Treatments for Chronic Pain
That comment is borne out by a recent survey conducted by the American Pain Society. It discovered that only 55 percent of all patients with non-cancerous pain were being treated well enough that it could be called “under control.” Less than 40 percent of those interviewed who
they had severe pain said their pain was under control. In fact, chronic
pain is the second most common reason why people seek medical care.
The top reason, by the way, is respiratory infections.
sad part is that your typical health care practitioner rarely takes a
patient’s pain seriously or treats it adequately.
That means that nearly half of all individuals change health care
practitioners at least once. More
than 25 percent of these people have changed health care practitioners at
least three times.
people with chronic pain find themselves taking a “cocktail” or
combination of medications that complement one another.
And this cocktail usually falls into three main categories.
the pain is not severe, then the health care practitioner recommends his
patient take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
These include ibuprofen and naproxen.
These medications are sold without a prescription over the counter in
every pharmacy in the country.
should never, ever be combined with one another or any drug that is similar
to aspirin. This type of
medication can be used safely with acetaminophen, though.
Acetaminophen is sold under the brand name of Tylenol.
a few prescription NSAIDs – like diclofenac (sold under the brand name
Voltren) and celecobix – much more widely known as Celebrex – that are
only available with a prescription written by a health care practitioner.
matter which form you and your health care practitioner choose for your
specific purpose, you must remember that all carries some risk, from
gastrointestinal problems to an increased risk of ulcers, heart attack and
is such an ever increasing unsolvable problem that there are now several
classes of drugs that were originally intended for other uses that are being
used as pain killers. These are
usually used in combination with traditional pain-relieving drugs. These can come from the antidepressant, antiepileptic and the
muscle relaxant categories.
by far the most important class of drugs for to treat chronic paint that
ranges from moderate to severe is the opioid.
These are better known as the morphine and morphine-like medications.
Both patients and health care practitioners try to avoid these
however. Patients fear them
because of their notoriety of possible addiction. (You need to know though
that when used to treat honest severe chronic pain, addiction is rarely a
care practitioners try hard not to prescribe not only for fear of patient
addiction, but also for two others. They
fear their patients will be duped by drug abusers who prey on people with
prescriptions. They are also
fearful that if they write too many of these prescriptions, the Justice
Department will raid them.
here, pain societies have tried to aid health care practitioners.
These groups have established clear-cut guidelines in avoiding risks
of this sort, including ways to identify the type of individual who may
become addicted to this type of medication.
compound problems in regards to prescribing pain medication is a confusion
between a physical dependency and an addiction.
A dependency results in withdrawal symptoms for the individual if the
drug is stopped abruptly. Addiction,
on the other hand describes the loss of control over his drug use and
cravings for the drug despite the fact the use itself is causing him harm.
Individuals on these drugs must be gradually weaned from the opioids in
order to avoid the symptoms of withdrawal.
those persons who suffer with chronic, continuous pain, some health care
practitioners recommend a slow release opioid-like oxycodone – notorious
as the brand name Oxycontin – morphine or fentanyl.
Fentanyl is administered through a patch worn on the skin. This drug
may also be taken as a lozenge for acute pain. All three of these minimize
or eliminate altogether the pendulum like swings of the pain.
They also have the added benefit of reducing the amount of medication
are many medications – both over-the-counter and prescription – each and
every one of these comes with a set of side effects.
Sometimes harsh side effects.
individuals who suffer with pain prefer to try more natural alternatives as
well as some non-medicinal therapies.
For some, the
choice is a technique called TENS.
This is short for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.
In this method, pulses of low-intensity electric current are applied
to the skin. These pulses then
transmit signals that compete with the brain’s attention with the pain
signals. There are obviously
two advantages of using this technique.
It doesn’t interfere or interact with any drugs you may be taking.
It’s also convenient because it can be administered at home.
non-medicinal technique is acupuncture.
This ancient Chinese method is gaining increasing popularity with
those who suffer from pain on a daily basis. It’s also a great method for
pain that comes and goes. Many western medical experts believe that
acupuncture works by releasing an increasing number of endorphins, the
natural chemicals of the body the block pain signals from reaching the
find it effective in relieving headaches, facial as well as low back pain.
Acupuncture has also been known to help alleviate pain caused by
shingles, arthritis and a spastic colon.
There are also
other non-medicinal methods that may help to relieve your chronic pain.
Techniques like guided imagery, meditation,
hypnosis, self-hypnosis, relaxation
therapy and even hypnotherapy
can be useful for some. Often
they don’t relieve the pain as much as they reduce stress, which can go a
long way to taking your mind off the pain.
for many people is to engage in physical therapy.
Exercises related to this method many times strengthens the
supporting muscles which may be weak as well as help to relax tight joints.
Others undergo occupational therapy.
Here individuals learn new ways of sitting, moving and even lying
down in order to reduce irritation of or dependence on the current painful
find true relief in the use of herbs. There
are many natural herbs that work as effectively – if not more so – than
prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Before you choose any of these
herbs, though, you need to consult with your personal health care
practitioner to ensure that none of these interferes with your current
You may also
want to, prior to selecting any of these, consult with a professional
herbalist. She’ll be able to
help you choose the herb that best suits your situation.
One of the
first most people choose is white
willow bark. You’re
probably already familiar with it, if not as an herb, as the herb’s
synthetic child – aspirin.
find that cayenne powder added to
their juice or food relieves pain as well as harsh medications. Some individuals also find that this works well when used as
a cream and is applied to the skin.
is another excellent herb. Not
only does it help to relieve pain, but it induces sleep.
Sometimes that’s a great thing if you’ve been suffering with
continued, chronic pain for a long period of time.
If you have
pain and inflammation, then you might want to try turmeric.
This will not only help your pain, but help your swelling as well.
doubt heard of Echinacea.
It’s an excellent herbal remedy to a weak immune system.
Many individuals are already taking it especially around the cold and
flu season. But did you know
this same herb may help with your chronic pain.
And Echinacea may be of special significance for pain that
accompanies an advanced state of a disease.
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