Pain Management

Different people have varying thresholds for pain. Most of us subject ourselves to long hours of work, often with little food to eat, and with short periods of rest. Little do we know that these conditions contribute greatly to stress and the deterioration of the body? In times when too much activity is done, a person ends up with pain in various parts of the body.

Pain is felt when the brain releases the chemical, prostaglandin. This is the body’s natural reaction when it feels or experiences a possible danger or threat to safety. An example of which is feeling a burn on the hand when one touches a hot stove or iron. The pain signals the person to withdraw his hand from the source of danger.

However, there are instances when pain is felt long after the activity is done, such as back pain or muscle aches after a long day at work, or after several hours of playing sports and exercising. The pain felt in these scenarios are indicative of possible injury, damage to some tissues, nerves, or blood vessels because of strenuous activity. Pain can also be a sign of more serious conditions, those that are not easily treatable by household remedies.

Pain management as the name suggests, is to get relief from pain. Acute pain can be addressed quickly and brought under control whereas chronic pain is associated with complex conditions and hence difficult to control quickly. Sometimes pain is felt even though the root cause of the problem has been healed. In such cases, pain is delinked from the original source and treated separately to lessen the hardship. Pain management can be done best by a combination of medications, physical exercises and psychological measures. Recent advances have made pain manageable better. If the pain is not treated seriously, then it may affect the quality of life and exacerbate other conditions.

PAIN TESTS

CAT scan, MRI scan, ultrasound and X-ray may be used to diagnose the pain. Other specialized tests include bone density test, epi duroscopy (for scar tissue), arthrography for joints, discogram for spinal disc and myelography for spinal cord may be conducted depending on the pain and condition of patient.

People suffering from chronic pain, have to devise ways to circumvent the issue and look for things that lessen the pain, focus on things that help get on with life fully so that they will not be an obstacle to continue a normal life devoid of any negative feelings. Persistence of efforts pays in the long term and help can be solicited from the family and friends to overcome the pain, and solace can be found to the betterment of the patient.

Managing Pain

Pain can be experienced in many ways affecting a various parts of the body like low back pain, Myofascial pain(Muscle pain), Neck pain, Wrist pain, body surface pain, joint pain, headaches etc. How does one manage pain?

Patients suffering from pain should clearly spell out the location, duration and mitigating factors and approaching factors completely, to determine the course of action needed to heal it. The underlying pain can be managed by medication like analgesic which only release pain, anti inflammatory drugs for both pain and swelling, headache medications, disease modifying anti rheumatic drugs and anti convulsants. There are non-prescription drugs that people often take to relieve the aches around the body, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen. Examples of the more popular drugs are Advil and Tylenol. Topical creams for pain relief can also be massaged to an area, especially for muscle pain. An example is Ben-Gay, which contains salicylic acid that gives the cooling and relieving feeling when applied. Local injections specific to a point of a body can also be administered to relieve pain. Physical therapy can be advised - like stretching exercises to improve movement, resolve deformities and alleviate pain. Massage can be applied to lessen back pain, neck pain and head aches. Meditation will be advised to improve body and mind cohesion. Application of heat may be recommended to loosen the stiffness of the joints and relax the muscles. Similarly application of cold may reduce inflammation in the affected part. Sometimes electric shocks are administered to rejuvenate the nerves and muscles. Surgery is done as a last step if the above treatments fail. Surgeries include joint replacement, spinal surgery and wrist surgery. If the surgery is performed inevitably, post operative care should be taken. The actual site of surgery would have an affect on the post operative pain a patient may suffer. If the surgery is small and recovery is assured, the pain would be less. In case of major surgery and recovery chances unknown, then the pain would increase fearing the unknown and the recovery takes a long time. Psychological help should be given to patient overcome and over whelmed by frustration and helpless ness.

Aside from using medication, a person can do a few lifestyle changes in order to avoid the feeling of pain after regular activities. When at home, try to sit on padded chairs that can support the back and buttocks well. A better mattress or firmer pillows may be needed to prevent backaches or headaches when waking up in the morning. Light bulbs can be changed if they tend to be too dim, to avoid getting constant headaches and migraines due to vision trouble. At the office, especially for persons who sit for long periods of time at their desks, it is advisable to stand up and stretch every so often.

Eating the proper diet and maintaining good health habits also keeps a person away from feeling pain. When one wishes to do regular exercises or sports activities, he or she should first do warm-up exercises before engaging in them. After the activity, a cool-down exercise should also be performed. This helps avoid the delayed onset of muscular pain.
 

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