Chronic Pain - Treatment Overview
chronic pain can be challenging. Often the reason for
the pain is not clear. And it may take several types or combinations of
treatments before you find relief. When treatment is started, some people may
have increased pain because their chronic pain has caused them to be inactive
and they have lost strength and flexibility. But over time treatment should
reduce the pain and increase your ability to function. You may learn new ways
of doing ordinary tasks to reduce pain. Often chronic pain cannot be cured, but
it can be managed well enough to significantly improve the quality of your
Be sure to seek treatment if your pain lasts longer than 2
to 3 months. Early treatment may prevent the pain from getting worse.
Some chronic pain is caused by specific conditions that can be treated.
For example, there are treatments for headaches,
low back pain, or
The goals of treatment are to
chronic pain and increase your ability to function.
This includes improving your sleep and coping skills and reducing
stress so you can return to your regular activities.
Initial treatment depends on what kind of pain you have and how severe it is,
as well as whether your pain is related to an illness, injury, or an unknown
cause. Often, the best approach is a combination of therapies.
may be able to control your pain at home by:
licensed mental health counselor,
psychiatrist can help with your emotional well-being
while you are dealing with chronic pain. It is common to respond to chronic
pain with feelings of frustration, depression,
anxiety, fear, and even anger. These feelings can make
it tough to conquer chronic pain, especially if you use alcohol or drugs to
manage your symptoms. Pain affects both your physical and emotional well-being.
Untreated depression or anxiety can make your pain worse. A counselor may use
treatments such as
cognitive-behavioral therapy to help you cope with
It is important to build a clear
treatment plan for
chronic pain 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.