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Pain can be categorized as either acute pain, chronic pain. We have types of pain that result due to cancer, or the ones experienced as a result of trauma or accidents. One can also feel a certain degree of pain after going through a surgical operation because of typical body responses to the nature of exploration. Pain is not as basic or simple as it may appear. Some people are in serious pain because of metabolic disorders. Some go through severe pain due to damages suffered in their nervous system, while some suffer because they have diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, back and neck injuries, etc. Pain is also common with women in labor. What does a pain management doctor do for you?
Since pain is getting very diverse as a result of its different causes, Medical Doctors who are proficient and trained in the management of pain are needed for the society. Thankfully, we have a host of them, and they offer their services in a very efficient manner. These healthcare practitioners are specialist in evaluating the degree and nature of pain that patients suffer. Based on their seasoned knowledge they prescribe medical examinations to be carried out. They, in turn, analyze the results of these tests which enable to confirm their diagnosis. They now either prescribe appropriate medications or therapy to alleviate the pain felt by the patients. They are also capable of performing interventional procedures such as spinal blocks.
Chronic Pain Management for Back Pain
Nerve blocks or drugs could be used in the management of chronic pain. Doctors carry out series of tests to conclude on the more appropriate regimen and approach to use in bringing relief to the patients that present with chronic pain. Doctors may opt to prescribe medications such as Opioids, but they may have to consider the family history of the patient to avoid triggering addition.
Other medications that could be given in the prescription include muscle relaxants, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and Paracetamol also known as Acetaminophen. The dosage would either be given by the physician or by the pharmacy. It is also significant to note the side effects that may be experienced by taking certain pills.
The nerve blocks that can be used to alleviate chronic pain are Epidural Steroid injection, lumbar sympathetic nerve block, facet joint injection, celiac plexus block, and stellate ganglion block. Most of these procedures are performed under the guidance of fluorescence for the precision of the needles, so as not to injure or destroy any nerves in the process. It is crucial to notify the doctor of any contrast dye allergy or any suspicion of pregnancy before the procedure is done. The main principle of these nerve blocks is to target the nerves sending the pain signals to the brain.
What are the Different Types of Pain Management?
There are numerous ways of managing occurrence of pain in patients. Many people get fixated on taking pills and injections for treating pain, but there are broad approaches even under the main ways of treating pain. Most of them have been highlighted above but to give them a definite structure. They include:
- Nerve Blocks
- Alternative therapies such as Acupuncture, Yoga, Massage, and Spinal Adjustment.
What Drugs are used for Pain Management?
There are quite some over the counter drugs that could be used for pain, but it is best one gets examined adequately by the healthcare professional before self-medicating as it is not a good practice. Even when the pills help in providing relief from the pain being experienced, the pain may just be a symptom of a larger problem which needs proper management. Self-medication will take away that chance of early discovery and treatment. Drugs that help in the management of pain include:
- Muscle relaxants
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
Which Pain Pills are Opiates?
Opiates are very similar to opioids in that they are both derived from opium, but they are not the same thing because opiates are natural derivatives of the opium poppy while opioids are drugs which either simulate characteristics of opium and synthetic derivatives of opium. Opiates are drugs used in treating pain and coughs. Nowadays, due to the similarity of the source of opiates and opium the two terms have been used in place of each other.
The major challenge of taking these medications is that they are often abused which leads to a harmful impact on the health of the abusers. Opiates are prescribed primarily to treat moderate to severe degrees of pain. The legal opiates that are specified for use in patients suffering pain especially after surgery are Morphine, Meperidine, Codeine, Hydrocodone commonly marketed with brand names Lortab and Vicodin, Oxycodone with brand names Percocet and OxyContin, and Fentanyl patch.
Pain Management without Opiates
The treatment of pain without opiates is not only possible but efficient especially without the risk of addiction. Many alternative ways such as massage, yoga, and acupuncture could be used in the treatment of pain. There are also drugs such as muscle relaxants that are useful in easing muscle spasms and back pain, especially lower back pain. Anticonvulsants also treat neuropathic pain, migraine headaches, and fibromyalgia experienced by patients. A much newer version of intervention includes Cooled Radiofrequency Ablation can cause relief in patients suffering from these pain for up to two-thirds of a year or even enjoy a complete pain-free year before needing a repeat. The way radiofrequency ablation works is by destroying the nerve that sends the pain signals to the brain and this method has been found useful in patients with hip pain, joint pain, neuropathy and more relevantly back pain.
Pain Management Doctors Near Me that Prescribe Narcotics
Medical Doctors who are well-trained pain specialists can be found on the internet, by checking through online directories. Popular examples include:
- The American Board of Pain Medicine contains healthcare professionals that are board-certified pain specialists.
- The American Academy of Pain Medicine has physicians who are experienced with pain management, although they may be board-certified pain specialists or they may not be.
- The American Academy of Pain Management catalogs medical doctors that have vast experience with receiving and treating patients who suffer from pain. However, the medical professionals found on this list may not be board-certified pain experts or medical doctors.
Pain is part of life. There are quite a lot of ways that may expose one to pain. It is essential to get it sorted out and relieved soonest. Advances in medicine have made it easy for people to approach physicians and get expert information and treatment of any form of pain that we experience. Pain may be unavoidable but one does not have to live a life full of pain, there are ways to get relief without being exposed to further dangers.
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