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Take Charge of Your Treatment
The important thing is to be an active patient. Don't ignore the risks of
painkillers, but don't ignore your pain either. Certainly, never try to treat
chronic pain on your own.
"Being on an NSAID on a long-term basis is an important decision,"
Zashin tells WebMD. "So don't be reticent about discussing the pros and
cons with your physician. If you're prescribed one medicine, ask why your
doctor chose that one and not another. Ask about your options."
You and your doctor need to collaborate, he says. You both need to decide
which medicine poses the lowest risks and provides the greatest benefits for
Remember, effective pain relief is not easy to achieve. If you suffer
chronic pain, you may want to get a referral to a pain specialist, says
Goldberg. And it's important to keep in mind that that some pain can't be taken
"Sometimes, being absolutely pain free just isn't a realistic goal,"
says Zashin. "But if you work with your doctor, we can at least try to get
to the point where pain doesn't interfere with your daily life."
Originally published September 23, 2005.
Medically updated August 2006.