How is Pain Controlled?
Medications used to treat pain fall into several major categories:
- Opiate pain killers for acute or cancer-related pain and sometimes prescribed for chronic pain
- Anti-inflammatory drugs may be helpful in alleviating pain by reducing swelling And irritation
- Antidepressants may be helpful in reducing pain and helping the patient to sleep
- Membrane stabilizers are helpful for some patients whose pain is caused by abnormal electrical discharges in damaged nerves.
Procedures used to treat pain may be used along or in combination with other therapies:
- Epidural injection
- Spinal cord drug delivery
- Nerve block
- Implanted epidural port
- Spinal cord stimulation
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
Psychological therapy is often valuable to deal with feelings of hopelessness, anger, sadness, or even despair. This can also help the patient cope with the effects of pain on themselves and those around them. There are also specific psychological techniques that can actually help to reduce pain.
Rehabilitation therapy helps the patient resume as active and healthy a lifestyle as possible. Physical therapy may include exercise, tissue manipulation, and other treatments focused on maximizing function in specific body parts. Occupational therapy is focused on techniques that prepare the patient to work or resume normal daily activities.