Many underlying medical conditions can cause chronic pain. Opioid medications can be very effective at relieving the pain, but they can also be very addictive. The risk of becoming dependent on them may increase the longer you take them. Fortunately, there are many different treatment methods available for pain management in Orange Park FL that do not involve the use of opioids.
A doctor can inject corticosteroids directly at the source of your pain. Steroid drugs reduce pain by calming inflammation. The number of steroid injections you can receive at a certain location is limited, and you must often wait several months between repeat injections. Too many steroid injections at the same location can damage healthy body tissues.
Physical therapy teaches you exercises that improve your strength, flexibility, and overall functioning. Improved functioning can help resolve the underlying issues that may be causing your pain.
Chiropractic treatment involves using manual manipulation. A chiropractor uses his or her hands to try to guide bones and joints into better alignment over the course of multiple treatments. The theory is that improving the body’s alignment helps improve pain and dysfunction. Chiropractic treatment has been shown effective for treating low back pain and some other musculoskeletal complaints.
Braces and Assistive Devices
Assistive devices and braces are designed to relieve pain by taking pressure off the nerve of a joint, especially when in motion. Assistive devices include ambulatory aids such as walkers, crutches, and canes. Braces are devices that you wear in the symptomatic area.
Acupuncture is a treatment that originated in Asia and has been used for pain relief for thousands of years. It involves the strategic insertion of very fine needles at certain points in the skin. The treatment does not hurt because the needles are so fine. Scientists believe that inserting the needles stimulates the release of mood-elevating and pain-relieving chemicals in the brain. While it is not yet entirely clear how acupuncture works, research has confirmed its effectiveness.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation
The TENS unit is attached to the skin of the symptomatic area using electrodes. It works to block pain signals to the brain by generating a very mild electrical current.
Pain in the muscles may be due partly to tension or spasticity. Therapeutic massage can help to relieve the pain by relaxing this tension. It may also help to impede pain messages similarly to the way that TENS treatment does, but without electrical stimulation.
There are also medications other than opioids or steroids that may provide pain relief, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxants. As with all medications, these should be taken as directed.