Chronic pain can be difficult to bear. Sometimes, it is necessary to enlist the help of medications when battling chronic, or sometimes even acute, pain. Yet, there are so many types of medicine directed at relieving pain, it can be overwhelming to try to figure out which is most appropriate given a person’s health history and individual needs. The staff of Preferred Pain Management is trained to determine whether medication is an appropriate response to your pain and to help you identify what medicine will work best for you.
Some of the most commonly used pain medicines are described below.
Acetaminophen/Paracetamol (better known as Tylenol)- Acetaminophen can be effective for reducing mild or moderate pain that is not caused by inflammation, as acetaminophen does not have any anti-inflammatory properties. Though it is an over-the-counter drug, caution must still be exercised when ingesting acetaminophen, as it may cause liver damage or may have other serious side-effects if used unsafely with other medicines.
Non-Steroid Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)- In contrast, non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, can help reduce pain by reducing inflammation and swelling. They can be particularly useful when treating cramps, arthritis, and muscle strains, though should not be consumed regularly or without first speaking to a doctor, as stomach problems may follow overuse.
Muscle Relaxants- Muscle relaxants are often used to address chronic pain conditions that result in muscle spasms or acute muscle problems. As with any other drug, side-effects may persist if used improperly.
Corticosteroids- Corticosteroids can help reduce inflammation and can effect positive change on the underlying condition causing pain. When intense pain strikes, corticosteroids may also be used to subdue the pain. They may be swallowed or injected.
Local Anesthetic- Often used with corticosteroids, local anesthetic may supply patients with a brief respite from pain until other treatments such as steroids kick in. Local anesthetic can enter the body through patches on the skin or injection.
Anti-Convulsants- Anti-covulsants can be used to treat fibromyalgia and pain that results from nerves. By altering or reducing signals sent from nerves to the brain, anti-convulsants can greatly reduce pain. Because anti-convulsants effect change on the central nervous system, it is important not to combine them with other drugs or substances that affect the central nervous system.
Narcotics- Narcotics are often used to diminish chronic or powerful pain. It is imperative that those consuming narcotics are aware of the ease with which a person can become addicted to narcotics and are aware of the high likelihood that they will develop a tolerance for their medicine.
Side effects and outcomes are unique to each patient and will be discussed before any treatment options are prescribed.