The medical discipline which is concerned with providing the relief from pain is known as pain management or pain relief. Broadly, there are two types of pain - Acute pain & chronic pain. Acute pain, such as pain resulting from trauma, generally has a reversible cause and may require only transient measures and correction of the underlying problem. On the other hand, chronic pain often results from conditions that are difficult to diagnose and treat, and that may take a long time to reverse. Some examples include cancer, neuropathy, and referred pain.
Multidisciplinary approach that generally includes analgesics such as narcotics or NSAIDs and pain modifiers such as tricyclic antidepressants or anticonvulsants (pharmacologic measures), interventional procedures, physical therapy and physical exercise, application of ice and/or heat (non-pharmacologic measures) and psychological measures such as biofeedback and cognitive therapy.
There are many medicines which can be used to decrease pain. Since, pain relief medicine may have mild to serious side effects, it is therefore important to listen to your doctor carefully when he or she tells you how to use your pain medicine. Ask your doctor or your pharmacist in case you have any question about side effects or about how much medicine to take.
Acetaminophen helps provide relief from many kinds of chronic pain. It is important to know that many over-the-counter and prescription pain medicines have acetaminophen in them as one of the ingredient. If you're not careful, you could take more acetaminophen than is good for you. Large dosage of acetaminophen could cause liver damage. If you often have to take more than 2 acetaminophen pills a day, inform your doctor.
NSAIDs or Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs are used for many types of pain. Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Naprosyn are some of the medicines which fall in this category. One can take these medicines just as when you need them, or can be also taken for a longer period and even regularly in case your doctor feels so. These medicines build up in the blood to levels that fight the pain of inflammation (swelling) and also give general pain relief. Many of these medicines are available in low-dose forms without a prescription.
Always take an NSAID with food or milk because the most common side effects are related to the stomach. Also, you should tell your doctor if you are taking some other pain medicine.
Because narcotics can be addictive, your doctor prescribes it when it is really necessary to add them to your treatment plan to provide relief from pain. Doctors prescribe these medicine generally to people with severe chronic pain. If your doctor has prescribed narcotics to you, follow his or her directions carefully.
Many other medicines are also used for pain relief such as Carbamazepine, which is a seizure medication that can treat some kinds of pain. Similarly, Amitriptyline is an antidepressant that can also help with chronic pain in many cases.