5 Options for Management of Chronic Pain
Common sites of chronic pain include the back, especially the low back, and the joints. Nevertheless, it has many different causes and can occur anywhere in the body. Because chronic pain has different causes, there are many options for pain management St Augustine FL that may be effective at relieving it, whether alone or in combination with one another.
There are several different types of injections that may provide relief from pain that is refractory to other treatments. Possible injectable treatments include anesthetics, muscle relaxants, and steroids. Arthritis pain can be treated with hyaluronic acid that cushions the symptomatic joint.
- Physical Therapy
Physical therapy involves exercises to relieve pain and improve strength and flexibility. It may also involve other treatment modalities. Examples include iontophoresis, which uses a weak electrical current to carry medication through the skin to the symptomatic area, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation therapy. Like iontophoresis, TENS therapy involves the use of electricity, this time to stimulate the nerve directly and scramble the pain symptoms before they can register in the brain.
- Alternative Therapies
Alternative therapies are treatments outside of traditional medicine, such as chiropractic care, acupuncture, or biofeedback. Research into the effectiveness of these therapies is ongoing.
Surgery may be an option if you have tried other treatment options without relief. An example of a surgery used to treat chronic pain include an implant for spinal cord stimulation.
Sometimes a doctor may recommend medication to treat chronic pain other than injections. Over-the-counter pain relievers or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be effective if the pain is mild. Otherwise, a doctor may prescribe medications such as muscle relaxants or anti-depressants. If over-the-counter NSAIDs are not effective, stronger formulations may be prescribed.
Opioid painkillers are sometimes also prescribed to treat chronic pain. However, best practices recommend avoiding this whenever possible because of the risk of developing dependence on the drugs.