Pain Treatment Intervention Techniques

While some people can turn to over-the-counter pain medications to treat the occasional headache or minor cuts or sprains, other people who suffer from severe pain or chronic pain may need to seek pain intervention techniques in order to cope with pain that is often debilitating.

Pain comes in a variety of forms. Some pain lasts only a few hours and can be treated with such pain medications as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Chronic pain, however, can last for years and often cannot be treated with over-the-counter pain medications or even prescription medications. Often, people with chronic pain must turn to surgery or other interventions for chronic pain.

In this section, we’ll discuss the different types of pain interventions that can help you manage your chronic pain. From local anesthetics to spinal cord stimulation to ablation, we’ll cover the pain intervention techniques available and also discuss their pros, cons, costs and more. We’ll also help direct you to the pain intervention techniques that can best help you cope with your chronic pain.

Pain Intervention: Local Anesthetics

In addition to treating pain with medication, people also seek other ways to interfere with the transmission of pain signals, thus blocking that body’s ability to sense pain.

For instance, people who are experiencing intense lower back pain may have a doctor inject a local anesthetic into their spinal cords in order to block pain signals. While this application of a local anesthetic can be extremely helpful in blocking pain and can allow a person to return to normal, everyday activities, it is also a temporary solution to pain.

Local anesthesia works by blocking nerve impulses, reducing the body’s ability to feel pain. There are a number of local anesthetics, each of which differs in absorption, toxicity and duration of action. Your doctor can recommend a local anesthetic to best block your pain.

Pain Intervention: Spinal Cord Stimulation

People who suffer from chronic pain often consider spinal cord stimulation to treat pain. In spinal cord stimulation, a small implanted device transmits small electrical pulses to replace the feeling of pain with a tingling or massaging sensation. Spinal cord stimulation is beneficial for certain types of chronic pain.

In spinal cord stimulation, a person most often is required to undergo two procedures:

  1. trial procedure
  2. permanent procedure.

In the trial procedure, a physician implants the device in order to test how well you respond to the stimulation. If you are a good candidate, you will undergo the permanent procedure, in which your permanent spinal cord stimulation device is implanted.

While not for everyone, spinal cord stimulation can greatly reduce chronic pain for many.

Pain Intervention: Ablation

People who experience chronic pain due to endometriosis or a spinal condition may benefit from ablation. In ablation, tissues are destroyed or removed using any of the following, among other methods:

  • drugs
  • heat
  • hormones
  • radiofrequency
  • surgery.

In addition to endometriosis and certain spinal disorders, heart problems may benefit from ablation.

Resources

ANS (n.d.). Spinal Cord Stimulation: A Proven Therapy for Pain. Retrieved Sept. 5, 2007, from the Power over Your Pain Web site: http://www.poweroveryourpain.com/sb/all_about/proven/index.html.

Heitmiller, Eugenie (n.d.). How Anesthesia Works. Retrieved Sept. 5, 2007, from the howstuffworks Web site: http://health.howstuffworks.com/anesthesia6.htm.