WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
What is pain management?
Pain management includes medications and therapies to treat pain from surgery, injury, or illness. Pain can cause changes in your physical and emotional health, such as problems with depression and insomnia. Pain management may help you rest, heal and return to your daily activities. Pain management can also help increase your appetite, sleep, and energy and improve your mood and relationships.
What are the types of pain?
- Acute pain starts suddenly and lasts a short time. The pain usually goes away as the body heals, but can become chronic if left untreated.
- Chronic pain lasts a long time or gets worse. It may last for months or years because of a chronic condition. It may be pain that remains after you have recovered from an injury or illness.
- How is the cause of the pain diagnosed?
- Your doctor will examine you and look for painful areas. Your doctor may touch or press on different places on your body and ask if they hurt. Your doctor may ask you to describe your pain. Tell your doctor if the pain is sharp, dull, or severe. Tell your doctor if you have constant pain or if it comes and goes. You may also need any of the following to find out the intensity of your pain or to find its cause:
A pain diary can help determine the cause of your pain. The diary can help you track cycles of pain. Write down when the pain started, how long it lasted, and its intensity. Also, include anything that made the pain worse or better.
Pain scales can help you measure how much pain you feel. Pain scales may include numbers or facial expressions. Your doctor will probably ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 0 to 10.
An x-ray or computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to find the cause of your pain. You may be given a contrast dye to make the images show up better. Tell your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell your doctor if you have any metal in or on your body.
Stimulus tests can help find the nerves or muscles affected by the pain.
How can pain be managed without medication?
The heat helps relieve muscle pain. Use a heat pack or heating pad on low power. Apply heat for 20 minutes every hour or as directed.
Massage therapy helps relieve tight muscles. This may help you relax and decrease pain.
Ultrasound may help relieve pain. Ultrasound is a procedure that uses sound waves to create heat applied to the muscles.
Acupuncture helps reduce pain and other symptoms. Thin needles are used to balance energy channels in the body.
Biofeedback helps the body respond differently to pain, find more by going here. You will learn what your breathing and heart rate are when you are relaxed. It will help you bring your breathing and heart rate to those levels when you are in pain.
Electrical stimulation can be used to control pain. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a portable device that sticks to your skin. TENS uses mild, safe electrical signals to help control pain. Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) is a procedure that uses a metal wire near the spinal cord to help control pain. SCS also uses safe, mild electrical signals. SCS is placed through surgery.
Surgery and other procedures can help relieve pain. For example, radio waves, thermal (heat), or laser therapy. Surgery may include cutting nerves or repairing joints that are the cause of your chronic pain. Surgery may be done if no other therapy works.