What is pain

Pain is described as an unpleasant sense in body that can rank from moderate, localized malaise to agony. It is considered as body’s most important alarm tools. Pain is the way that body informs an individual that there is something wrong and requires attention. Usually such cases are treated with pain relief drugs.

Mostly pain consists of physical and emotional elements. The physical part is caused by nerve stimulation. It can be localized in separate area as in injury and needs pain relief. Or it can be more widespread, like for instance in fibromyalgia.

Pain is provided by certain nerve fibers that transfer the pain impulses to the brain. Perception of pain in the body is caused by processes which are called “nociception”. As per latest researches, various biochemical mechanisms are involved in nociception.

Most of the health problems are diagnosed due to a sense of pain. Pain helps to individuals to avoid any injuries, which cannot even be realized without pain. As well, it shows medical problems which should be cured. Once the problem is treated, pain normally disappears. Though, in some cases it can stay during weeks, months or even years. This kind of pain is determined as chronic pain.

Fortunately, any kind of pain can be healed by different ways, and each separate way depends on pain reason. Generally, doctors use pain relief medications, acupuncture, or even surgery.

Types of the disease

There are several methods to classify pain. The commonest one is to categorize it as acute pain and chronic pain.

As a rule, acute pain appears suddenly and does not continue for a long time. Acute pain can indicate an injury, and when it is treated the pain usually vanishes. Damaged tissues such as bones, organs, or muscles are generally the main reason of injury – for example, cuts, burns, or broken bones.

Acute pain can be moderate and goes on for just a few moments. As well, it can be severe and lasts for weeks or even months – both cases normally require pain relief. Mostly acute pain does not continue longer than 6 months, and it disappears when its reasons have been treated.

The main aspect of therapy is to diagnose the pain source and use appropriate pain relief. Primary treatment can be provided by medications for pain, which are called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Naproxen, or Acetaminophen).

Chronic pain generally lasts longer than acute pain, and can be moderate to severe. In total it is rather resistant to medical therapy, though pain relief is essential. Long-term diseases, for example osteoarthritis or fibromyalgia, are usually combined with chronic pain. It is one of the major features of the illness. Chronic pain can also be the cause of damaged tissues, but still it is mainly connected with nerve damage.

Doctors prefer to treat chronic pain with pain relief drugs, which can cause the fewest unwanted effects (for example, Acetaminophen). Dose and type of remedy can be changed if needed. Medications should be consumed as per physician prescription.

Chronic pain is usually treated by following medications for pain:

  1. Acetaminophen (Tylenol).
  2. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Aspirin, Advil, or Aleve).
  3. Antidepressants (Cymbalta).
  4. Corticosteroids (Prednison).
  5. Anticonvulsants (Lyrica or Neurontin).
  6. Opiate pain relievers (Norco). This group can be used as effective pain relief when other remedies do not help.

In addition, pain is categorized by the kind of injury that produces it. The major categories are:

  1. Pain produced by tissue damage (nociceptive pain).
  2. Pain caused by nerve injury (neuropathic pain).
  3. Psychogenic pain, which is affected by psychological issues. Nerve or tissue damage is usually a source of psychogenic pain. Many sufferers can increase the original pain when they feel fear, anxiety, stress, or depression. Sometimes, pain can be caused even by psychological condition.

Medications for disease

Pain is usually cured by over-the-counter and prescription pain relief medications.

The first group is represented by Acetaminophen (Tylenol), and Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – Motrin, Advil, Aspirin, Aleve, or Naprosyn. All of them are used for pain relief and fever healing as well. NSAID can also treat inflammation (irritation or swelling).

Prescription medications for pain are classified in these groups:

  • Corticosteroids (Prednisone, Prednisolone, Dexamethasone, Methylprednisolone) provide pain relief for inflamed parts of the body. Patients also can use them to treat allergies, arthritis, or asthma.
  • Opiods, such as Codeine, Dihydrocodeine, Tramadol, Pethidine, Bupronorphine, Oxycodone, Methadone, Morphine, Diamorphine, Hydromorphone, Fentanyl. These pain relief drugs are effective for after-surgery or any other severe pain.
  • Antidepressants adjust levels of neurotransmitters in the brain, thus can cure pain or emotional conditions. Their list includes: Cymbalta, Effexor, Zoloft, Celexa, Paxil, Prozac, Norpramin, Pamelor, Tofranil, Silenor. For pain relief doctors usually prescribe lower doses of antidepressants than for depression treatment.
  • Anticonvulsants (Egretol, Lyrica, Neurontin) are also used as pain relief medications. Clinical researches showed their considerable effectiveness in treating pain.

Above mentioned remedies for pain relief can be administered only after doctor counseling. Any kinds of alcohol during treatment are prohibited.

Alternative treatments

Some kinds of herbal medications are used to treat pain and successfully used on a par with pain relief medications. These common herbal remedies are often prescribed by doctors:

  • Capsaicin;
  • Feverfew;
  • Ginger;
  • Devil’s claw;
  • Turmeric;
  • Kava Kava;
  • Ginseng;
  • Valerian root;
  • St. John’s Wort.

Sufferers should advise with a doctor before consuming any herbal remedy.

Another remedy for topical pain relief is Lidocaine (Lidoderm), which is a prescription medicine. It is used in different areas of the body to produce numbness and provide pain relief.

In case pain is not relieved by common therapy, doctors may also advise to refer to a pain management specialist. Some specific types or physical therapy or other kinds of medication can be applied if previous treatment did not succeed. In additions, TENS procedure is also used for pain relief. During this procedure patches are placed on the skin of the patient in order to send signals to brain that can help to stop pain.