Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Managing long term pain

Everyone experiences pain at some point, and it is often an indication that something is wrong in the body.

However Chronic pain can persist despite the fact that an injury has healed. Pain signals may remain active in the nervous system for weeks, months, or years. This can result in physical symptoms such as tense muscles, limited mobility, a lack of energy, and changes in appetite. Emotional effects can include depression, anger, or anxiety.

  • Common chronic pain complaints are:
  • Headaches
  • Low back pain
  • Cancer pain
  • Arthritis pain
  • Neurogenic pain (pain resulting from damage to nerves)
  • Psychogenic pain (pain not due to past disease or injury or visible sign of damage)

One of the goals of long term pain management is to improve a person’s ability to function and participate in daily activities.

There are a number of options for the treatment of pain; however, some are more effective than others.Depending upon its severity, pain may be treated by:
  • Drug treatments, such as non-prescription medications like Aleve, Motrin and Tylenol; or stronger prescription medications
  • Nerve blocks (the blocking of a group of nerves with local anesthetics)
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgery
  • Counseling, behavior modification or biofeedback

One of the goals of pain management is to keep pain from becoming chronic. Pain actually causes the brain to send out a stress response. Over time, this makes the nerves more sensitive and they become better able at telegraphing intense pain signals.

So get an accurate diagnosis and then set up an early intervention pain strategy with your doctor.

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