Chronic pain is difficult to live with since it makes work and leisure activities challenging. The pain might make you more sedentary or cause you to need medication that makes you drowsy. Chronic pain has so many causes that the first step is to understand why you have pain so the best treatment can be sought. Here are some possible treatment options for your pain depending on your condition.
Physical pain sometimes accompanies depression. Medications such as tricyclic antidepressants that are prescribed for depression might help with chronic pain issues too. These medications sometimes help with pain even when you don't have a diagnosis of depression.
Your doctor might prescribe an antidepressant if you have pain from diabetes or arthritis. These medications may not work right away. It could take several weeks before pain relief is observed.
Other medications for chronic pain include muscle relaxers to help with muscle spasms, corticosteroids to decrease pain from inflammation, and opioids for pain relief. Your doctor might try other treatment options before prescribing opioids for chronic pain since these drugs can be addictive.
Electrical Stimulation Therapy
Your doctor might recommend a TENS unit that delivers electrical impulses to your skin. This therapy can provide pain relief, and you can use the machine at home and control the settings yourself. Some medical conditions are not a good match for electrical stimulation therapy, so only use one of these units if your doctor prescribes it for you.
A similar device is an implant that's put near your spinal cord. The implant has external controls that deliver electrical impulses to your spinal cord that block pain signals before they reach your brain.
Your doctor might want you to undergo counseling when you have chronic pain. Counseling might help you deal with your pain and the struggles it causes in your daily life. You might also learn how to cope with pain using cognitive behavioral techniques that can bring about a reduction in the level of pain you feel.
Some types of pain might have an emotional or mental trigger and counseling can pinpoint the trigger so you can deal with it and experience pain relief as a result. Counseling may be used along with other types of chronic pain control to bring about an improvement in your condition.
Your doctor may also work with you to make lifestyle changes. You might need to lose weight or get more exercise. Improving your diet might also help. Your doctor can recommend the right changes for the type of pain you have. Lifestyle changes might be enough to reduce your pain, but you might also need to add medication or another type of treatment.
There are several other types of therapy that could be indicated to help your pain. Some of these include physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments, hypnosis, visualization, massage, and acupuncture. You may need to try a few different approaches before you find a chronic pain treatment that works for you.