Pain Control – Types Of Pain And How To Manage Them : In medical terms, pain is defined as the sensation of discomfort in the body that is indicative of various different problems. The brain usually generates pain in order to trigger the right response to stop any harm inflicted on the body. Most of the population has experienced pain at least once in their lives, and it is one of the most common reasons to seek medical care.
It is important to know that we all experience pain in slightly different ways. This process involves communication between your brain and the nervous system. In this article, you’ll get an in-depth view of the different types of pain, how to diagnose them, and the best ways to manage them.
Different Categories of Pain
Pain is just a general term to describe a wide variety of discomforting sensations in the body. But, in order to diagnose the exact reason for the pain and find the underlying issues, pain has been categorized into several varieties. Here are a few of the most common types of pain experienced by people throughout the world.
This is the most commonly experienced category of pain by people. Acute pain lasts for short periods and is usually caused by external factors. Most cases of acute pain don’t last more than six months, and it goes away once the root cause of the pain is fixed. Some of the general causes of acute pain include –
- Post-surgery pain
- Fractured bones
- Minor external trauma like cuts and burns
- Muscle injuries
- Temporary headaches
One of the common examples of acute pain includes muscle straining after a long workout. You may feel this kind of pain for a day or two, but eventually, it fades away as the body heals the torn muscles.
Chronic Pain usually lasts a lot longer than acute pain. It can carry on throughout a person’s life if they don’t receive medical intervention for it. Chronic pain continues even after the affected place has healed or the ailment causing it has gone away. This type of pain lasts more than three months, and in some cases, an acute pain can develop into chronic pain if not treated.
Take a look at some of the most common types of chronic pain –
- Recurring headaches
- Cancer related pain
- Persistent Leg Pain
- Nerve pain
- Arthritis induced pain
- Lower Back Pain
Chronic pain can severely deteriorate the quality of life for an individual, and can lead to other psychological and physiological disorders in the body. One of the most inhibiting types and common examples of this is chronic back pain. It can be quite difficult to diagnose the exact reason for chronic back pain, and a wrong medical procedure to stop it can even increase the intensity of the pain.
In case all of the patient’s other options have been exhausted, doctors may recommend TOPS back surgery recovery to reduce pain in the long term. The recovery process after back surgery can be made much easier by making a few lifestyle changes.
Normally, once you’ve recovered from the surgery, you’ll need to attend physical rehabilitation, get comfortable sleep and wear a back brace if recommended by your doctor. It is also highly recommended not to consume any alcohol or smoke for a few months after the surgery. This advice also applies to other treatments for chronic pain.
When the patient takes prescription medicines for chronic pain, over time their efficiency can decrease. In conditions like cancer, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and similar diseases, the patient may experience severe pain for short periods due to decreased efficiency of the pain management drugs.
This type of pain is also known as flare pain. Generally, breakthrough pain is not a symptom of a new underlying disease, and it may even occur during simple activities like exercise. Here are a few of the common examples of breakthrough pain –
- Arthritis pain
- Pain caused by intense coughing
- Cancer-related pain
One of the most common examples of breakthrough pain is when the patient is on a specific chronic pain management medicine, and they miss a dose. The missed dose can lead to a sudden spike in pain levels, which goes away after taking the medication again.
In cases of Bone pain, the patient faces tenderness, discomfort, and severe pain in a single bone or several bones in their body. This kind of pain Is persistent and does not depend upon whether you’re moving or not. It is normally caused by diseases that affect the bone directly by changing its structure and functions, or due to severe bone injuries. Bone pain can be caused due to some of these common factors –
- Deficiency of certain minerals and vitamins
- Bone fractures and breakages
- Cancer that spreads to the bones
- Lack of blood supply to the bones
There are several treatment options for bone pain, and depending upon the diagnosis, your doctor will recommend the best treatment plan available for you. Some of the causes of bone pain can be avoided by taking in more amounts of calcium and vitamin D either in the form of supplements or regular food.
How Do I Manage My Pain?
With the advancement of research in biology, there are several ways in which you can reduce or even completely stop your pain. There are several types of pain control medications, and each of them works with different mechanisms in the body. You can manage your pain by taking the right class of medications prescribed by your doctor. Most of the general medications available for pain management fall under these categories –
This class of pain management drugs works in similar ways to opioid-based options but has a much lower risk of addiction. These drugs can often be bought over the counter without a prescription because of low chances of abuse and side effects. Some examples include aspirin, acetaminophen, paracetamol, NSAIDs, etc.
Moderate opioids are drugs that can effectively control pain and have less potential for abuse than strong opioids. These are prescribed by doctors in cases of above-average pain levels in patients. Generally, this class of medications needs to be prescribed by a doctor in order to buy them from dispensaries. Some examples of this medication include codeine, tramadol, dihydrocodeine, etc.
This class of drugs is only used in patients that require severe care or patients who receive end-of-life care to manage high levels of pain. It is also used in cancer patients to give guaranteed pain relief. But this type of medication is quite habit-forming and can lead to addiction and abuse. Some examples of strong opioids include – Morphine, Oxycodone, Fentanyl, and more.
Some dissociative analgesics have started seeing more use in recent studies to find non-opioid-based pain management systems. Dissociatives like ketamine have been used to reduce pain by using its antagonism of NMDA receptors in the brain. Some examples include – Ketamine, PCP, Dextromethorphan, Nitrous Oxide, etc.
These drugs work by either modifying or improving the functioning of receptors in the body that are not directly connected to the cause of pain. Adjuvant treatments are meant to be used along with other proven drugs to reduce the side effects and reduce inflammation if there are any. Some examples include – Cannabidiol, Gabapentin, Capsaicin cream, etc.
Apart from medications, there are also physical therapies and counseling that can reduce and control pain by making significant changes to lifestyle. These are drug-free treatments that should be considered and tried out before seeking relief by using medications.
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