Chronic Pain Therapy

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Living with and finding appropriate treatment for chronic pain can be challenging. Often the reason for the pain is not clear, and it may take several types or combinations of medications, adjuvant therapies and complementary therapies to find the right mix for a chronic pain patient. Chronic pain is difficult to treat because it generally occurs after an injury has healed, or in the absence of ongoing illness, though it may begin with an injury that causes inflammation and changes in the central nervous system.

When the area that has been injured heals, then scar tissue is produced and the inflammation should resolve. However, for an unknown reason, pain signals continue to be sent, the nervous system sends pain signals to the somatic muscles, acting as though a new injury is occurring. The nervous system is reacting to the memory of the original injury.

Patients who have chronic pain use more health services, have an impaired sense of well-being and frequently experience anxiety or depression.

Fortunately, there are many ways to treat chronic pain, including:

  • Over the counter pain medications, including acetaminophen (Tylenol) and (NSAIDS) nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil, Motrin, Naprosyn, and Voltaren.
  • Prescription pain medications
  • Other medications, such as antidepressants and anticonvulsants
  • Acupuncture
  • Water therapy, especially hot tubs
  • Radiofrequency ablation, where a small area of nerve tissue is heated in an attempt to decrease pain signals from that area. Done under guided CT imaging, a needle is first inserted at the offending nerve site, then an electrical current is used.
  • TENS
  • Trigger point injection
  • Biofeedback
  • Meditation, yoga and other stress relievers
  • Healthy lifestyle changers, such as quitting smoking and drinking alcohol, which may make medications less effective.

Patients in need of chronic pain therapy are best treated by pain specialists who have specific training and expertise in the area of long term pain management, especially with diseases like fibromyalgia.

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Ketamine Infusion for Chronic Pain

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Types of Chronic Pain

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Fibromyalgia is a prevalent condition that affects many people in the United States. Approximately 3.7 million Americans have Fibromyalgia. That is 1 in every 73 people.

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