If a pain lasts for as long as a few months, it can be considered as chronic pain. Not all types of chronic pain can be cured but treatment will definitely offer some relief in most of the cases. Getting chronic pain relief depends on a combination of factors which include a consideration of the fact that how long this pain has lasted or how bad it has been. An understanding of the root cause of this pain and which part of the body it has affected will also help in finding some viable cure to chronic pain. The treatment for chronic pain has also undergone a drastic change over the past few years and an increased number of options for chronic pain relief is now available.
Radiofrequency ablation is known to target the nerves which send pain signals to the brain. A needle with a tip that heats up soon is used for this kind of treatment. Usually, this needle has to be placed at a close location near the nerve.
This chronic pain relief treatment will help with multiple pain types including those arising from neuropathy and arthritis. Radiofrequency ablation is also known to offer relief in case of hip and lower back pain. Pain in the knees and neck also reduce when radiofrequency ablation technique is used. This chronic pain relief technique can help in relieving pain for around 8 months to one year. After this period, you might have to seek assistance from a doctor again.
As the name indicates, a pain shot is used to deliver medicine at the intended point in the body. A doctor can take help from X-ray in locating the exact place where pain shot will help. Only a trained medical practitioner is the best person to decide the best course of action in case a pain shot is used. While using this chronic pain relief technique, it is often seen that local anesthesia and steroids are used together. The use of local anesthesia, in this case, will numb the muscle while steroids will ease the inflammation and will reduce the lower back pain. Multiple types of pain shots exist and can be used as per the imminent need:
Nerve root block: These pain shots target the nerves which are located along the spine which otherwise causes pain in arms and legs.
Epidural steroid injection: This type of pain shot generally works with disc problem issues. These pain shots are known to reach the outer region of the spinal column.
Trigger point injection: These work on tight spots in the muscles. These spots are so tight that sometimes, the nerves get pressed and this leads to intense pain in other areas also.
The benefit of a pain shot varies from 4 weeks to a year and this depends entirely on type and source of pain. A series of pain shots might be required for better chronic pain relief.
A pain pump can also be used in case a long-term relief is required. This pain pump is usually implanted near the base of the spine. The medication is delivered through a drip in this case. The doctors set up this pain pump in such a manner so that the medication is delivered on its own.
Opioids are also recommended for chronic pain relief. These also block or reduce the incidence of pain in people who suffer from chronic pain. Some of the common opioids include Fentanyl, Methadone, and Oxycodone. Some of these opioids have been in use since long while others have evolved in recent times only. Opioids are known to be effective in providing severe pain relief but have many side effects including nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and constipation.
Other useful options
Many types of medications are also available which help in reducing the intensity of chronic pain. Over the counter drugs as aspirin and ibuprofen are also known to offer relief in case of chronic pain but have not been used to their full potential. Antidepressant and anti-seizure medications are also known to offer relief in cases of chronic pain if used to their full potential. Muscle relaxants, which are known to relieve lower back pain, also give relief to people who suffer from chronic pain.
Yoga, massage, and acupuncture are also known to give relief in chronic pain. In acupuncture, tiny needles are placed in the skin and this helps in easing the lower back pain. Joint pain due to arthritis is also cured through this method.
Massage is also known to give relief in case of chronic pains. This relief can, however, be short-termed, and if a person is seeking long-term relief from chronic pain, regular sessions of massage under guided supervision might be required.
Chronic pain treatment is a long drawn process, and if the above-listed measures are taken, relief will follow soon.