Pain Management 4
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Chronic pain can be devastating to people with this affliction. Dr. Edward Hill continues a week-long series on chronic pain by discussing treatment options.
Doctors typically define chronic pain as pain that persists beyond a reasonable amount of time for an injury to heal, often defined as greater than three to six months. Patients plagued with certain diseases can deal with pain daily.
Treatments for chronic pain are as varied as its causes. No single relief technique may work and many patients find a combination of treatments work best.
Milder forms of pain may be relieved by over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol, aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or topical creams. If over-the-counter drugs do not provide relief, other helpful medications include muscle relaxants, anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressants, seizure medications and narcotics.
To have more successful treatment, it is important to address both the physical and psychological components of chronic pain. Patients with chronic pain have a very high rate of depression and anxiety. Many patients and doctors fail to recognize, accept or treat the psychological component, rendering treatment less successful.
Tomorrow we’ll discuss other treatments for chronic pain sufferers. For North Mississippi Medical Center, I’m Dr. Edward Hill.