Pain is usually a signal from your body that something is not quite right, and you need to stop whatever you are doing to fix the problem before things get worse. In some cases, however, chronic pain is the problem itself and you need to find a way to effectively manage your pain, so it doesn’t affect your quality of life.
Here are some pain management systems that work:
R.I.C.E. Therapy: RICE is an acronym, which stands for Rest, Icing, Compression, & Elevation. It is usually considered the first line of treatment in case of acute pain and swelling. The use of ice restricts swelling by constricting blood vessels and numbing nerve endings to reduce pain.
Heat Therapy: Heat application is best for relieving pain from arthritic joints and sore muscles. It causes muscles relaxation, improves blood circulation to the area promoting healing of injured tissue, and gets your body ready for physical activity.
Over-the-Counter Pain Medications: These medications include acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen. They act by reducing swelling and irritation at the site of injury and are effective in treating mild muscle aches and stiffness. Pain-relieving creams, sprays, or lotions and can also be applied to the skin to effectively control pain.
Prescription Pain Medications: These are strong pain-relieving medications may be recommended by your doctor if over-the-counter medications fail to relieve symptoms. They include pain relievers, muscle relaxants, anti-anxiety medications, and anti-depressive medications. They are effective in relieving severe pain. They must only be used for a short period of time due to potential side effects from prolonged use.
Trigger Point Injections: These injections are used to treat specific areas that have been identified as sources of pain. Your doctor injects a local anesthetic solution that may include a steroid into the trigger point to alleviate the pain. A brief course of trigger point injections can result in a sustained period of pain relief.
Exercise: A regular workout routine that incorporates resistance training and flexibility exercises is one of the best long-term strategies when dealing with chronic pain. Strengthening the muscles that surround and support your joint will reduce the load on the joint and will help control painful arthritic symptoms.
Surgical Implants: If other modalities of pain control fail to relieve your symptoms, you may be a candidate for a surgical implant. These devices are basically of 2 types: a pain pump which delivers medication to the spinal cord or a device that transmits electrical impulses which block pain signals. Surgical implants are used only for treatment of severe, uncontrolled pain.
If you have been suffering with pain that prevents you from doing the things you enjoy, consult the pain management specialist at South Palm Orthopedics for an evaluation & treatment recommendation.