MEDICAL MANAGEMENT OF PAIN
Medications are very commonly prescribed for pain. Many of the patients we see at Elite Pain Management and Recovery Centers ® are taking a variety of medications when we first meet them. Often, our patients have found that some methods work better than others, or not at all. As specialists in the field of pain, the doctors at Elite Pain Management and Recovery Centers ® can advise medication usage and establish an effective course of therapy.
We will work with you to establish sensible goals, not only to reduce pain, but also to improve sleep, activity of daily living, and quality of life.
The first step to deciding if medication is appropriate is to ensure an accurate diagnosis has been made. The underlying cause may respond to specific therapies, including but not limited to physical therapy, chiropractic, counseling/behavioral health and non-invasive procedures. However, pain may persist despite such attempts to target its initial cause. Relieving the symptoms and maximizing quality of life and functionality is our number one goal. Symptom management is not a ‘one size fits all’ case, and must be customized to each person’s lifestyle. Even if there are surgical or procedural options available, medications may be an essential part of an individual’s pain management plan. Our specialists will provide expert advice and guidance regarding their medication use in a safe and responsible manner.
Pain Management Medications
Wide varieties of pain management medications exist on today’s market. Some are simply the same drug under a separate brand. There are often many different preparations available as well. Despite this, the staple of mild to moderate pain relief remains non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These are usually the primary medications most people are prescribed for pain and are generally effective when used as directed. They don’t work for all pain however, and other options may need to be explored.
In today’s world, pain medicine is often scrutinized. Although these medications can be the wrong choice for some, Elite Pain Management and Recovery Centers ® know that medical management of pain is an important and effective part of some patients’ path to regaining quality of life. We assess patients thoroughly, and discuss the pros and cons of these medications in-depth with the patients before prescribing. We utilize medications safely and responsibly, and use them in conjunction with other pain treatment approaches as part of a well-rounded, individualized treatment plan. Below you will find a description of each of the categories of pain medications used here at Elite Pain Management and Recovery Centers ®.
Opioids are a naturally occurring chemical in the body, but when a person is in severe or chronic pain, the body is unable to make enough of them to calm the system and reduce the pain. Opioid pain medications work by attaching to the opioid receptors in the brain, gastrointestinal tract, and throughout the body. When these medications attach to the receptors, they work by reducing the patient’s perception of pain.
Opioids are not the right medications for everyone, but they can bring immense relief too many chronic pain sufferers. Our doctors use opioids alone and in conjunction with a number of other medications and treatments as a part of an overall program to reduce your pain and return your quality of life. Like all of our treatments, your doctor will discuss in-depth with you, the pros and cons of using opioids.
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs or NSAIDs work by blocking and reducing the effects of prostaglandins throughout the body. Prostaglandins are a naturally occurring hormone in human cells. However, in certain situations, their overproduction plays a tremendous role in causing pain and inflammation. Prostaglandins are often overproduced in joint and muscle injuries, and conditions like bursitis, tendonitis, arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation) and more. By causing inflammation, prostaglandins stimulate nerves and cause pain. They also sensitize spinal neurons to pain, and regulate smooth muscle constriction.
NSAIDs are not the right medications for everyone, but they can bring immense relief to many chronic pain sufferers. Our doctors use NSAIDs alone and in conjunction with a number of other medications and treatments as a part of an overall program to reduce your pain and return your quality of life. Like all of our treatments, your doctor will discuss in-depth with you, the pros and cons of using NSAIDs.
> Muscle Relaxants
Muscle relaxants work by calming the central nervous system, to loosen muscle tension and alleviate muscle spasms and twitching, thereby reducing pain. They can effective for helping to relieve back pain, Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia, and many other pain conditions. Your doctor may use muscle relaxants alone or in conjunction with a number of other medications and treatments as part of your overall pain regimen.
Muscle Relaxants are not the right medications for everyone, but they can bring immense relief to many chronic pain sufferers.
Experts are unsure exactly how anticonvulsants work to reduce chronic pain. They may reduce chronic pain by blocking the flow of pain signals from the central nervous system. Anticonvulsants seem to work best when they are used for nerve pain such as postherpetic neuralgia, fibromyalgia, peripheral neuropathies, and radiculopathies.
Gabapentin helps about 3 to 4 out of 10 people who take it for nerve pain. Anticonvulsants can reduce some persistent low back pain. Pregabalin helps between 3 and 5 out of 10 people who take it for nerve pain, especially postherpetic neuralgia, diabetic peripheral neuropathy, and fibromyalgia.