WHAT IS PAIN MANAGEMENT?
In the midst of an opioid crisis, pain management has become a serious topic in all areas of health care.
Pain management may be required for an array of issues and it’s difficult to provide one blanket treatment plan to an audience of pain sufferers.
There are two main types of pains:
- Acute Pain - usually short-lived, acute pain is a normal response to an acute injury or even aging.
- Chronic pain - Usually long-lasting, chronic pain continues beyond the expected healing time and can inhibit an individual from their normal activities.
The treatment of pain varies on the type of pain being experienced, its intensity, and aggravating conditions. Pain management is about identifying the source of the problem and solving it with the optimal treatment.
WHAT ARE PAIN CAUSES AND SYMPTOMS?
Anything from a dull ache inducing mild pain to a sharp stab inducing extreme pain, you may feel pain in one or more than one part of your body at the same time.
The most common causes of pain include:
- Medical conditions
The most commonly reported types of pain are headache, back pain, pain involving the limbs, shoulder, and neck. Some pains are more serious than others and if you experience any of the following pain seek emergency care:
- Severe headache and migraines
- Pain affecting a bodily area, like chest pain and back pain
- Pain that includes numbness or weakness
- Pain caused by a serious injury or surgery
- Chronic pain
CAN I TREAT PAIN WITH HOLISTIC HEALTH TREATMENT?
Always discuss your health concerns with a medical professional.
However, key pain management strategies include:
- Pain-relieving medicines, herbs, and/or supplements.
- Physical therapies- heat or cold packs, massage, hydrotherapy and exercise
- Psychological therapies- cognitive behavioural therapy, relaxation techniques and meditation
- Mind and body techniques- acupuncture
- Occupational therapy
- Community support groups
Besides physical trauma, a person’s emotional and mental wellbeing can also be impacted by pain. Sometimes pain persists and is not easily relieved so in addition to seeking treatment consider focusing on improving your day-to-day function including tasks like:
- Talk yourself through by accepting that your pain may not go away and flare-ups may occur
- Try to learn more about your condition
- Enlist the support of family and friends
- Take steps to prevent or ease depression
Alternative treatments including mind-body therapies, acupuncture, nutritional supplements, massage, chiropractic therapies, certain herbal therapies, and dietary approaches have shown benefits in pain management to some.