Types of pain and management techniques

Types of pain and management techniques

The technique of pain management depends on the cause of the pain. If the cause is nerve root irritation from a herniated disc, wherein the pain radiates down the length of the leg, it can be treated with an epidural steroid injection. On the other hand, pain can be severe, like due to an inflamed appendix, for which surgery or other invasive measures are required. Let’s look at the various causes of pain and ways to manage it.

Main causes of pain
The common causes of pain are:

  • Cancer
  • Lateral epicondylitis
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Torticollis
  • Myofasciitis
  • Post-herpetic neuralgia
  • Compression fractures
  • Coccydynia
  • Peripheral nerve damage
  • Infections, ulcers, or open sores
  • Headaches

How is pain management possible?
The management and treatment of pain can be undertaken by knowing its history and other details like its duration, intensity, and relieving and aggravating conditions. Only after all this is understood, effective pain management can be undertaken by a medical examiner. So, one should disclose all relevant details to their doctor at the time of consultation.

Types of pain
The main types of pain are:

  • Nociceptive pain: This is triggered due to tissue injury and can be acute or chronic. It can be somatic or visceral; while the former is limited to the tissues, the latter stems from damage to internal organs.
  • Neuropathic pain: This is caused by a condition that affects the nervous system or due to damage to the system. The pain can also occur without any specific injury or damage, and some examples of this type of pain are shingles and diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

Techniques and skills for pain management

  • Psychological counseling and support
  • Physical therapy and chiropractic therapy
  • Medication management
  • Interventional procedures

Methods of pain management with medication
All the types of pain mentioned above require different approaches for management. So, one should consult a doctor about the best way to handle or manage a particular type of pain. Some of the most common medications to relieve pain are:

  • Adjuvant treatments: These are medicines to relieve pain by improving the functioning of other systems and easing inflammation. These include antidepressants and muscle relaxants.
  • Strong opioids: These medicines are called morphine and can be used for moderate to severe pain management in adults.
  • Combination opioids: These are combined with counseling or other nonopioid treatments and aim to reduce the dependence on opioids for pain management.
  • Weak opioids: These are similar to morphine but are not as strong and might not be as effective for severe pain management.
  • Non-opioids: These include NSAIDs, aspirin, and acetaminophen. These are over-the-counter pain medications that are also the most commonly used treatment for pain.

Some types of pain can dramatically change in terms of duration and severity. This depends on the type of disease progression or the treatment one is taking for an illness. So, pain management needs to be adjusted in light of these factors.

Consulting a doctor before beginning a course of medication is important, and one should avoid self-medicating, as it can cause further complications if an underlying condition worsens.