Due to the rapid advances of modern medicine, there are now many varied treatments available for pain. The degree of pain varies from person to person, so your treatment plan will be tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. Treatment may include a single approach or a combination of medications, therapies and procedures, such as:
Narcotic pain killers are often used to treat acute pain or cancer pain. They seldom are prescribed for chronic pain.
Aspirin-like drugs are the most commonly used medications of this type. They not only reduce swelling and irritation but also can relieve pain.
Originally used only to treat depression, studies have shown that these medications can alleviate pain in certain situations. Furthermore, they may have the added benefit of helping the patient to sleep at night.
These medicines may help relieve certain types of pain by reducing abnormal electrical discharges in damaged nerves.
Your physician may prescribe other types of medicine that are more specific to the type of pain you are experiencing.
Local anesthetics, with or without cortisone-like medicines, can be injected around nerves or into joints. These may act to reduce swelling, irritation, muscle spasms or abnormal nerve transmissions that can cause pain.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is the most common form of electrical stimulation. It is not painful and does not require needles. TENS consists of a small, battery-operated device that can stimulate nerve fibers through the skin to diminish pain. Also, electrical stimulation of acupuncture points is sometimes performed.
Exercise, whirlpool, ultrasound, massage and manipulation are some of the treatments that a physical therapist may provide for you.
Training in biofeedback or other forms of relaxation therapy are often used to relieve pain, reduce muscle spasm and diminish stress.
When necessary, surgical treatment may be recommended.