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For thousands of years, doctors have been helping to relieve their patients' pain with a variety of medications and treatments. Like other areas of medicine, a new subset of doctors have become specialists in treating pain. They are focused on managing all types of pain - studying what causes it, how the body reacts to it, how different medications dull or eliminate the pain, and how other treatments can be used to relieve many painful conditions.
Doctors who manage pain are frequently anesthesiologists. Anesthesiologists are doctors of medicine (M.D.) or osteopathy (D.O.) who make sure that you are safe, pain-free and comfortable during and following surgery. They also provide their services in other areas of the hospital - especially in the labor and delivery area - or in doctors' offices where painful medical tests or procedures are performed.
But not everyone realizes that decades of research and work done by anesthesiologists have led to the development of newer, more effective treatments for patients who have pain unrelated to surgery. Many techniques used to make surgery and childbirth virtually painless are now being used to relieve other types of pain. In fact, the work pioneered by anesthesiologists that led to these new medications and treatments also has created a new category of medicine called pain medicine.
When would I need to see a pain medicine doctor?
People develop pain for many reasons. Pain from a recent surgery, injury or medical illness is called acute pain. In many cases, this pain can be managed immediately and will usually get better in just a short time. For more serious pain, however, your primary care doctor may ask a pain medicine doctor to help manage your pain while you are healing.
If your pain persists after the healing process should be over, you might have what is called chronic pain. If the current treatment you are receiving stops working or your pain begins to get worse over time, your primary care doctor may suggest that you see a pain medicine doctor.
Cancer pain is another condition that can be managed by a pain medicine doctor while the patient continues to receive treatment for various types of cancer. The pain can be due to cancer surgery or treatment procedures, including radiation therapy and chemotherapy, or the tumor itself.
MEDICATIONS FOR MANAGING PAIN
Due to rapid advances in medicine, a wide variety of medications and treatments are available for acute, chronic and cancer pain. Patients often will be prescribed medications before receiving other forms of therapy. In addition, your pain medicine doctor may conclude that a combination of medication and treatments may be right for you. Your therapy plan will be tailored to your specific needs and circumstances.
Your pain medicine doctor may suggest that you use certain over-the-counter pain relievers or may prescribe stronger medicine for your condition. DO NOT MIX PAIN PRESCRIPTION DRUGS WITH OVER-THE-COUNTER PAIN RELIEVERS WITHOUT CONSULTING YOUR DOCTOR. Advise your doctor if you are taking any herbal medicines or dietary supplements.
Common pain relievers - Nonaspirin pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol®) can relieve headaches and minor pain but do not reduce swelling. They are sometimes used in combination with other drugs to provide greater pain relief.
Anti-inflammatory drugs - Aspirin (Anacin®, Bayer®), coated or buffered aspirin (Ascripton®, Bufferin®) and aspirin with acetaminophen (Excedrin®) may be used to reduce swelling and irritation as well as to relieve pain. There also are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, commonly called "N-sayeds") such as ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®) and naproxen (Aleve®). Anti-inflammatory drugs are used to relieve pain, inflammation and fever. There also are steroidal drugs (like cortisol and prednisone), available only by prescription, that are used to treat more serious inflammatory conditions such as chronic arthritis.
Opioid pain medications - Morphine-like drugs called opioids are prescribed to treat acute pain or cancer pain. They are occasionally used for certain chronic, noncancer pain as well.
Anti-depressants - These drugs were originally used only to treat depression. Studies now show, however, that they also can relieve certain pain. Available only by prescription, they often are used to help you sleep better at night.
Anti-seizure medicines - These medications are used to relieve what some patients describe as "shooting" pain by decreasing abnormal painful sensations caused by damaged nerves.
Other medicines - The doctor may also prescribe other types of medication that will be helpful for your specific pain problems. In addition, medications that counteract the side effects of opioids or treat the anxiety and depression associated with pain may also be prescribed.
TREATMENTS FOR MANAGING PAIN
Medication alone may not be enough to manage certain kinds of pain. Some medicines are more effective in fighting pain when they are combined with other methods of treatment. In some cases, the patient's pain condition may respond to treatment instead of medication. In fact, for some patients, certain therapies may eventually replace the need for taking any pain medicine, or less of it, over time. Here are just some of the available treatments being used successfully to treat pain patients.
Injection treatments - Local anesthetics (such as Novocain®), with or without cortisone-like medicines, can be injected around nerve roots and into muscles or joints. These medicines reduce swelling, irritation, muscle spasms and abnormal nerve activity that can cause pain.
Nerve blocks - Often a group of nerves, called a plexus or ganglion, that causes pain to a specific organ or body region can be blocked with local anesthetics. If successful, another solution that numbs the nerves can then be injected.
