Whether you sustained injuries in a car accident, workplace accident, recreational activity or another way, chronic pain can become a reality that you wish you could find a solution for. Chronic pain is unpleasant and can affect you physically and emotionally. Chronic pain varies in intensity. It can be constant or it can come and go. It can be a continuous dull ache that never goes away or it can be a serious pain that interferes with everything you do.
Chronic pain can affect muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, and nerves. It can be complex and multi dimensional with a cause that’s not obvious or it can be simple with an obvious cause. It can involve tissue that has been badly damaged as is the case with severe burns, it can be musculoskeletal pain, it can be neuropathic pain or it can be inflamed joints.
The Pain Management Clinic will have a full team of pain management specialists that include doctors, therapists, physiotherapists, nurses, and a host of other health care professionals. Together they will determine the cause of your pain and the best treatment plan to give you your quality of life back so that you are not always in pain.
They have a number of tools at their disposable. Medications are generally the first line of defense and include the use of both over the counter and prescription medications.
> Antidepressants are prescription drugs to treat pain and help to promote sleep.
> Corticosteroids are prescription cortisone drugs used to reduce severe inflammation.
> NSAIDs can be either OTC or prescription and include drugs like ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, Naproxen, Aleve, etc.
> Opioid drugs are prescription pain medications used to treat acute pain and chronic pain.
> Tylenol and other acetaminophen based drugs which can be OTC or prescription drugs
Other treatments that are used in conjunction with medications include a number of other treatments including:
Injections include anesthetics that are injected and relieve pain, irritation, swelling and muscle spasms.
Nerve blocks are local anesthetics that are injected to block the pain.
Physical therapy – A physical therapist will create an exercise program designed to reduce your pain and improve your function.
Aquatic therapy – This method is excellent for regaining strength and improving function because there are not pressure put on the joints during aquatic therapy.
Psychological Counseling can help you to deal with the emotional suffering that often comes with dealing with chronic pain that affects so many aspects of your life – you might not be able to work or participate in the things you love to do and that can lead to feelings of sadness, frustration, depression, and anger. Psychological support can help you deal with both your physical and emotional pain.
Relaxation techniques such as biofeedback, meditation or relaxation can help to relieve stress and pain.
Surgery is used only when there are no other alternatives and it too can bring relief although recovery can sometimes be long.
TENS is a method of electrical stimulation that stimulates the nerve fibers and blocks the pain signal.