Chronic Pain Treatment
What is the best way to treat chronic pain? Unfortunately, there is no "one size fits all" solution -- chronic pain is complex and is often a challenge to treat. However, many people find relief with medication, such as opioids, muscle relaxers, or even antidepressants. Nonmedication options, such as reducing stress and staying as active as possible, can also make a huge difference.
Chronic pain is generally considered pain that lasts for a long period of time, which can mean weeks, months, or even years. While acute pain is a useful defense mechanism alerting the body that something is wrong, chronic pain is pain that has persisted when it is no longer useful or necessary.
Chronic pain affects almost every aspect of a person's life. It not only causes physical pain, but also affects emotional well-being. Many people with chronic pain experience frustration, anxiety, and depression as part of their symptoms.
Persistent pain can interfere with a person's ability to work, do activities they normally enjoy, or even perform routine daily tasks that are necessary for self-care. Pain can affect sleep, the ability to think, personal relationships, and a person's overall quality of life.
Because chronic pain is so debilitating, treating it can be challenging. The ultimate goal of treatment is to reduce pain and other symptoms and to get a person as close to his or her previous level of functioning as possible. This may mean getting someone back to work, or giving them back the ability to do the things they previously enjoyed.
Chronic pain usually can't be cured. But many different treatment options are available for reducing symptoms. These can include medication, physical and psychological therapies, alternative treatments, and even surgical interventions. Most people who live with chronic pain need a combination of treatments to best manage their condition.