A pain management clinic is a place that people who suffer from chronic pain go to for a variety of treatments. For patients who experience inflammation along with their pain, corticosteroid injections may be given to reduce the swelling. Although all of us have experienced inflammation at some time in our lives, most people do not realize what is actually taking place when the puffiness and redness occurs. This is actually the body’s way of protecting itself against threats that could lead to damage.
Symptoms of Inflammation Include:
• Warmth of the area
Of the many people who visit the pain management clinic, they may have any of a number of conditions, illnesses and injuries that cause them to experience inflammation along with their pain. For example, osteoarthritis occurs when there is a wearing away of the cartilage that forms a cushioning layer between bones. With nothing to protect them, the bones rub together, sometimes causing small pieces of bone to break away. The soft tissue in the area of the joint may become inflamed when the body responds to the condition.
Anti-Inflammatory Medications Used by Pain Management Clinics
Sometimes anti-inflammatory painkillers are referred to as nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) – Although this group of drugs is available over-the-counter as pain medications, they typically must be used in prescription doses to work as an effective anti-inflammatory. OTC NSAIDs include ibuprofen, naproxen sodium and aspirin while there is a long list of prescription strength NSAIDs including higher doses of Ibuprofen, Lodine, Mobic, Voltaren and many more. They work by blocking the body’s defensive response. People with some health conditions cannot be given prescription strength NSAIDs and they are advised not to take the over-the-counter versions as well due to potential serious side-effects.
Anti-inflammatories are often used to treat people with arthritis as pain and inflammation are a common symptom. In addition, they can reduce stiffness of the joints. While inflammation can usually be controlled, if the person does not take the medications needed to reduce the irritation, it can progress to chronic inflammation that lasts for as long as many months or years. In some cases, untreated inflammation can lead to secondary diseases and conditions such as cancer, atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease.
The Use of Steroids for Inflammation
Corticosteroids, or steroids for short, are man-made drugs that resemble those made by the adrenal glands. These drugs are used to treat inflammation, typically through injections into the affected area. Other methods of dosage include eye drops, ear drops or topical creams. They may also be taken orally, through an IV, or injected into the muscle. There are many different types of steroids but prednisone is the most common type.
Inflammation accompanies pain because it is the response to the cause of the pain, not the cause of it. The treatments listed here and others are used at a pain management clinic to reduce or eliminate pain and inflammation and to provide overall relief for a variety of conditions, diseases and injuries. The doctors at the clinic will diagnose the cause of the pain and inflammation and determine the best course of treatment for them on an individual basis.