Chronic pain is a massive problem in many people’s lives. Experiencing relentless pain can have a devastating effect on your mind and body. That’s why several professionals have worked exceptionally hard to help create inventions that ease this chronic pain. From here, numerous treatment plans are available to relieve the extent of pain you feel. Continue reading to find out more.
What Inventions Have Been Used to Ease Chronic Pain?
Medical professionals have developed various inventions to help ease chronic pain. However, one specific method is commonly adopted. Instead, these varied inventions are using together to enhance the results and help you relieve this pain. Such inventions include:
Over-the-Counter Medications for Chronic Pain Relief
The most popular types of OTC medications are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and acetaminophen (Tylenol). Types of NSAIDs might include:
Both of these painkillers are known for relieving mild pain while NSAIDs also reduce swelling and inflammation. However, these aren’t the right option for those who are suffering from more severe chronic pain.
Additionally, the long-term use of these drugs can come with serious side effects. That’s why it’s highly recommended to talk to your doctor before you begin using any OTC medication for chronic pain.
Alterative Over-the-Counter Medication
Oral medications aren’t the only type of OTC drugs you can get for pain relief. Topical creams are another invention you can use. These are more popular for relieving chronic pain caused by arthritis or other muscle aches.
Prescription Medications Offering Chronic Pain Relief
Some forms of chronic pain can’t be relieved with OTC medication. In such instances, your doctor might want to prescribe something stronger. The American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) places major medications under different classes according to the scale of pain such medication can relieve. The three most common drugs are:
- Nonopioids, which include acetaminophen, NSAIDs, and aspirin.
- Opioids, which include morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and codeine.
- Adjuvant analgesics, which include certain anticonvulsants and antidepressants.
Antidepressants can affect the way your brain processes pain. Such manipulations can be an effective treatment for certain types of chronic pain. Additionally, these medications can help improve anxiety and depression (commonly brought on by chronic pain). This might indirectly better the symptoms associated with chronic pain for an enhanced quality of life.
What Are the Possible Side Effects of Prescription Medication?
These medications can create numerous unpleasant side effects that can range from being mild to more severe. You should talk to your doctor if you begin suffering any unusual symptoms. Some of these might include:
- Swelling or edema
- Vomiting or nausea
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Breathing difficulties
- Irregular heartbeat
Trigger Point Injections
This is a procedure used to treat any painful regions in muscles containing trigger points. Alternatively, this pain is also found in knots that form when muscles can’t relax. A local anesthetic (typically including a steroid) is injected into a trigger point.
Sterile salt water can sometimes also be used. With these injections, the trigger point is made inactive while the pain is alleviated. Generally speaking, a brief treatment course can result in sustained pain relief.
A trigger point injection is used to treat various muscle pains located in the lower back, legs, arms, and neck. Additionally, this medical approach has also been used to treat tension headaches, fibromyalgia, and myofascial pain syndrome. This is chronic pain involving tissue surrounding the muscle. In most instances, this treatment is done if pain relief doesn’t respond to other medical procedures.
Moreover, onabotulinumtoxina (also known as Botox) can be injected to relieve chronic migraine headaches. This toxin blocks signals from the nerves found in these muscles, which helps offer pain-relieving properties. Such procedures include numerous injections around the neck and head while needing to be administered every 12 weeks.
You have alternative options to choose from if your chronic pain isn’t alleviated by oral medications. Your doctor might wish to try a surgical implant. Numerous implants are used while infusion pain pumps are one of the most common.
These implants can directly deliver medication where it’s required, which as the spinal cord. Electricity is used to alter the pain signals sent to your brain through spinal cord stimulation while a surgical implant that’s rising in popularity is the Premia Spine TOPS System.
Premia Spine TOPS System
Although fusion surgical implants eliminate all motion at the operative level, the TOPS system preserves this mobility found in the spine segment. Additionally, using TOPS aids in protecting neighboring spinal segments while fusion places more strain and stress on the adjacent levels.
When performing a spinal fusion to relieve chronic pain, you’re at risk of adjacent degeneration of adjacent level disease. This impacts the motion segments (like the facet joints and disc) below and above the surgery site.
You still need motion to accommodate your daily activity, such as reaching, walking, twisting, and lifting. This required motion typically comes from the joints next to the surgery site. This results in such joints working double-time to make up for immovable portion making up a part of your spine. The regions next to where this fusion took place are subject to additional stress, leading to degenerative changes.
Nonetheless, the TOPS system is designed as a mechanical device housed between two titanium plates, allowing for axial rotation, extension, lateral bending, and flexion. Hence, the implant allows you to bend, twist, and straighten at the affected spine’s segment while blocking an excessive anterior sagittal or posterior translation.
The Bottom Line
Many different treatment plans are available to relieve chronic pain. However, each individual’s chronic pain is unique, as some cases are more severe and require strong medications and more complex treatment plans.
Additionally, your body might react differently to the medication offered by a doctor while not responding to some of the treatments. Nonetheless, your doctor can help you decide the best combination of medical and alternative treatments to manage these symptoms. Yet, the TOPs System is proving to change how we look at chronic pain (and offering relief) for the better.