Typically, pain comes in two forms: acute and chronic. Acute pain exists to warn you about the presence of an injury or other stress, and generally goes away when the injury heals. Chronic pain lasts longer than the injury takes to heal, and this is often more than 12 weeks. Finding techniques for chronic pain management can be essential to sustaining your daily activities and ability to work. If you suffer from chronic pain, you already know how much it can degrade your quality of life.
Depending on the severity, chronic pain can be a major problem. It can range from an annoyance all the way up to a severely debilitating condition. Chronic pain sufferers may not be able to do things they used to do with ease, and they may find that their time is increasingly taken up in dealing with the pain. Thankfully, there are some strategies of chronic pain management that help sufferers cope with their condition.
You May Have a Legal Case
If you or a loved one lives with from chronic pain as a result of another person’s negligence, you may be entitled to damages for personal injury. Inexperienced attorneys may tell you that chronic pain isn’t worth much in a personal injury settlement. This is not true. Contact the experienced chronic pain lawyers at the Khalidi Law Firm to learn why and to see if you have a case.
Chronic Pain Management with Medication
Depending on the severity of the pain, a doctor may prescribe painkillers, or he or she may simply advise a chronic pain sufferer to use an over-the-counter (OTC) painkiller.
The two main types of OTC drugs doctors advise chronic pain sufferers to take are acetaminophen (the main ingredient in Tylenol) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). A few well-known NSAIDs are Aspirin, Aleve, Advil, and Motrin. If OTC drugs do not relieve a person’s pain, the doctor may prescribe higher doses of NSAIDs than are available over the counter.
The most powerful painkillers doctors can prescribe are the opioids. These are extremely effective painkillers, but they carry with them a high potential for misuse and addiction. A few of the opioids doctors may prescribe include oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and tramadol. Opioids also have a high potential for overdose, so they are prescribed only for the most severe instances of chronic pain.
Therapies and Alternative Treatments
In addition to painkillers, a doctor may advise a course of treatment that involves both the body and mind. There are a variety of therapies available. These include:
- Physical therapy
Physical therapy includes physical exercise that’s meant to strengthen an injured muscle. Trained physical therapists assess the injury and develop a series of exercises and movements specific to that injury.
- Low-impact exercise
Low-intensity exercises such as walking, swimming, and biking work to strengthen the muscles, tendons and ligaments and increase blood flow. When done regularly, such exercise provides steady improvement in the body’s overall physical condition. Sometimes, muscles indirectly related to the location of the original injury can play a role in healing.
- Occupational therapy
This helps a chronic pain sufferer learn alternate ways of going about everyday tasks. The intent is to teach movements that are less likely to aggravate the pain. Certain motions should be avoided. Also, different ways of approaching tasks as simple as reaching into a cupboard, making a bed or getting into and out of a car can prevent triggering pain.
- Behavioral therapy
Many believe there is a connection between the mind and the body. The mind can help chronic pain management by recognizing and reducing the physical and emotional stress when the pain comes on. These forms of therapy include meditation, tai chi, and yoga. A doctor might advise these forms of therapy as a method for helping a sufferer relax and decrease overall stress.
- Alternative therapies
Alternative techniques for pain relief are available as well. These include practices like massage and acupuncture, which may not be prescribed as part of mainstream medical treatment. A chronic pain sufferer should consult a doctor before engaging in any course of alternative treatment for his or her pain.
Using Chronic Pain Management to Cope
Chronic pain is not something you go through on your own. Dealing with chronic pain can lead to significant lifestyle changes, so it’s important to know how you and your family are going to manage your chronic pain. These techniques may not be able to relieve your pain entirely, but they should at least be able to help you avoid anything that might make it worse.
- Make a list
Pay attention to the pain and make a list of every activity or motion that makes it worse. Some triggers can also be staying in the same position for an extended period of time. This documentation will give you the knowledge you need to avoid the most severe pain.
- Involve your friends and family
Dealing with chronic pain will likely involve asking your family for a lot of favors. It can be difficult when you’re dealing with the pain, but expressing your sincere appreciation for all they do could go a long way to make things easier.
- Set new routines
These can include new diet and exercise habits, new medications, and techniques or routines you may use to reduce your stress.
Talk to an Experienced Chronic Pain Injury Attorney
Let us help you determine whether an injury you or a loved one suffered as a result of another person’s negligence may be grounds for a chronic pain legal case. The Khalidi Law Firm has more than 20 years of experience helping injured persons in the Tucson area get the compensation and closure they deserve. If you have suffered injury and have been dealing with chronic pain, we can help. Contact our Tucson injury lawyers at The Khalidi Law firm.