Here’s you need to know about what is involved in pain management..
Also known as pain medicine or pain control, pain management is a branch of medicine that uses an interdisciplinary approach to ease suffering and improve the wellbeing of people living with chronic pain. Typically, pain management teams are comprised of physiotherapists, medical practitioners, physician assistants, occupational therapists, nurses, clinical psychologists, pharmacists, and even dentists. Additionally, the team might have a massage therapist and other mental health experts. To help people struggling with chronic pain, Phoenix Regenerative Medicine in Phoenix, AZ, offers pain management services.
What Is Involved in Pain Management?
What is involved in pain management treating pain can be a complex process that involves several health specialists. However, sometimes pain disappears once an underlying pathology or trauma has healed. This might happen when a medical professional treats the underlying condition and treats the pain with drugs, such as analgesics and anxiolytics. Although a qualified health professional can practice pain medicine, effective management of chronic pain often requires the coordinated efforts of several health professionals specializing in different medical fields.
Pain management involves the diagnosis and treatment of pain. It also includes patient communication about their pain problem. Pain can be caused by many things and can have several treatment options.
Causes of Pain
Headache and Facial Pain
Headaches can cause a lot of discomfort, affecting your normal activities and the quality of your life. Also known as tic douloureux, for example, trigeminal neuralgia is a condition that causes intense intermittent shooting pain in the face and can make it difficult to function at all during a flareup.
Peripheral Nerve Pain
Also known as neuropathy, peripheral nerve pain can be debilitating. Examples include ilioinguinal neuroma, intercostal neuralgia, interdigital neuroma, and nerve entrapment.
Coccydynia is pain that affects the area surrounding the tailbone or the coccyx. This pain can be caused by trauma or can appear without an apparent cause. Typically, the pain originates from the autonomic nervous system, a part of the nervous system we cannot control.
Compression fractures affect the body’s bony building blocks. They are common in old age. They are caused by loss of calcium in the bone or by osteoporosis. These conditions weaken the bones, increasing the risk of breaking. Compression fractures are painful and can cause a lot of discomfort.
Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is a painful condition that affects people suffering from shingles. Almost everyone is exposed to chickenpox when they are young. Although our immune system controls the Herpes Zoster virus that causes chickenpox, the virus remains dormant in the spinal cord. Old age, illness, or stress can reactivate the virus, attacking the infected nerve and adjacent skin. Fortunately, during this second attack, the body usually recognizes the virus and contains the pain along the course of the affected nerve. However, sometimes the virus damages the nerve, causing continuous nerve pain.
Myofasciitis and Torticollis
Myofasciitis is pain that is experienced in the neck or back muscles. People suffering from torticollis experience painful spasms in their neck muscles, forcing them to hold their necks tilted or rotated to the side.
The piriformis muscle stretches from the hip to the tailbone. Piriformis syndrome is the sudden involuntary convulsion of the piriformis muscle. Piriformis syndrome squeezes the sciatic nerve that passes through the piriformis muscle, causing pain that goes down the leg.
Plantar Fasciitis and Lateral Epicondylitis
Plantar fasciitis and lateral epicondylitis are two pain problems that affect the heel and the tennis elbow, respectively.
Cancer pain is a general cover term for pain resulting from several causes, including the cancer itself, fractures, treatment of the cancer, or compression of a nerve or other body parts.
Types of Pain
To determine the ideal treatment option, a healthcare provider must define the type of pain the patient is experiencing. Pain is generally divided into two major groups: nociceptive pain and neuropathic pain.
Nociceptive pain includes back, arm, and leg pain. A cut or a broken bone are good examples of nociceptive pain. Nociceptive pain
can be divided into two parts:
This is pain that arises from irritation of the nerve roots. Radicular pain travels down the arm or leg along the distribution of the nerve from its starting point at the spinal cord. Radicular pain is closely linked to radiculopathy, a condition that is characterized by tingling, numbness, weakness, or loss of reflexes in the distribution of the nerve.
Somatic pain is pain that affects the back or thighs. Since it is difficult for doctors to diagnose the cause of most back pain accurately, it is classified as idiopathic. Back pain is often caused by three structures in the back, including the discs, the facet joints, and the sacroiliac joint. The discs help to absorb shock in the vertebrae. The facet joints are found at the back of the spine, providing stability and limiting how far back you can bend or twist. The sacroiliac joint is located in the buttock area, helping you to walk properly and transferring weight to the legs from the upper body.
