Weighing Pain Management Options

Pain Management

 

Weighing your Pain Management Options

Whether from injury, disease, or medical procedure, everyone has experienced pain to a varying degree. How did you deal with the pain?  Did you see your family doctor and get a prescription?  Did you take an over the counter pain reliever or a medicinal rub?  Did you use a hot pack or an ice pack?  Did you go see a physical therapist or a chiropractor?

Our country is in the middle of an opioid epidemic, and just as medical treatment has evolved, so has our understanding of how pain works. With continual improvements in pain management techniques and technologies, it is important to have an understanding of the different treatment options available when recovering from an injury or surgical procedure.

We hope to provide with you some simple tips on becoming a smart consumer when it comes to pain, along with alternative or complimentary pain management methods to opioid medications. These tips focus on pain management in relation to surgery, but can be applied in other scenarios as well.

Education

An important first step you can take is to educate yourself.  It is recommended that you first find a physician who you feel comfortable talking to, especially if you are considering surgery, so you know what to expect. To educate yourself on pain management, here are some topics to cover with your doctor:

Understanding pain management options

– Before deciding on surgery, consider discussing other alternative methods for treatment (i.e.: injections, therapy, or chiropractic care).

– What are the options for pain control methods that can be used before, during, and after an operation?

-If you are prescribed a prescription pain medication ask your doctor or surgeon for an over the counter alternative if your pain isn’t severe enough to warrant use of the prescription pain medicine.

-If you are anxious about an upcoming procedure, or have been anxious post procedure before, consider talking to your doctor about options to help your anxiety.  Anxiety can make you tense which can lead to an increase in pain.    

– Get a second or third opinion if you aren’t happy or comfortable with the plan your doctor is suggesting. 

These are just some tips to consider when looking into pain management options. As always, it is best to speak with a health professional to determine your next course of action.

Stay tuned for the conclusion of our pain blog and find out what distraction and relaxation techniques you can use to help manage your pain.

This article was written by Heather Mack, PT, DTP, PCS, Clinical Manager at The Atrium. If you have any questions related to this article or would like to learn about the therapy and wellness programs offered at the Atrium, please call 814-535-5347 extension 4421.