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Chronic Pain - Treatment Overview

Treating chronic pain can be challenging. And it may take several types or combinations of treatments before you find relief.

Be sure to seek treatment if your pain lasts longer than 2 to 3 months. Early treatment may prevent the pain from getting worse.

The goals of treatment are to reduce your pain and increase your ability to function. This includes improving your sleep and your coping skills and reducing stress so you can return to your regular activities.

It's important to build a clear treatment plan with your doctor. Part of this plan includes identifying ways for you to manage your pain. Only you know the severity of your pain and how it affects your life. Be sure to ask your doctor if you are not clear about what steps you can take when pain occurs or gets worse.

Chronic pain treatments

You may be able to control your pain at home by using pain relievers and practicing healthy habits. For more information, see Home Treatment.

When home treatment isn't enough, other treatments may include:

  • Pain medicines or medicines to treat problems that are linked to chronic pain. For more information, see Medications.
  • Treatments such as counseling, physical therapy, and complementary therapies. For more information, see Other Treatment.
  • Surgery, such as intrathecal drug delivery and spinal cord stimulation. For more information, see Surgery.

If your chronic pain is not relieved after you have tried numerous treatments, you may want to think about going to a pain management clinic. Treatment is provided by a team of doctors who work together to address all the things that may cause your chronic pain.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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