Chronic Pain Treatment and Management

There are a variety of treatment options available to those suffering from chronic pain. Many patients use over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen to mitigate pain. In more severe cases, prescription narcotics such as morphine or codeine may be used. However, the use of such medications must be monitored closely as patients can become dependent on them. Some patients look to alternative treatment options such as acupuncture, which involves the application of needles to specific areas of the body. Less invasive treatment options include chiropractic care, physical therapy, and exercise. Electrical stimulation may be used as part of a pain management rehabilitation plan of care. Biofeedback also is a common treatment option for many pain problems, including headache and back pain. It employs a special electronic machine that trains patients to control certain bodily functions and alter responses to various stimuli, including pain. And, of course, in many severe pain cases, surgery is required to fix the underlying issue that is causing the pain—to block a nerve or relieve pain from a ruptured disc, for example. However, surgical procedures usually do not result in long-term relief by themselves, which is why postoperative rehabilitation therapy is such a crucial part of a chronic pain patient’s course of care.