If you are suffering from chronic pain, it can be truly debilitating. Your pain is your constant companion, better on some days, worse on others, yet it never truly goes away. Pain management is necessary in order to control your pain, provide you with relief and keep you as comfortable as possible for an improved quality of life. While pain management is not a cure for your condition, there are many alternatives with promising results. Some of your options are listed below.
Medication is generally the first remedy that is attempted to manage chronic pain. Doctors first recommend over the counter alternatives that are pain relievers and have anti-inflammatory properties. However, when these options prove to be ineffective, physicians will prescribe more powerful drugs. Anticonvulsants, typically used to treat seizures, have also proven to manage pain. Antidepressants, anti-inflammatory medications, topical pain creams and skin patches are typical solutions for chronic pain management as well. Spinal drug pumps are implanted and a variety of medications can be sent to the source of the pain.
Doctors can step up pain management treatment with several types of injections. An anesthetic can be injected to block nerve pain. Trigger point injections are injected into an affected area of the body, treating muscle pain and connective tissues. Steroid injections are often helpful as well, reducing inflammation and providing relief.
A treatment known as Pulse Stimulation has proven to be effective for individuals who have not responded to medication and other alternatives. A neurotransmitter, controlled by a microchip, is placed behind the ear. From that point, gentle electrical pulses are sent to peripheral nerves that actually end at the ear. The device is left in place for four days. Patients may continue treatments for a period of up to eight weeks, depending on their response. This advanced form of treatment has proven to assist individuals in dealing with other conditions that stem from chronic pain, such as insomnia, anxiety and depression.
A Pain Pacemaker
A pain pacemaker is similar to pulse stimulation. A device is implanted in the body and sends a gentle electrical pulse to the spinal cord or other nerves in the body, effectively blocking pain signals that are sent to the brain. This device can actually be turned on or off and adjusted in intensity.