Your Local Pharmacist is

Jay Koovarjee

 92 Pitt St
Sydney NSW 2000
ph: (02) 9221 0091
fax: (02) 9221 0090

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:: In Brief

 

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:: Pain Management
Disease Management - Pain Management
  Disease Management
  Pain Management

Pain is your body's way of telling you something is wrong.  Pain is usually either acute or chronic.

Acute pain is an immediate reaction to an illness, infection or injury that lasts a few days and may be severe.  It can sometimes recur.

Chronic pain is longer-lasting and usually less severe than acute pain.  It may come and go or may be a constant dull ache.  The leading cause of chronic pain is reported to be injury, commonly from playing sport, car accidents, home accidents and work accidents.

Almost two-thirds of people with chronic pain report that their pain interferes with their daily activities.

Pain may be classed as with inflammation (like a sprain) or without inflammation (like a headache).

Pain management is important for ongoing pain control.
 

Causes:

We may experience pain as a prick, tingle, sting, burn, or ache. Receptors on the skin trigger a series of events, beginning with an electrical impulse that travels from the skin to the spinal cord. The spinal cord acts as a sort of relay center where the pain signal can be blocked, enhanced, or otherwise modified before it is relayed to the brain.

There are many different factors that cause chronic pain. Often conditions that accompany aging may affect bones and joints in ways that cause chronic pain. Other common causes are nerve damage and injuries that fail to heal properly.

Some kinds of chronic pain have numerous causes. Back pain, for example, may be caused by a single factor, or any combination of these factors:

  • Years of poor posture
  • Improper lifting and carrying of heavy objects
  • Being overweight, which puts excess strain on the back and knees
  • A congenital condition such as curvature of the spine
  • Traumatic injury
  • Wearing high heels
  • Sleeping on a poor mattress
  • No obvious physical cause
  • Ordinary aging of the spine (degenerative changes)

Disease can also be the underlying cause of chronic pain. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are well-known culprits, but persistent pain may also be due to such ailments as cancer, multiple sclerosis, stomach ulcers, AIDS, and gallbladder disease.

In many cases, however, the source of chronic pain can be a very complex and even mysterious issue to untangle. Although it may begin with an injury or illness, ongoing pain can develop a psychological dimension after the physical problem has healed.
 

Management of Chronic Pain:

  • Anesthesia - having the feeling of pain and other sensations blocked by drugs that induces a lack of awareness. It may be a total or a minimal lack of awareness throughout the body (i.e. general anesthesia), or a lack of awareness in a part of the body (i.e. regional or local anesthesia)
  • Analgesia - an alteration of the sense of pain without loss of consciousness
  • Physical Therapy - Physical therapy helps to relieve pain by using special techniques that improve movement and function impaired by an injury or disability. Along with employing stretching and pain-relieving techniques, a physical therapist may use, among other things, TENS to aid treatment
  • Exercise for Chronic Pain - Regular exercise can diminish pain in the long term by improving muscle tone, strength, and flexibility. Exercise may also cause a release of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers. Some exercises are easier for certain chronic pain sufferers to perform than others; try swimming, biking, walking, rowing, and yoga.
  • Acupuncture - a component of traditional Chinese medicine. Acupuncture involves the insertion of slender needles into specific points on the skin
  • Massage - better suited to soft tissue injuries and should be avoided if the pain originates in the joints
  • Relaxation techniques - including meditation and yoga
  • Psychological Treatment for Chronic Pain - When you are in pain, you may have feelings of anger, sadness, hopelessness, and/or despair. Pain can alter your personality, disrupt your sleep, and interfere with your work and relationships. In turn, depression and anxiety, lack of sleep, and feelings of stress can all make pain worse. Psychological treatment provides safe, nondrug methods that can treat your pain directly by reducing high levels of physiological stress that often aggravate pain. Psychological treatment also helps improve the indirect consequences of pain by helping you learn how to cope with the many problems associated with pain

More Information:

Chronic Pain Management - Anxiety Australia
www.anxietyaustralia.com.au

Ask Your Pharmacist about:

  • Managing Pain
  • Pain Medications

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