Pain management is defined as a medical practice used to improve the life of people suffering from chronic pain and chronic pain syndrome. Though most chronic pain disorders seem impossible to cure, the pain can at least be managed to help those who are suffering.
Pain management comes in different methods but the most effective outcomes are through multi-disciplinary approaches, which means using different treatments from a variety of healthcare professionals.
Pain Management with Water
Alternative approaches for pain management include hydrotherapy and water exercises. Hydrotherapy is a water therapy that has been used for years. Examples of hydrotherapy are swimming pools, water spas and whirlpools.
What makes hydrotherapy beneficial is when warm water temperatures and the vibration moves against the skin, it creates a soothing and relaxing feeling. During hydrotherapy, it is recommended that you should use warm water to promote vasodilatation, which means dilating the blood vessels.
Vasodilatation increases blood flow, thus delivering enough nutrients and oxygen to the body and especially to the cells. The warmth will relax your muscles and help in relieving pain.
Water exercises are also an excellent pain management method providing a non-stressful environment. Water exercises use the water’s resistance in building muscle strength and improving flexibility. But certain medical conditions can be aggravated by water exercises and hydrotherapy, so seeking medical advice is the first thing to do.
Medications for Pain Management
Another pain management method is through medications that can bring pain in a much tolerable level. Here are some of the medications that may be used:
Muscle relaxants are used in treating painful muscle problems like spasms. Muscle relaxants are used not only for acute pain but it can be very helpful in lessening chronic pain somewhat.
These medications reduce pain and improve mobility, but doctors would first use the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or acetaminophen since there are conditions where pain can be relieved though over-the-counter drugs.
Muscle relaxants are usually prescribed for short term pain, thus they should only be used for not more than 2 weeks.
Certain precautions should be followed when taking muscle relaxants. These drugs can cause drowsiness and dizziness, so it is better take it before bedtime.
Acetaminophen is one of the commonly used and effective medications for chronic pain so it’s not a surprise why it became as the most popular over-the-counter analgesic. It is commonly referred to as “Tylenol”. Acetaminophen may also be combined with Percocet or Lortab, a narcotic analgesic.
But it has always been stressed that acetaminophen only relieves pain, that it doesn’t reduce inflammation. Examples of over-the-counter pain meds that help to reduce inflammation are aspirin, naproxen and ibuprofen.
Other Pain Management Techniques
Medical interventions like nerve blocks can help in lessening the level of pain that you are experiencing. Of course, the use of this is based on your medical condition.
Physical therapy can also help in improving your ability to function well by decreasing pain.
Surgical approaches are also considered as an option through implanted pain control devices that are used in controlling pain when there is no response to any of the conservative pain management techniques.
The best pain management methods are implemented by your physician and other healthcare team members. With your input and feedback, the physician will determine the best approaches that will help you in your pain management.
Always remember that no single approach works for all patients. Some may work and others may not be effective. Thus, a customized approach to pain management must be developed with every patient.