What Causes Pain Is Not Always Obvious
Pain varies: what’s causing it, the duration, intensity. Acute pain may follow traumatic injury and lead to complications such as hypertension, tachydardia (abnormal heart rate) or ‘guarding’ (adjusting one’s posture or movements to protect against pain). It can also lead to chronic pain, which is defined as lasting more than 12 weeks.
Chronic pain can be difficult to pin down. One patient may complain of nagging pain even if imaging tests show no abnormality, while another with the same physiology is pain-free.
Medical and family history, lifestyle, physical condition, occupation and temperament all guide us in devising the best treatment plan for each individual.
While there are no guarantees in pain management, there are best options.
Here are some Means to Control Acute Pain:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs). Inflammation often follows an injury or strain. By reducing the swelling, NSAIDs can help relieve pain by alleviating pressure on affected bones, muscles, tendons and nerves. This may speed healing and help to minimize pain.
- Heat or ice. This time-honored treatment of acute pain is applied in stages. RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) represents the ‘cold’ phase, when an injury is chilled to dampen inflammation. After the swelling is reduced, heating pads can be used to soothe the area and increase blood flow.
- Nerve blocks or localized anesthesia. A network of nerves that’s transmitting pain signals may be effectively shut down by injecting certain medications, such as local anesthesia, into a specific region. Nerve blocks have been used to manage post-operative back pain.
- TENS. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) employs low-voltage electrical current for pain relief. TENS seems to scramble normal pain signals and encourage the body to produce its own natural pain-relievers, called endorphins. It’s used for low back pain, neck pain, tendinitis or bursitis.
Chronic Pain may be Managed with some or all of the Following:
- Exercise has been found to relieve chronic low back, perhaps by training certain muscles to help support the spine. At our clinic, we’ve seen a number of patients who’ve benefited from supervised activity. Physical therapists can show the patient how to exercise without causing more stress to the afflicted area.
- Relaxation therapy and behavior modification are both useful to assist the patient in controlling and tolerating pain. Science is still not clear on how the mind affects physical reactions but it’s been proven that, for certain patients, these disciplines result in measurable relief of chronic pain.
- Acupuncture is a technique borrowed from Asia that has become a familiar tool in the arsenals of pain management. Scientists concede that there is little evidence of how it works, but studies show that acupuncture is effective for conditions such as chronic back pain.
Common Questions about Pain Management
Why is pain management important?
People who suffer from acute and chronic pain have difficulty doing the things they enjoy and interacting with others. Pain can also affect their mood and their ability to think.
Pain management is key to improving a patient’s quality of life. At All-Pro Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Florida, we provide various pain management options for your pain.
What is pain?
Pain is a very common yet uncomfortable feeling that tells you something may be wrong with your body. The pain may be steady, throbbing, stabbing, aching, or pinching. Pain may also be mild or debilitating.
An individual’s pain level depends on the pain’s cause, duration, and intensity. It may be acute (following a traumatic injury or having complications) or chronic (lasting more than 12 weeks).
What are the usual causes of pain?
The most common causes of pain in adults include:
- Traumatic injury
- Medical conditions (cancer, arthritis, or back problems)
Are medicines the only way in pain management?
Aside from medicines, such as nerve blocks, localized anesthesia, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, we also use non-medicine treatments at All-Pro Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Florida for pain management.
These non-medicine pain management treatments include:
- Heat packs
- Ice packs
- Low-voltage electric currents (TENS)
- Physical therapy
- Behavior modification
What are some ways to manage acute pain?
Diagnosing and treating the cause of pain is an essential aspect of pain management. Pain management for acute pain may include some of the following:
- Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, paracetamol, ibuprofen, or naproxen, to reduce pain
- Application of heat and/or ice to dampen inflammation, reduce swelling, and increase blood flow
- Resting the affected part of the body
- Bioelectric therapy may include the use of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to encourage endorphin release.
How do we choose the best pain management plan?
Here at All-Pro Orthopedics & Sports Medicine in Florida, we employ different ways to manage pain and promote healing. We consider the location, intensity, duration, and type of pain before creating a pain management plan customized for our patients. We also provide suggestions of activities that will help ease the pain and impact your lifestyle best.