The treatments for pain relief are applied depending on the different causes. From the physical approach like electrotherapy to psychological approach like hypnosis, if one method is not effective, then other methods will be used instead. However, for the chronic pain relief, no single technique can ensure reduce pain completely. Now, they often have to combine techniques together in treatments.
1. Physical approach
Physical therapy helps reduce pain by using special techniques do improve movement and function decline by injuries and disabilities. Along with the use of relaxation techniques and pain, physiotherapy doctor may use TENS for treatment line.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a kind of electrotherapy which uses electric currents to stimulate nerves to reduce pain. In this therapy, pulsed currents with low frequency are moved through electrodes placed to the skin where the pain appears. Currents from the electrodes stimulate nerves at the affected areas and transfer signal to the brain and disputes pain signals, allow reducing pain in short-term.
Electrotherapy relieves pain by blocking the pain signals from coming to the brain. Electrotherapy also promotes the body to produce chemicals called “endorphins” (endogenous morphine) which has pain relieving effects. Electrotherapy may be used to treat many chronic pains and acute pains such as back pain, muscle pain, headache and migraine headache, arthritis. Electrotherapy has effect in controlling the pain temporarily, so it usually is used as a part of a program of pain relief.
Acupuncture is a therapy which put a needle into special points called acupuncture points under your skin to reduce pain. There are many acupuncture points around the nerves. When stimulated, these nerves cause a pungent feeling in the muscle. Stimulated muscles send a signal to the central-nervous-system (brain and spinal cord), which helps release endorphins to block the pain signals from sending to the brain.
Acupuncture may be useful as a treatment method for many diseases which relate to the pain, including headache, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis (especially of the knee)…etc… Acupuncture also can be accepted as a part of a comprehensive pain treatment.
2. Psychological approach
When you hurt, you may feel angry, sad or disappointed. Pain can cause changes about personality, sleeplessness, affect to your work and your relationships. Depression, sleeplessness, and stress all can make the pain worse. The psychological treatment method is considered as a safe, non-drug treatment method which can directly treat the pain by reducing the stress level. Most psychological treatment for pain is used in education to help patients get the skills to manage difficult problems.
The imagination can be an important technique in pain control. Treatment by hypnosis or self-hypnosis can help you prevent or change the pain through refocusing technique. A self-hypnosis strategy, called glove anesthesia, include taking yourself into a hypnotic state, put one hand on the sore, imagine that the hand is relaxed, heavy, and numb, and imagine these feelings to be placed on the skin where are affected by pain.
Other techniques such as yoga or dhyana have been shown that the reducing stress can relate to the pain relief. Practicing Yoga gently is particularly good for improving muscles without getting extra stress on the body.
3. Other options: Pain Clinics
Many people with chronic pain can have some measures to control pain by trying to use above therapies. For some people, the using any treatment method is not a problem, they are still persecuted by the pain to the point of depression. For them, the pain clinics – the healthcare centers for dealing with intractable pain may be the answer.
Pain clinics often use a comprehensive approach, involving physicians, psychologists, and physiotherapists. Patients play a positive role in their treatment with the goal is not only to relieve pain but also to advise patients some knowledge concerning to the pain.
Different researches have shown that improve 50% of the effect in pain relief for patients after treatment in the pain clinic, and almost people learn how to deal with pain better and can continue to function normally.