Some people suffer from chronic conditions or diseases that cause them to be in frequent, if not constant pain. Sadly, it can be very difficult to control this pain without the use of pain medications. The use of this and other therapeutic methods are known as pain management. There are several things doctors can do to help patients keep their pain under control. A patient care bill of rights has been drafted to help protect patients and give them open options to help manage their pain. It prevents discrimination, and allows them to request referrals for pain management care. It also gives patients the ability and right to know about as many pain management options as possible before they sign anything. It is important as a humanitarian effort, to be sure that people are not living with chronic pain if at all possible.
- National Pain Foundation – The pain patient’s bill of rights
- Pain.com – Helpful information from professionals who deal in pain management treatment
Levels of pain in people can vary from mild to acute. There are ways that doctors can help treat those who are dealing with the most intense pain. Medication is the most commonly used method of treatment. The types of medicines can vary from mild over the counter medication to narcotics that must be regulated. Some of the more intense medication can become addicting to patients, so doctors must monitor the patient’s intake and progress. Aside from medication for chronic and acute pain, psychotherapy is often used. This allows patients to discover new ways to deal with their pain and how to cope with it in day to day life. Stress management is important since stress can make pain much worse. Exercise like swimming and water therapy has also been found to be effective, as well as heat and cold therapy. New, herbal medications are also being used along with changes in diet and sleeping habits. All of these things can help to change a person’s ability to both deal with pain and to lessen it.
- Questions You Should Ask – Some important aspects of pain that all patients should think about
Headaches are one of the most common forms of pain. They can be debilitating at times and certainly interfere with peoples’ quality of life. Pain medication and all natural therapies are the most common forms of headache control. There are many benefits of pain management, most importantly the ability to move on with one’s life. Pain can cause people to avoid social interaction and even avoid doing everyday activities. When the pain is kept under control, people can function normally again. Depression is often a side effect of pain. If the pain is managed, the depression usually subsides. Unfortunately, some people can become addicted to pain medication. It is important for doctors to prescribe medicines designed for pain with care, and to monitor their patients’ use of the medication to watch for signs of addiction. With some extra care and the use of both medicine and therapy, pain can be kept under control.
Several medical colleges and hospitals sponsor chronic pain workshops where people can learn more about pain management. Here are some examples:
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy – This workshop is being held in Switzerland and will address the various therapies for chronic pain.
- The Arthritis Society – This organization holds workshops around the country and holds classes for groups of 10 people or more.
- Workers Compensation – Learn about your rights if you suffer from chronic pain due to injury on the job.
- Video – A video example of a chronic pain workshop