Pain management is an aspect of medicine and health care involving the relief of pain in various dimensions, from acute and simple to chronic and challenging.
The four major types of pain:
- Nociceptive Pain: Injured tissue causes this pain
- Inflammatory Pain: An inflammation caused by an unexpected response by the body's immune system.
- Neuropathic Pain: Pain caused by nerve irritation.
- Functional Pain: No cause or no origin known but still causes pain.
Pain management includes patient communication about the pain problem. To define the pain problem, a doctor will likely ask questions such as:
- How intense is the pain?
- How does the pain feel?
- Where is the pain?
- What, if anything, makes the pain lessen?
- What, if anything, makes the pain increase?
- When did the pain start?
After asking such questions, the doctor will have a description of the pain. Pain management will then be used to address that pain.
Main pain management strategies include:
- Paracetamol – to relieve short-term pain.
- Aspirin – for short-term relief of fever and mild-to-moderate.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen – relieve pain and reduce inflammation (redness and swelling).
- Opioid medicines, such as codeine, morphine, and, oxycodone – for severe or cancer pain.
- Local anesthetics (drops, sprays, creams, or injections) – used when nerves can be easily reached.
- Some antidepressants and anti-epilepsy medicines – for a specific type of pain, nerve pain.
- Physical therapies (such as heat or cold packs, massage, hydrotherapy, and exercise)
- Psychological therapies (such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques, and meditation)
- Mind and body techniques (such as acupuncture)
- Community support groups.\