Pain is a natural response to an injury or a medical problem. Healthcare professionals define chronic pain as continuing beyond the average time for healing.
When pain is not controlled, it can lead to a lot of distress for people and their loved ones. Fortunately, there are several different ways to relieve pain.
Physical therapy (PT) is one of the most common ways doctors help people manage their pain. It focuses on improving movement and strengthening muscles to decrease pain and prevent further damage.
The first step is visiting the pain management St Augustine FL clinic to assess your needs. They’ll take a detailed medical history and ask about your symptoms, daily activities, and sleeping habits.
Your PT will then develop a plan addressing your movement issues, including exercises to decrease pain and improve mobility. They may also use modalities like heat, ice, or electrical stimulation to treat the areas your injury affects.
The treatment plan may involve graded exposure, which is a way of introducing new movements and activities in a gradual way to allow you to regain movement without pain slowly. This strategy has been proven to reduce pain and return you to normal activities.
Acupuncture is a type of pain management used for thousands of years. It involves placing needles into specific points on the skin to help activate energy in your body called qi (pronounced chee).
Acupuncturists use this life force energy to balance your body and promote healing. Stress, environmental factors, lifestyle behaviors, and genetics can block this energy and cause illness.
Acupuncture is safe and effective if you receive it from a qualified practitioner. It can also be used to reduce or eliminate the need for medications.
In most cases, pain is a normal biological function that helps to warn us of damage and encourages healing. But sometimes, the pain we experience persists after we’ve healed and becomes something we must live with.
Psychological treatments can help patients learn new ways to deal with their pain. Specifically, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to reduce the physical and emotional pain.
Aside from helping you change your thoughts and beliefs, CBT can also teach you how to manage other issues that may come with chronic pain, such as depression or anxiety.
Some psychological therapies work better for chronic pain than others, so it’s essential to ask your healthcare team for their recommendations. Ultimately, medications, exercise, and mental health treatment can help you manage your pain. Group counseling can also be an excellent way to get support and discover that you’re not alone in your struggles.
Every year, millions of prescriptions are written for pain medications. But they often contain potent opioids that can cause side effects and addiction.
Fortunately, there are many non-opioid options for treating pain. Examples include acetaminophen, anti-inflammatory drugs, and topical medications that can be applied to the skin.
Some types of these medications, called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), are available in over-the-counter (OTC) products and are an excellent first-choice treatment for pain. These include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen.
More powerful NSAIDs also work as pills or ointments, including celecoxib (e.g., Celebrex). However, these medicines are more prone to stomach and gastrointestinal problems, so they are not recommended for long-term use. They may also increase your risk for heart disease and stroke. If you have a history of liver, kidney, or heart problems, talk to your doctor before taking any NSAIDs. NSAIDs can also be used with proton pump inhibitors, like Nexium (esomeprazole), to help lower your risk of stomach and intestinal problems.
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