Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Pain Management Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Pain Management - Treatment

Many different treatments can ease pain. Medicines are the most common treatment. But to feel better, you will need to do more than take medicine, such as reducing your stress level or changing how you think.

You also can try physical therapy, relaxation, acupuncture, and other ways to feel better. Talk with your doctor about what mix of treatments might work best for you.

Your treatment depends on several things, including:

  • How bad your pain is camera.gif (based on what you tell your doctor).
  • How long you've had pain.
  • The type of pain you have. For example, you might take different medicine for joint pain than you would for nerve pain.
  • Other health problems you may have.

If you have pain for a long time, your treatment may change over time.

Medicines to treat pain

Medicines can help you get better and can even save your life. But they can also be dangerous, especially if you don't take them the right way. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.

Several types of medicines can be used to treat pain. Most of these medicines can treat more than one kind of pain. So you may need to try a couple of medicines to see which works best for you. Your doctor will work with you to find the right types and dosage of medicine. You may take more than one kind of medicine at the same time.

Medicines for different types of pain
Examples Types of pain

AcetaminophenAcetaminophen:

  • Example: Tylenol
  • Relieves mild to moderate pain but doesn't reduce inflammation
  • Often used for short-term (acute) pain
  • Muscle, joint, and bone pain
  • Organ pain

Corticosteroids:

  • Muscle, joint, and bone pain
  • Can be used for many types of pain caused by inflammation

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS):

  • Examples: aspirin (such as Bayer), ibuprofen (such as Advil), and naproxen (such as Aleve)
  • Relieves pain and inflammation
  • May be used for short- or long-term (chronic) pain
  • Muscle, joint, and bone pain
  • Organ pain
  • Can be used for many types of pain

AnticonvulsantsAnticonvulsants:

Opiate pain relieversOpiate pain relievers:

  • Can be used for many types of pain

Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressants :

  • Can be used for many types of pain

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressantsSelective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants:

  • Nerve pain

Tricyclic and tetracyclic antidepressantsTricyclic and tetracyclic antidepressants:

  • Can be used for many types of pain

NMDA receptor antagonists:

  • Examples: memantine (Namenda)
  • May be used for nerve pain
  • Nerve pain

All medicines have side effects. For more information, see the Side Effects of Pain Medicines section of this topic.

Learn more about:

1 | 2
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

pain in brain and nerves
Top causes and how to find relief.
knee exercise
8 exercises for less knee pain.
 
acupuncture needles in woman's back
How it helps arthritis, migraines, and dental pain.
chronic pain
Get personalized tips to reduce discomfort.
 
illustration of nerves in hand
Slideshow
lumbar spine
Slideshow
 
Woman opening window
Slideshow
Man holding handful of pills
Video
 
Woman shopping for vegetables
Slideshow
Sore feet with high heel shoes
Slideshow
 
acupuncture needles in woman's back
Slideshow
man with a migraine
Slideshow