Chronic pain can be one of the harder problems to manage, especially since there are few options available beyond pain medication. The more willing you are to try different strategies to improve your pain, the more likely you will find a method that will be effective.
1. Tackle Multiple Types Of Pain
Rarely is chronic pain a single type of pain. In many cases, when there is an ongoing disease process, your pain can have multiple facets. For example, some people develop chronic musculoskeletal pain from an underlying disease or previous injury. They may receive prescription pain medications because they are generally effective for various types of pain.
Over time, their response to their medication will become less due to tolerance, and because other surrounding structure can cause problems. Inflammation, tight muscles, and muscle atrophy from being sedentary can also precipitate new types of pain. In addition to analgesics, retail anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxers, or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) might also be needed to help with different types of pain.
2. Work From The Outside In
Although few external methods will eliminate moderate to severe chronic pain, it does not mean they cannot be helpful in conjunction with other therapies. Temperature therapy is a popular option because both heat and cold have been known to help different types of pain. Another option is the use of topical lidocaine, either from retail stores or through a prescription. Topical lidocaine is often helpful to spot-treat breakthrough pain, especially when it is in a specific area. Some people find transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), massage, and/or acupuncture are other options to improve pain without taking other medications.
3. Consider A Surgical Approach
Unfortunately, dealing with chronic pain is a complex issue that is often harder to control over time. If your current treatments are not effectively controlling your pain, you should discuss surgical options with your doctor. Surgical options are better if you have a specific area with pain, instead of widespread problems. For example, some people with chronic back problems may find relief with an implantable pain device.
This way, they can have pain medication administered directly to the site of pain, which reduces the overall dosage needed for it to be effective. Additionally, there are fewer concerns about misuse of prescription pain medications since an implantable device and the dosage is strictly regulated by your doctors.
There is no simple method of addressing chronic pain. For many people, using a combination of methods will give them the best chance at relief and living a normal life. For more information on reflex sympathetic dystrophy and chronic pain, contact your local medical office.