If you are suffering from chronic pain and need some relief, here are five of the best treatment options.
1. Cold and Heat
There is a reason why cold and heat therapy is often recommended as the first treatment method for pain. Cold can help decrease inflammation, leading to pain relief. It can also help speed up recovery. In contrast, heat increases a patient’s pain threshold and relaxes muscles.
2. Weight Loss
Having extra weight can place extra pressure on your bones, muscles, and load-bearing joints. Being overweight can also subject patients to higher levels of pain. A safe weight loss program may be able to help patients lose weight while also improving their pain levels and overall health. Being at a healthier weight and exercising can also improve a person’s cognition and mental health, as well as give them more energy to make it through the day.
There are a number of medications that can help with pain, and working closely with a pain management specialist who can appropriately prescribe medication can make a significant difference in your life. Some mediation options to treat, relieve, or manage pain include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – These medications can help reduce inflammation and swelling and be effective in treating chronic pain syndromes.
- Anti-seizure medications – Anti-seizure medications are effective at treating certain nerve pains.
- Antidepressants – Some antidepressants have pain-relieving properties that can treat patients at lower doses than those used to treat people with depression.
- Muscle relaxants – Muscle relaxants can ease painful muscle spasms.
- Opioids –Opioids can be effective at controlling certain sources of chronic pain when they are used temporarily and appropriately.
In addition to medication, the delivery method of administering such medication may be useful in treating pain. For example, iontophoresis is a type of electrical stimulation that is used to send medications directly into areas where pain is experienced and reduce inflammation.
Your pain management specialist may recommend an injection to treat painful areas of muscle buildup or other area of the body where you may be experiencing pain. Injections may include:
- Epidural injections
- Facet injections
- Sacroiliac injections
- Hip bursa injections
- Trigger point injections
- Knee injections
- Shoulder injections
- Ankle injections
Your pain specialist will use a small needle to inject a steroid or medication into a targeted region to provide pain relief. This form of treatment has been found effective to treat muscle spasms in the limbs, neck, and lower back, as well as for a number of chronic pain conditions.
5. Nerve Blocks
Nerve blocks interrupt pain signals that go to the brain. This includes a surgical implant or a minimally invasive procedure, depending on whether you are seeking short- or long-term pain relief.