Professional About Pain Management Today!
If you are currently dealing with intense or chronic pain, you can always feel free to reach out to a pain management clinic to help you determine the root cause of the issue and to receive treatment. Pain management doctors are experts in helping patients get the right treatment they need for their specific issue. The best way to get started is to search “pain management near me,” which should bring up a number of pain management clinics in your direct vicinity.