The goal of pain management is to improve function, enabling individuals to
work, attend school, or participate in other day-to-day activities. Patients
and their physicians have a number of options for the treatment of pain; some
are more effective than others. Sometimes, relaxation and the use of imagery as
a distraction provide relief. These methods can be powerful and effective,
according to those who advocate their use. Whatever the treatment regime, it is
important to remember that pain is treatable. The following treatments
are among the most common.
Acetaminophen is the basic ingredient found in Tylenol® and its many
generic equivalents. It is sold over the counter, in a prescription-strength
preparation, and in combination with codeine (also by prescription).
You likely take pain meds. Have you gotten complacent about how you use them? Brush up on the habits you need to help pain meds work. And make it a goal to pay attention to small acts that might be sabotaging your pain management.
Conditions: Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Migraine, Back Pain, Neck Pain, Fibromyalgia, Nerve Pain, Undiagnosed
Acupuncture dates back 2,500 years and involves the application of
needles to precise points on the body. It is part of a general category of
healing called traditional Chinese or Oriental medicine. Acupuncture remains
controversial but is quite popular and may one day prove to be useful for a
variety of conditions as it continues to be explored by practitioners,
patients, and investigators.
Analgesic refers to the class of drugs that includes most
painkillers, such as aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen. The word analgesic
is derived from ancient Greek and means to reduce or stop pain. Nonprescription
or over-the-counter pain relievers are generally used for mild to moderate
pain. Prescription pain relievers, sold through a pharmacy under the direction
of a physician, are used for more moderate to severe pain.
Anticonvulsants are used for the treatment of seizure disorders but
are also sometimes prescribed for the treatment of pain. Carbamazepine in
particular is used to treat a number of painful conditions, including
trigeminal neuralgia. Another antiepileptic drug, gabapentin, is being studied
for its pain-relieving properties, especially as a treatment for neuropathic
Antidepressants are sometimes used for the treatment of pain and,
along with neuroleptics and lithium, belong to a category of drugs called
psychotropic drugs. In addition, anti-anxiety drugs called benzodiazepines also
act as muscle relaxants and are sometimes used as pain relievers. Physicians
usually try to treat the condition with analgesics before prescribing these