Whether you are suffering from chronic pain or you have recurring arthritis that causes pain, you may be interested in learning about your pain management options. There are many alternatives to oral pain management medications, such as physical therapy, PRP treatments, and other at-home remedies. Be sure to explore all of your options at Phoenix Regenerative Medicine in Tempe, AZ so you can find the method that works best for you.
How Does Pain Management Treatment Work?
Pain management treatments work by first pinpointing the underlying cause of your pain. Through a medical examination, your joints and previous injuries will be examined to assess the current condition of your body.
It’s important to understand the cause of your pain so that the correct treatment can be selected. For example, you would not treat chronic pain with injectable treatments even oral medications alone because the cause of chronic pain is associated mostly with the nerves. You must use the correct management technique for your pain to get the best results.
What Are Your Pain Management Treatment Options?
Several options can be used to manage your pain. From non-invasive to minimally invasive treatments, some of your best options will focus on regenerative and holistic medicine to reduce pain. Some of the best options to reduce pain in the long term include:
Physical therapy is often the first line of defense for managing long-term pain. Whether you have suffered an acute injury or an old injury is causing chronic pain, physical therapy can be a good option. During physical therapy, you will learn exercises and stretches that will ensure your musculoskeletal system is healthy, which can reduce strain and inflammation in the body that contributes to pain.
Physical therapy is also a good way to prevent injuries in the future. For example, if you have had repeated tendonitis flare-ups, learning physical therapy techniques that you can use every day can prevent the same muscle strain that causes pain in the future.
PRP is a popular treatment that can be used to address a variety of pain, especially pain in the joints. PRP works by isolating the platelet-rich plasma in your blood to inject into areas of your body where you’re experiencing pain. The plasma in your blood contains many healing properties that can reduce inflammation and introduce resources to alleviate pain and help rebuild healthy cells. PRP is generally a good option for most people.
TENS stimulation is often appropriate for muscle pain, such as strains or other acute injuries. TENS stands for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator, which is a system that produces small electrical impulses that stimulate the nerves to reduce pain signals. TENS stimulation can be used by most people and you may even be able to purchase a TENS unit for at-home use.
Viscosupplementation is an injectable treatment that uses the power of naturally occurring hyaluronic acid to lubricate the joints. Improving the elasticity, hydration, and flexibility of the joints can reduce pain associated with arthritis and may even be able to slow disease progression. When used on major joints such as the knees, this can potentially delay the need for a surgical joint replacement.
Ice and Heat Therapy
For immediate pain relief and comfort, using ice and heat therapy at home is ideal. Both ice and heat therapy is part of recommended at-home measures to take after an acute injury, but these methods can also be used to soothe chronic pain associated with old injuries and the muscles or joints.
For ice therapy, you can reduce inflammation by applying ice to the affected body part for 20 minutes at a time. Ice can also be used immediately after an injury to reduce swelling. Heat therapy, on the other hand, is more soothing for pain and can relax muscles. Because heat therapy increases blood flow in the affected area of the body, it is generally best to use for long-term energy and injuries.
There are several topical ointments that you can use to manage a variety of pain. Ointments containing menthol, topical numbing ingredients like lidocaine, and even herbal supplements such as Arnica Montana are all effective for reducing pain in the muscles and joints. Topical ointments can temporarily block nerve signals in a localized area of the body, which can make it easier to cope with pain. Topical ointments can also be used several times a day.
Finally, there may be oral medications you can take to alleviate pain. Oral medications can include Tylenol, Ibuprofen, or even prescription medications. That said, oral medications are not appropriate for all types of pain. For example, for those who have chronic pain, oral medications are not always effective.
It’s also important to take the right medication for the type of pain you have. Anti-inflammatory medications like Ibuprofen tend to work best for joint and muscle pain, while medications such as Tylenol can work better for other types of pain, such as a headache.
Which Treatment Is Best for You?
The treatment that is best for you will depend on your specific condition, how old your injury is, and how well your body tolerates the treatment. The best and most universal treatments include PRP injections and TENS units, although physical therapy is also a highly effective treatment to manage pain in the future.
Why Combining Treatments Is Best
To get the best results from your pain management treatment, it’s often best to combine treatments. When you approach your pain from different angles, you can address many of the underlying causes for your pain and find a technique that works best to reduce your pain for the longest period.
For example, combining ice and heat therapy with injectable treatments can reduce inflammation and encourage faster healing of the body. Using physical therapy with other forms of pain therapy can also prove highly effective, especially if you are recovering from an acute injury.
Does All Pain Go Away?
Pain is a signal from the body that there is an injury, which is why you will usually notice pain after an acute injury. Other pain, such as cramps, may have other underlying causes. For the most part, most pain is temporary and will go away after several days or weeks once the body has regenerated enough healthy cells. But other pain can stay for years, such as chronic pain.
What Is Thought To Cause Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain starts the same way most pain starts – with an acute injury. However, chronic pain occurs when the acute injury heals but the pain remains. While scientists are still trying to identify the cause of chronic pain, many believe that chronic pain can be linked to malfunctioning nerve signals in the brain.
This means that the nerves in your body are incorrectly interpreting pain signals even though there is no inflammation or injury in the body. This is one of the reasons why treating chronic pain is so challenging.
How Can You Reduce Chronic Pain?
To reduce chronic pain, you may need a combination of holistic and regenerative treatment to manage your pain day to day. However, because chronic pain is continual, it can have a drastic effect on the individual who has the pain. For example, many people with chronic pain often experience higher levels of depression and are at increased risk of developing certain diseases. Some ways you can reduce chronic pain include:
Reducing stress can be a way to improve chronic pain. When you’re stressed, you’re more likely to feel pain since your body will feel more sensitive because stress hormones increase inflammation in the body. Reducing stress with meditation can help you manage chronic pain signals.
As difficult as it may be for those who have chronic pain to stay active, it’s important to keep moving. Your body and your general health rely on movement. If you do not walk, stretch, or engage in light exercise, you run the risk of increasing your chronic pain or making your condition worse.
Explore Your Pain Management Treatment Options
There are many treatment options to manage acute and long-term pain. From regenerative medicine such as PRP to holistic medicine such as ice and heat therapy, you can find a treatment plan that works to reduce your overall pain. If you’re ready to explore your pain management options, contact Phoenix Regenerative Medicine in Tempe, AZ to schedule your first appointment today.