Pain Treatments—Conventional Medicine

Pain Treatments—Conventional Medicine

Pharmacological intervention is one of the most common approaches to managing chronic pain. The type of medication you are prescribed will largely depend on features of your pain: the location, intensity and type of pain; which activities ease or exacerbate it; and the impact your pain has on lifestyle factors, such as appetite and quality of sleep. It's important to take medications for chronic pain according to instruction. If your pain is well managed, you are less likely to take large doses of painkillers, and the risk of side effects is reduced. Medications used for management of chronic pain include:

  • Aspirin and aspirin-like drugs
  • Acetaminophen
  • NSAIDs – nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium
  • Opioid drugs, such as codeine and morphine
  • Local anesthetics
  • Tricyclic antidepressants have relieved pain in some people

Long-term use of some medications can result in side effects that affect a person's quality of life, including dependence and addiction, and a diminishing effect to relieve pain. Abuse of alcohol is often a self-prescribed treatment to alleviate pain that runs the significant risk of overuse and long-term addiction. Federal drug authorities report that prescription pain medications, particularly prescription opioids, while effective painkillers, through addiction and abuse cause more overdose deaths than heroine and cocaine overdose combined. A recent article published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine reports hospitalizations for poisoning from prescription opioids, sedatives, and tranquilizers increased by 65% from 1999 to 2006.

Conventional treatments to address complex regional pain syndromes include medication, physical therapy, and occupational rehabilitation programs. In the absence of effective results with these modalities, nerve blocks involving injections of local anesthetics or the potent neurotoxin botulinum, spinal cord and peripheral nerve stimulation, chemical and surgical sympathectomies (severing nerves chemically or surgically), and deep-brain stimulation have been used to manage CRPS.

Surgical repair is a treatment option in torn ligament, meniscus, muscle, and tendon injuries, and increasingly in nerve repair and microsurgery, as in brachial plexus injuries. Surgical techniques can readily and effectively relieve pressure on the median nerve in treating carpal tunnel syndrome.

Begin Your Journey to Wellness with Patients Medical

The effects of chronic pain can range from simple annoyance to debilitating and life-changing. Regardless of where you might find yourself on this spectrum of pain, the practitioners at Patients Medical offer a broad range of pain management therapies derived from modern and ancient traditions in the healing arts. Our integrative approach tackles your pain problem holistically, addressing the mind-body-spirit components of pain to help you manage your pain and live a full, satisfying life.

Begin Your Healing with Patients Medical

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