Options for Treating Chronic Pain
It is estimated that currently nearly 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Chronic pain is categorized by pain lasting longer than 6 months result of the presence or absence of injury that continues longer than required for the body’s normal course of healing. Chronic pain can cause a multitude of secondary issues for patients including anxiety, depression, significant weight gain or loss, and medical debt.
Chronic pain can be caused by many problems, or no detectable medical problems. Diagnoses for chronic pain can be a trial and error process between patient and doctor. Just as attempting to find the cause of chronic pain is a trial and error process, treating the chronic pain is just the same. Here is a look into some treatment options available for patients suffering from chronic pain.
Medications are often the first course of action for combating chronic pain. Generally physicians recommend conservative over the counter anti-inflammatory medications. If anti-inflammatory drugs do not produce a result, corticosteroids may be prescribed next. In extreme chronic pain cases, narcotic drugs such as codeine, hydrocodone, morphine and oxycodone. Prescription narcotic drugs are very addictive so many doctors limit prescription length, dose, and try alternative methods for pain relief before resulting to this class of drugs.
Injections are one of the most effective courses of treatment for chronic pain. Different types of injections block nerve receptors that carry pain signals through the body to the brain. If these signals cannot be sent to the brain, then the brain doesn’t recognize that the body is in pain. A drawback of injection therapy is that they are temporary, and can become costly over time. Injections are administered in the affected area, often directly into a nerve. Unfortunately, there is a possibility of injections failing.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation or TENS therapy is when a small sticky pad connected to a small battery-powered machine delivers electrical pulses to the area to help stimulate nerves. This treatment does not cause any pain, and for some patients, it is considered relaxing.
If other methods of treatment fail, surgery may be an option for certain patients. This option is used as a last resort, and does not always end pain. Surgery may lessen pain over time.
Most patients benefit from a combination of the above approaches to relieving chronic pain. In addition to the therapies mention above, losing weight, rest, eating a well-balanced diet, and regular low-impact exercise can help assist chronic pain symptoms.
Pain Management in Langhorne, PA
For more information about pain management techniques and services we provide, contact Oxford Valley Pain and Spine Center today. Drs. Sanjay Madnani, and Anju Madnani look forward to meeting you. We can be reached at our Langhorne office at 215-741-4410