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Pain and pain management

Just like the causes of pain can be various, various methodscan help to deal with that pain, and the choice depends on numerous reasons. Insome cases, the pain can only be reduced or minimized, while in others it ispossible to eliminate it completely. On the other side, there are cases inwhich it is possible only to relieve the pain temporarily, while in other casesit is possible to eliminate it for good. The cause of the pain, as well as thecondition in question (if it is present at all) affect this to a great extent. However,it is a relief to know that there are more than a few options available. For example, in cases of pain in a joint, muscle, neck, orlower back, all the methods of pain management available can be classified into noninvasive non-drug painmanagement, non-invasive pharmacologic pain management, and invasive painmanagement.

Available methods and techniques

Noninvasive non-drug pain management techniques are particularlyhelpful in cases of neck and back pain, and the most commonly used areexercising and physical exertion, manual techniques, behavioral modification,cutaneous stimulation and electrotherapy. Exercising includes water therapy, flexion exercises,aerobic exercises and a number of others, and it is essential for the health ofcardiovascular and musculoskeletal system, and for nutrition of the disk. Manualtechniques refer to osteopathy, massage, chiropractic therapy, and a number of othertechniques. Behavioral methods improve the response of the patient to the pain,and biofeedback and various relaxation and coping techniques have proven to bevery helpful. Cutaneous stimulation consists of pain management with the help ofsuperficial heating and cooling or cold and ice packs. Electrotherapy, of whichthe most popular form is called TENS, refers to the use of low-voltage electricstimulation.

Noninvasive pharmacologic pain management techniques referto the use of medications such as analgesics, NSAIDs, muscle relaxants, narcotics,antidepressants and anticonvulsants.

As for invasive pain management techniques, they do notrefer to the surgery procedures, but the use of certain instruments isdefinitely necessary. Some of them are

injections, which are used either toprovide relief or to confirm the diagnosis,prolathreapy, which consists of injecting a solution in orderto improve the circulation of the blood,surgically implanted electrotherapy devices, such as spinalcord stimulators or peripheral nerve stimulators, andimplantable opioid infusion pumps, that directly deliver theopioids to the nerve in question.

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