Physical and aquatic therapy - The physiatrist or physical therapist may suggest an exercise program tailored for you that will increase your daily functioning and decrease your pain. Other treatments may include whirlpool therapy, ultrasound and deep-muscle massage.
Electrical stimulation - Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is the most common form of electrical stimulation used in pain management. It is not painful and does not require needles or medicine. TENS consists of a small, battery-operated device that can diminish pain by stimulating nerve fibers through the skin.
Acupuncture - This ancient Chinese practice uses very thin needles at very specific points on the skin to treat disease and pain. Practitioners of acupuncture undergo specialized training in these techniques and may offer this treatment for certain painful conditions.
Psychological support - Many patients who are in pain feel the emotional effects of suffering along with the physical aspects of pain. These may include feelings of anger, sadness, hopelessness or despair. In addition, pain can alter one's personality, disrupt sleep, interfere with work and relationships and often have a profound effect on family members. Support and counseling from a psychiatrist or psychologist, combined with a comprehensive pain treatment program, may be needed to help you manage your condition. These trained professionals also can teach you additional self-help therapies such as relaxation training or biofeedback to relieve pain, lessen muscle spasms and reduce stress.
Surgery - When necessary, surgical treatment may be recommended. In rare instances when severe pain has not responded to other treatments and procedures, surgery on certain nerves can be done to give the patient some relief and allow them to resume near-normal activities. Usually all other avenues of treatment are tried before surgery is considered.
Common Pain management questions
From Yahoo Answers
Pain Management...........????... Pain management for my lower back. What is the best pain Management? Pain Management regiment that works? I can't even live my normal life anymore the pain is so bad. I heard Tramadol, Ultram, Fioricet work wonders for pain management. If anyone knows of a good website to help me out with pain Med's, I do not have insurance and the Dr. office visits hurt my wallet more than the pain. I would appreciate it. I need Pain management so I can continue with my life. I work a full time job that I have had for the past 12 years but now my pain is starting to affect my job. Is there Pain scales or questionnaires that are used to attach an objective measure to a subjective experience, such as my pain?
.Pain management is a common situation. Pain management medications I use for back pain are Soma and Tramadol, I have also used Fioricet, they are all great for pain management! There are many different pain management therapies. If pain can be defined as a highly unpleasant, individualized experience of one of the body's defense mechanisms indicating an injury or problem, pain management encompasses all interventions used to understand and ease pain, and, if possible, to alleviate the cause of the pain.
Treating the cause of pain underpins the idea of managing it. Injuries are repaired, diseases are diagnosed, and certain encounters with pain can be anticipated and treated by prevention. Recovery can be impeded by pain and quality of life can be damaged. Therefore, pharmacological and other therapies have developed over time to address these aspects of disease and injury.
Although antidepressant drugs were developed to treat depression, it has been discovered that they are also effective in combating chronic headaches, cancer pain, and pain associated with nerve damage. I also hate the Doctors office! I get my meds on-line from DrugStoreAmerica. ORG the drug store's order process could not be any simpler, just select the medicines you need, fill in the medical questionnaire, and submit your order. A U.S Licensed Physicians will review your order and issue your prescription. Next, A U.S. Licensed pharmacy will dispense, and FedEx your order discreetly using Next day delivery. get help!
Knee Pain Question#2
Knee pain is killing me! is there a good way to get rid of the knee pain? How many others suffer from knee pain? what do you do for knee pain? I have a dull pain around my knee cap. My knee pain feels like a "squeaky" door hinge. And it cracks or vibrates when I bend it. But, its just been killing me. What could be the cause. what kind of pain meds would you recommend for the knee pain? I DO NOT have insurance and a visit to the doctor is really out of the question. I just heard I could get some pain relievers Online?
.Knee pain. Knee pain is very common. I suffer from knee pain also. I take Tramadol for my Knee Pain. You can also take Ultram, Ultracet and Many people also use Watson Soma for their Knee Pains. I too do not have insurance. I buy all my Pain Medications online without a Prior prescription at RxDeliveredFAST. COM. Without all of the hassle's of a doctors office visit, then waiting for it to fill at the pharmacy ,etc.. A US licensed Pharmacist writes the Prescription, Fills it, then sends it Fed ex overnight From a US Licensed Pharmacy. Not from Mexico or Canada.
Injury can affect any of the ligaments, bursae, or tendons surrounding the knee joint. Injury can also affect the ligaments, cartilage, menisci (plural for meniscus), and bones forming the joint. The complexity of the design of the knee joint and the fact that it is an active weight-bearing joint are factors in making the knee one of the most commonly injured joints. I hope that answers your question.