Treat long-term pain

I treat long-term pain one way, but how is (long-term) pain usually treated?

I feel as if it’s necessary to go through how things are usually done and then get to how I like to do things. As you already know, the classical way to treat pain is usually done with pills.

  1. The first approach is often to try waiting unless there’s a significant injury. “Let’s see if it’ll just pass”.
  2. The second step, but the first attempt to do something, is often pills, where acetaminophen and NSAIDs are the most common to start with.
  3. Perhaps a physiotherapist and some exercise if the kinder painkillers don’t work for a few weeks.
  4. Manual therapists, massage therapists, chiropractors, or something similar might be used.
  5. And if nothing works, there are different kinds of morphine-derivatives, substances that relax muscles, and others that affect the brain, like anti-depressants and gabapentinoids.

However, classic painkillers rarely do a great job for the long-term kind of pain. In some cases, acetaminophen and NSAIDs do nothing but contribute to an upset stomach. In some cases, they do their fair share as a foundation and contribute to a good start to relieve pain. The opioids do the least bad job of the “pure painkillers”. SNRI “Serotonin–Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor” and gabapentinoids might be helpful. For some. Far too rarely, I’m afraid.

Despite the more or less bad outcome from pills, medication generally seems to be the go-to solution when one tries to get medical attention to get help in these matters, regardless of if the issue is pain, feelings of stress, trouble sleeping, anxiety, or depressive symptoms. The issue is generally not a lack of pills – but pills are the solution in many cases. If you use the DDD, do your symptoms worsen when you don’t handle your medications properly? If they do, that’s a decent enough sign that they do something. Do the symptoms, however, worsen for other things as well? Which one affects the most? Choices, activities, and how you handle your life – or the pills?

I’m not saying pills don’t work at all. Painkillers could work wonders when you’re in pain, but that’s not everything you need for long-term pain.

How do you ideally treat long-term pain?

Eclectically or “multimodally”.

I don’t mind treating pain with pills and help the brain as much as possible that way. With pain, painkillers really do have their place if they work. It’s reasonable to treat the physical parts with whatever you can that helps because the subjective feeling of pain is highly relevant. Use EXCERSICE, stretching, strength training, cardio, manual therapies, needles, lasers, TENS machines, or whatever you might find that helps.

But if you forget to add the psycho-social aspects, you might be doing a lot of it in vain. Those are critical in managing life and creating what you find worth having. If you’re bothered by all three, these parts are crucial in combating the effects of burnout and depression!

The physical parts need to be personalized as much as the psycho-social parts. Physical aspects matter, and they need to be treated well enough to improve. The same goes for the psycho-social factors.

You don’t want to live the life I want; you want to live the life you want.

Treating this is often done systematically and slowly, and it’s more about pain science and less about pills. If the drugs work, that’s a great thing, but learning about pain and getting to know yours could be equally important. “Why the pain?” is a great question, to begin with. In some cases, it’s something that’ll go away. In others, it’ll be there as long as you are. If you’re one of the latter, it’s even more important to learn about pain and what’s troubling you since that’ll be useful for the rest of your life.

Learning and adapting to the pain could mitigate a lot of the pain. Adapting to it doesn’t mean becoming a victim or letting pain run the show, however. It could be more like living with it in symbiosis. Pain is a part of life for all of us. For some, it’s a more prominent part. If that’s the case, it’ll have to get more room.

Living with pain or getting rid of long-term pain entirely is a lot about getting and maintaining a good and well-balanced life. That’s possible despite the pain. Pain isn’t necessarily equal to suffering and a horrible life, even though that might sound provocative.

I’ve included more than 60 pages of my point of view on pain in the book, focusing on pain science. As always, it’s found at www.mbdolor.com/book.

If you don’t want to do this yourself but would prefer to get some help, you can contact me at www.mbdolor.com/contact

Full series:
The Big Three: What Is Long-Term Pain?
Why Do We Get Long-Term Pain?
Treat Long-Term Pain

How is (long-term) pain usually treated?

I feel as if it’s necessary to go through how things are usually done and then get to how I like to do things. As you already know, the classical way to treat pain is usually done with pills.
The first approach is often to try waiting unless there’s a significant injury. “Let’s see if it’ll just pass”.
The second step, but the first attempt to do something, is often pills, where acetaminophen and NSAIDs are the most common to start with.
Perhaps a physiotherapist and some exercise if the kinder painkillers don’t work for a few weeks.
Manual therapists, massage therapists, chiropractors, or something similar might be used.
And if nothing works, there are different kinds of morphine-derivatives, substances that relax muscles, and others that affect the brain, like anti-depressants and gabapentinoids.
However, classic painkillers rarely do a great job for the long-term kind of pain. In some cases, acetaminophen and NSAIDs do nothing but contribute to an upset stomach. In some cases, they do their fair share as a foundation and contribute to a good start to relieve pain. The opioids do the least bad job of the “pure painkillers”. SNRI “Serotonin–Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor” and gabapentinoids might be helpful. For some. Far too rarely, I’m afraid.

How do you treat long-term pain?

Eclectically or “multimodally”.
I don’t mind treating pain with pills and help the brain as much as possible that way. With pain, painkillers really do have their place if they work. It’s reasonable to treat the physical parts with whatever you can that helps because the subjective feeling of pain is highly relevant. Use EXCERSICE, stretching, strength training, cardio, manual therapies, needles, lasers, TENS machines, or whatever you might find that helps.
But if you forget to add the psycho-social aspects, you might be doing a lot of it in vain. Those are critical in managing life and creating what you find worth having. If you’re bothered by all three, these parts are crucial in combating the effects of burnout and depression!
The physical parts need to be personalized as much as the psycho-social parts. Physical aspects matter, and they need to be treated well enough to improve. The same goes for the psycho-social factors.

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