Comprehensive Pain Management
(Formally known as Franklin Pain and Wellness and Warwick Pain)

Attleboro, MA(508) 236-8333
Franklin, MA(508) 507-8818
South Kingstown, RI (401) 234-9677
Warwick, RI(401) 352-0007

Franklin, MA • (508) 507-8818
Warwick, RI • (401) 352-0007
South Kingstown, RI • (401) 234-9677

Warwick Pain Center RI Blog

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Options for Treating Chronic Pain

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, September 28, 2017
Comprehensive Pain Management in Warwick, RI

We often hear, “What general options do I have to treat my pain?”

Here is the answer in a general sense.

There are a variety of options for treating chronic pain. Under the general category of medications, there are both oral and topical medicines for the treatment of chronic pain. Oral medications include those that can be taken by mouth, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, acetaminophen, and opioids.

There are also medications that can be applied to the skin, whether as an ointment or cream or by a patch. Some of these patches work by being placed directly on top of the painful area where the active drug, such as lidocaine, is released. Others, such as fentanyl patches, may be placed at a location far from the painful area. Some are available over the-counter and others may require a prescription.

There are many things that may help with your pain which do not involve medications. These things may help relieve some pain and reduce the medications required to control your pain. Examples include exercises best performed under the direction of a physical therapist. There are also alternative modalities, such as acupuncture. Transcutaneous Electro-Nerve Stimulator (TENS) units use pads that are placed on your skin to provide stimulation around the area of pain and may help to reduce some types of pain symptoms.

Finally, there are interventional techniques that involve injections into or around various levels of the spinal region. These can involve relatively superficial injections into the painful muscles, called trigger point injections, or may involve more invasive procedures. There are multiple procedures that range from epidural injections for pain involving the neck and arm or the back and leg, facet injections into the joints that allow movement of the neck and back to injections for burning pain of the arms or legs.

For information on chronic pain management and for a comprehensive treatment plan, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in Warwick, RI.

Source: asra.com

Managing Pain

Joseph Coupal - Friday, September 08, 2017
Comprehensive Pain Management in Franklin, MA

Let’s take a deeper look at the brain’s role in dealing with chronic pain, and how that affects treatment options for ongoing pain.

The difference between acute pain and chronic pain

Acute pain: The affected region eventually heals and the discomfort goes away. This cause-effect-resolution process is simple for the brain to understand and process.

Chronic pain: Where the cause goes unresolved and the site of the injury is not healed, the pain cycle can become self-perpetuating. Over time, the signals that indicate pain reverberate into other, more high-functioning areas of the brain as well as throughout the nervous system. One study found connectivity differences in brain regions important for mood and cognitive function between those with chronic low back pain and those without.

As a result of all these factors, not only can the original source of pain be disguised, but it also often creates a messy cycle of anxiety causing more pain causing more anxiety, and so on. This is one of the main reasons why chronic pain can be difficult to diagnose and treat.

Pain management

Finding how to manipulate the mind to ease chronic pain is a growing research field, not only because of the increasing number of sufferers, but also because we are finding out that pain-relieving drugs may only be part of the solution.

A study in the Journal of Neuroscience looked at the brain scans of research participants who were taught how to meditate. When subjected to painful stimuli, they had less activity in the part of the brain that registers pain and more activity in the region that handles unpleasant feelings, suggesting they were in greater control of their pain response when meditating.

Cognitive therapy that teaches patients how to be more in control of their emotional response to chronic pain also seems to be promising. A study found that 30 percent of participants, all who suffered from fibromyalgia, reported less pain after six months of therapy compared to 8 percent of those getting conventional treatments. Interestingly, 37 percent of those who received both cognitive therapy and exercise reported less pain.

Of course, there is no “one size fits all” approach for managing chronic pain, nor are mind-body approaches are in any way superior to drugs or other forms of treatment. There are many cases where drug therapy is the best course of action. However, the brain plays a vital role in how we perceive and manage pain.

For more information on pain management, contact Comprehensive Pain Management in Warwick, RI.

Source: everydayhealth.com


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