Dealing with chronic pain is an ongoing struggle, often because it is difficult to find the right combination of treatments that either eliminate pain or make it tolerable. If your current pain management plan is no longer effective, there are other treatments you can incorporate.
1. Combination Therapy
There are many medications on the market designed to help with different types of pain. If you are currently on a single medication to help with pain, such as a narcotic pain reliever, talk with your doctor about medications in other drug classes. In some cases, using a combination of medications will be more effective at managing pain and allow you to reduce your current dosage of a single medicine. For example, some stronger pain medications might help with sharp pain but do little or nothing for pain from irritated nerves or inflammation. Long-term treatment with medications that affect neurotransmitters may help with nerve pain, while OTC or prescription anti-inflammatory medications can help with swelling and inflammation.
2. Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is commonly prescribed for people with musculoskeletal pain. When you are in chronic pain, it may seem like physical therapy would make matters worse, but that is not always the case. There are many reasons physical therapy can be useful in pain management. For example, if you have chronic pain associated with a degenerative condition of the joints, strengthening muscles and soft tissues may not alleviate pain, but it might make your condition more manageable.
It is common for people who have chronic pain to become more sedentary, which contributes to muscle-wasting and makes it harder to do basic tasks. Even simple exercises meant to slowly strengthen major muscle groups can not only lead to improved pain but better functioning.
3. Alternative Treatments
Some pain management centers offer several types of alternative therapies for people with chronic pain. Since these treatments are not based on medication, they can be used in conjunction with your current treatments. For example, massage therapy is often used in people with chronic pain.
Massage can help you relax and loosen tight muscles, which could be the culprit for some of your pain. Specific types of massage may also be beneficial depending on your exact condition and which body parts are affected. Some types of specific massage therapy include myofascial release, where the therapist massages specific areas to relax the fascia overlying muscles.
Effectively managing chronic pain often requires trial and error. Trying a combination of different pain management strategies will give you the best chance of finding what works for you. Contact a company like Regional Pain Care for more information and assistance.