Last weekend a friend told me he visits a pain clinic called Aria institute in florida but i didn’t surprise because i recently read that according to the institute of Medicine, more than 100 million people in the United States suffer from chronic pain. These figures mean that it affects more Americans
than cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes put together. Pain is a
normal natural sense that alerts the body to undesirable internal and external stimuli such as injuries or
pressure. Chronic pain on the other hand, is a bit more complex.
The medical world today does not address chronic pain as just a physical sensation.
Doctors agree that it has biological, emotional and psychological influences.
For chronic pain to be managed effectively all these aspects have to be taken into consideration. Below are some of the methodologies employed to manage chronic pain.
1. PAIN ASSESSMENT
This is the first step that is taken before any treatment can be administered. Since
pain is largely subjective, physicians must assess pain on an individual basis.
Chronic pain can either be malignant, non-malignant or neuropathic. Identifying the pain mechanisms involved is especially important if drug treatment is to be
The treatment strategies that target specific underlying pain mechanisms are more likely to result in long-term pain relief. A physician at a clinic for instance pain clinic St. Petersburg FL is responsible for determining the pain
mechanism. This is done through evaluation of the pain site, temporal patterns,pain onset as well as exacerbating and relieving factors. From this they can determine to what extent the chronic pain interferes with the patients? quality of life and psychological states.
2. DRUG TREATMENT
treatment of chronic pain depends on whether the pain is mild, moderate or
severe. Mild pain is equivalent to a score between 1 and 3 on the 0-10 pain
intensity scale. Mild pain is manageable through non-opioid drugs such as Aspirin, Acetaminophen, Naproxen and Ibuprofen. Non-opioid drugs do not produce tolerance or dependence and they exhibit a ceiling effect to the analgesia.
What this means is larger doses will not result in less pain.
chronic pain (4-6 on the pain intensity scale) can be treated through addition
of low-dose opioid drugs to the mild pain drug prescriptions. Severe pain (7-10
on the pain intensity scale) requires administration of stronger opioid agonist
drugs with continued usage of the mild pain drugs.
Opioid is only only recommended when non-opioid treatments fail to alleviate the pain.
Well defined goals and plans must be put in place to mitigate the potential
risks involved with opioid drug use. Opioid drugs include Morphine, Codeine,
Oxycodone, Hydromorphone and Hydrocodone.
3. NON-MEDICINAL STRATEGIES
There are numerous non medicinal ways of dealing with chronic pain. One of the
recommended ones is psychological therapy. Psychologists can help people come to terms with the feelings and thoughts that are associated with chronic pain.
This can be done as part of a health team in a clinical setting or through
independent private practice. The methodology often involves teaching
relaxation techniques, changing attitudes towards pain, developing coping skills and addressing possible depression. They can also help patents to stay active, exercise regularly, manage stress, maintain social connections and employ
can also be used for chronic pain management. It aims to improve the overall
muscular tone and increase blood circulation to enable the body to tackle pain effectively. This method involves moderate exercise, posture rehabilitation, massage as well as heat and cold therapy. Application of heat is known to soothe certain types of chronic pain.
It is important to note that any pain management method should aim for four main things; the improvement of function, pain relief that improves overall
well-being, progress towards goals and an improved quality of life.