24 Nov Pain Management For Chronic Back Pain
Chronic back pain is no laughing matter and may require a pain management plan. There are many options that can be used in the case of chronic back pain. Some may be more effective than others, and sometimes treatments need to be combined. Your pain management should begin with your doctor doing a pain assessment before creating a treatment plan that might include pain medicine, physiotherapy, massage, and a host of other treatments that we’ll look at in detail.
• OTC NSAIDs and Acetaminophen Drugs – Over the Counter drugs are the starting point for treatment but seldom work for managing chronic back pain, although occasionally when combined with other non-medicinal treatments they can be adequate.
• Prescription Pain Medications – Stronger products such as Demerol, Tylenol 3s, Percocet, Hydromorphone, Morphine, etc. are often beneficial in treating chronic back pain although long term use has concerns.
• Muscle Relaxants – These are available in both over the counter and prescription form and depending on the cause of your chronic back pain can be beneficial when it is muscle related.
• Anti Seizure Medications – These prescription drugs have been proven to be highly effective with chronic pain especially nerve pain that leads to tingling, burning or shooting pain. When taken daily they can work well and they are safe long-term.
• Antidepressants – The older antidepressant family of drugs work well in low doses when taken at night.
#2 Nerve Block
These two nerve blocks used to help with chronic back pain.
• Facet Joint Injection – Done using an x-ray as guidance, helping with back and neck pain.
• Epidural Steroid Injection – Given in the neck and/or back placing an anti-inflammatory steroid with an anesthetic into the epidural. Very helpful in chronic back pain.
If you are injured and you find yourself with chronic pain, your doctor may send you to a pain management specialist so that you can get the kind of help you need.
#3 Radiofrequency Ablation
This is an outpatient procedure where a small area of your nerve tissue is heated to reduce pain signals in the area. It is done using CT imaging to guide the needle that inserted at the nerve site that’s causing the problem. Then an electrical current, which is produced by a radio wave that destroys the nerve ending. This type of pain relief can last up to six months.
#4 TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
This is helpful in controlling short-term relief of pain. A small device delivers a low-level electrical current that helps to block pain
#5 Trigger Point Injections
Trigger points are painful areas in connective tissue or muscle. These trigger points cause nerve irritation around them and this can cause pain in the body parts especially with chronic back pain. The trigger point injection is a local anesthetic that is injected into the trigger point, which relieves the pain.
Massage can be beneficial in relieving muscle tension that can be caused by overwork, inactivity, stress, injury and host of other reasons. Having regular massages in conjunction with other treatments, especially medications can help a great deal in eliminating back pain.
There are other pain management treatments that can be used. Your doctor will determine the best course of action for you.