Neuropathic pain is pain that is caused by disease or damage that affects the nervous system. Sometimes the pain occurs spontaneously without an apparent cause. Some examples of neuropathic pain include shingles and diabetic peripheral neuropathy. This type of pain can also occur after nerves are cut or after suffering from a stroke. Other forms of neuropathic pain include:
- Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS
- Interstitial cystitis
- Sympathetically maintained pain
- Irritable bowel syndrome
Pain Management Approaches
Once your body suffers from a soft tissue injury, it responds by sending platelet cells to the injured area. Since platelet cells have growth and healing abilities, they initiate repair and attract the vital assistance of OrthoBiologics. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy boosts the body’s natural healing abilities by increasing the concentration of platelet cells. During a PRP therapy, a health professional draws a small sample of your blood and places it in a centrifuge. The centrifuge spins your blood sample at high speeds, separating the platelet from other compounds found in the blood.
The concentrated PRP injection is then administered on the injury area, triggering the body’s natural healing process. Since PRP therapy uses your blood, there is no risk of transmissible infection. You are also unlikely to experience an allergic reaction. PRP therapy is effective in treating:
- Osteoarthritis of the knee, shoulder, hip, and spine
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Rotator cuff tears
- Pelvic pain and instability
- Tennis elbow
- Chronic plantar fasciitis
- Ligament sprains
- Ankle sprains
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Physical medicine and rehabilitation treat pain using several physical techniques, such as therapeutic exercise, thermal agents, behavioral therapy, and electrotherapy. These pain treatment strategies can be used alone or in combination with conventional pharmacotherapy and interventional techniques. Spa therapy and kinesiotape are effective in treating chronic low back pain. Physical therapy and exercise can treat pain caused by multiple injuries, illnesses, or diseases. They can treat chronic low back pain, fibromyalgia, and osteoarthritis of the hip and knee.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is used to treat diabetic peripheral neuropathy and other illnesses.
Typically used to treat chronic back pain, interventional approaches include:
- Facet joint injections
- Epidural steroid injections
- Spinal cord stimulators
- Neurolytic blocks
- Intrathecal drug delivery system implants
Intra-Articular Ozone Therapy
This pain treatment option offers relief to patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis.
To manage analgesics, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a pain ladder system. In a pain ladder system, when a pain treatment option fails, the doctor and patient move to a higher step, where a stronger pain killer is introduced.
For mild pain, the doctor might prescribe acetaminophen or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as ibuprofen.
Mild to Moderate Pain
For mild to moderate pain, the doctor might prescribe acetaminophen, an NSAID, or a combination of acetaminophen and a weak opioid, such as tramadol.
Moderate to Severe Pain
Before prescribing for moderate to severe pain, the doctor must first determine whether you are suffering from acute or chronic pain. This information guides the type and dosage of medication you will receive. Some medications are more effective against acute pain, while others are more effective against chronic pain. Certain medications are effective against both acute and chronic pain. Acute pain medication treats pain that is caused by trauma or surgery. Chronic pain medication treats long-lasting, ongoing pain.
In recent times, the opioids crisis, caused by the misuse and abuse of opioids, has attracted negative attention towards opioids. However, according to the National Institutes of Health, properly managed medical use of opioid analgesic compounds can safely and effectively manage pain without the risk of addiction. Depending on specific properties and formulas, opioids can act as short, immediate, or long-acting analgesics. Opioids are administered in several ways, including orally, by injection, rectally, intravenously, intrathecally, transdermally, epidural, or through the nasal mucosa or oral mucosa.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a psychological approach to pain management that helps patients to understand the link between their physiology, emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. CBT seeks to encourage patients to develop helpful thought patterns and to adopt healthy habits, such as regular exercise, pacing, and lifestyle changes. CBT is effective in treating chronic low back pain, reducing the risk of physical and psychosocial disability.
We Can Help
Chronic pain can interfere with your ability to perform important duties. It lowers your productivity and the quality of life, preventing you from living a fulfilling life. It can also affect your health and general wellbeing. Fortunately, there are several pain management options that offer relief from chronic pain. To learn more about whether OrthoBiologics therapy and PRP therapy can help you, contact Phoenix Regenerative Medicine in Phoenix, AZ!