Pain Treatment

Pain comes in a variety of forms. Whether you’re suffering from chronic pain, acute pain or unidentifiable pain, you likely want to make your pain disappear, or at least make it subside to a more tolerable level. Luckily, there are a number of pain treatments available to help you cope with the pain you experience.

In this section, we’ll discuss the different types of pain treatments that can help you manage your pain. From pain medications to alternative pain relief to intervention techniques, we’ll cover the pain treatments available and also discuss their pros, cons, costs and more. We’ll also help direct you to the pain treatments that can best help you cope with your pain.

Pain Medications and Analgesics

Often, when people experience pain, they turn to over-the-counter pain medications or prescription medications. Over-the-counter pain medications include:

  • acetaminophen
  • aspirin
  • ibuprofen.

While many of these pain medications are extremely effective, popular and easy to obtain, they do have the ability to cause potentially dangerous side effects in the user, especially when not used as directed.

In addition to over-the-counter pain medications, COX-2 inhibitors, Vicodin® and opioids are popular pain medications.

Alternative Pain Relief

While some people turn to traditional methods to treat pain, such as pain pills, medicated lotions and liquid pain medications, others look to alternative ways to treat pain. While some people use only alternative pain relief, many others use alternative pain relief methods in combination with more traditional pain relief therapies.

Alternative pain relief includes more well-known therapies, such as acupuncture and massage therapy, as well as some less common pain relief methods, including BOTOX® and cryotherapy.

Many people know that BOTOX® can be used to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Fewer people know that BOTOX® is effective at treating migraines. Researchers believe BOTOX® reduces migraine pain by not only relaxing muscles but also by blocking the transmission of pain signals.

In cryotherapy, physicians use extreme cold to treat pain and remove diseased tissues. While cryotherapy has been used for many years in sports medicine, it is now being used more and more as a method of alternative pain relief.

Intervention Techniques

In addition to treating pain, people also seek ways to interfere with the transmission of pain signals, thus blocking the 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 cord 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.

In addition to local anesthetics, people can also turn to 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 addition to local anesthetics and spinal cord stimulation, ablation is considered a pain intervention technique.

Resources

A Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Resource (2007). Botox for Migraine Headache. Retrieved Sept. 5, 2007, from the A Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Web site: http://www.aboardcertifiedplasticsurgeonresource.com/botox/migraines.html.

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.

Quinn, Elizabeth (2007). Over the Counter Pain Medication. Retrieved Sept. 5, 2007, from the About.com Web site: http://sportsmedicine.about.com/cs/drugs_doping/a/aa051403a.htm.

Radiological Society of North America, Inc. (2007). Cryotherapy. Retrieved Sept. 5, 2007, from the RadiologyInfo Web site: http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=cryo