Pain is unbearable and debilitating. I hate pain as it crushes my spirits. Joint pain adversely affects the muscle development. It also limits the activities and causes abnormal gait. Pain reduces appetite. It also becomes enemy of rehabilitation.
Pain is so detrimental and the most treatments out there for pain are so poor. The drugs used to treat pain causes numerous problems to most people. Different types and classes of drugs also have some or the other problems. The narcotics induce addiction, make you nauseous and prevent you from sleep. These could depress your mood and reduce your energy levels.
The anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin, Toradol and NSAIDs causes bruising, bleeding and ulcers. Tylenol works well but the toxicity profile is low. There are pain patches which work well but this could cause skin irritation after using it for few days. Ice is extremely effective way to tackle pain but you should be careful so as not to burn your skin.
Most patients prefer non-pharmacological treatments as some of them work better than others. Some treatments have placebo effects but hardly anyone cares if the pain goes down.
Acupuncture tops the list of widely used treatments. But the fact is these treatments are poorly documented. The fake needles have shown to be as effective and sharp than the real ones which were used in the controlled studies. Most people were happier with results of acupuncture as this gave them significant pain relief.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation units are used for stimulating the nerves and muscles. It works by overwhelming the pain from fiber conduction. They provide different results for different people and patients love this of it relieves them from pain. The massage on soft-tissues reduces the pain and swelling. However, you should consider going to trained therapist to get better results.
Why are We Poor at Pain Control and Management?
Even in 21st century, we people still lack the ability to control pain. Is there any way to have pain-relief drug which does not have any side effects? The main problem is the deep connection between pain and psyche. If the single mechanism of pain ends, this leaves other multiple pathways in the brain which chooses to recognize this feeling. Thus, the pain still continues.
The treatment of pain should begin with prevention which in first place never give chance to your brain so that these pathways to pain. If any person has to undergo any surgery, first counsel them about what to expect. Follow up with how to avoid pain and how to respond to it with less stress.
This seems like the Buddhist idea which states that everyone has to tackle the pain but you should not suffer from it. Before going to the surgical medications, you should reduce the perception of pain brought by surgery. This include long action non-steroidal drug for some patients which is an anxiety reducer like Xanax and Valium.
Prior to surgery, talk with the patients about entering the event with complete relaxation and confidence. At surgery, the nurse holds the hand of our patients during initiation of anesthesia. This is followed up with local anesthetics so as to block the pain fibers and prevent the brain from receiving these pain stimuli.
Minimal exposure, incision are used and the tissues are handled carefully so as to reduce the trauma. Before ending this procedure, the local anesthetics are injected by providing 24-48 hours of total pain-relief.
Very few drugs and varied non-pharmacologic methods overwhelm people with pain reducing stimuli.
Exercise, ice, meditation, massage, stimulation are combined along with local anesthetics. Pre-emptive anesthesia helps relieve the pain and also prevents this pain.
The future of pain relief depends upon the intricate combination of pain–relieving medications with few side effects. These medications are known to have wide range of psychological interventions which prevent onset of pain as well as prepare patient to deal with it.