FAQ’s on Pain Medication Management
What is Pain Medication Management?
Pain medication is one of the most common tools in a Denver pain physician’s arsenal for the treatment of a patient’s pain. There are a number of different medication types, each with a unique purpose and method of providing relief for the patient. Medications can range from everyday over-the-counter items that patients will already be accustomed to taking, all the way up to controlled narcotics given out only for the most severe of pain.
What will Pain Medication Management treat?
There is no singular item that can be treated through the use of pain medication. Instead, it is given to patients in an effort to help provide relief for the pain caused by other underlying conditions. Further treatment for these base conditions will be required for the patient to obtain permanent relief.
Pain medications may help treat those with failed back surgery, sciatica, neuropathy, arthritis flare ups, fibromyalgia and more.
How is Pain Medication Management performed?
There are four separate types of medication that a patient may be commonly given for pain symptoms: over-the-counter items, prescription-strength pain relievers, corticosteroids, and opioids. The medication to be used will vary based on the symptoms exhibited by the patient, and their severity. Access of the patient to these entirely depends on what medication is required for relief.
Over-the-counter (OTC) medications are, of course, available for patients to purchase at any time, and are largely comprised of either acetaminophen (solely provide pain relief) items, or NSAIDs (Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs). While each of these will provide relief for a patient’s pain, the manner in which they work varies from patient to patient.
Acetaminophen, such as Tylenol and Aspirin-free Excedrin, serve only to provide relief for pain and will not affect any swelling or inflammation that is present within the patient. These work directly on the brain of the patient to block the reception of pain signals. Contrary to this, NSAIDs such as naproxen and ibuprofen, work by reducing the production of prostaglandins within the body. These are hormone-like items that produce a feeling of pain within the body.
Prescription strength pain-relievers include both opioids and corticosteroids, and may also include both anticonvulsants and antidepressants. Corticosteroids are normally given to patients who are experiencing an allergic or asthmatic complication, and help to reduce the inflammation present in the reaction. Reduction in inflammation in this manner can help reduce the itching, swelling, redness, drainage, and other symptoms commonly found in patients. The normal delivery method for corticosteroids is either within a pill or an injection.
Opioids, while still a prescription strength medicine, are heavily controlled narcotics that are only given to patients for the more severe cases of acute pain (such as post-operation). Examples include morphine and oxycodone. While these medications can be exceptionally effective for patients when used correctly, there is some risk involved.
Patients who use these incorrectly stand the chance of becoming addicted to the medication. Even those who do use these medications correctly face some risk, as opioids taken over an extended period of time may force the body to become chemically dependent on them.
Patients who follow the instructions presented with their medication are often able to reliably achieve relief with very little risk. There is risk with long-term use of opioids, and some risk with corticosteroids in that they may not prove effective at treating patient’s symptoms.
Many patients will be able to obtain significant relief for their condition, and there are indications for their use. The Board Certified Colorado pain management doctors will be able to evaluate thoroughly your condition to see if pain medications are a good idea for you.
Most insurance is accepted, call Colorado Pain today for more information and scheduling at any of the three locations – (720) 306-9575!