Pain Management – An Inter-Disciplinary Branch of Science


Most diseases are characterized by pain as a common symptom. It aggravates the condition of the patient and complicates the healing process. This pain can also be long-lasting and may continue even after the ailment has been cured. There are a number of doctors out there who especially deal with pain management. They cater to different kinds of pain and how to effectively treat them.

Pain is a vexatious feeling that causes intense discomfort. It hampers the productivity of the individual and may lead to temporary withdrawal from a normal lifestyle. Apart from being physically troublesome, it is also mentally exhausting. Acute pain starts as well as ends abruptly and can be very powerful. Chronic pain, on the other hand, is one which persists for a longer duration.

The pain, at times, can be fixed by treating the underlying problem. However, when the pain is chronic, a group of specialists needs to work towards controlling it. Pain may be light, intense or acute depending on the type of injury or ailment and may require to be treated accordingly. Painkillers are widely used pills that provide immediate relief.

It is often difficult to explain the type of pain and the body part affected by it. A pain specialist helps in identifying the probable pain areas and takes cues from the description to determine an appropriate cure. Physicians, physiotherapists, druggists, and psychologists come under the category of pain management doctors.

Doctors that specialize in dealing with different parts of the human body do not treat the pain that arises because of a medical problem. They refer individual cases to specialists who focus on pain management. A pain management doctor is one who is an expert in detecting as well curing all sorts of pain and has undertaken exclusive training for the same. There are a few pain clinics here and there that comprises of a team of pain management doctors.

Among pain management doctors, there are some of them that focus on specific types of pain. For example, a chiropractor attends to patients of back pain. Then there are wellness counselors and biofeedback specialists that focus on physiological treatment of pain.

Pain management begins with the team asking a few questions from the sufferer like where does he feel the pain, when did he start feeling the pain, what kind of sensation closely describes the pain, which movement reduces the pain, etc. Pain cannot be detected using any equipment. Hence, the facts given by the sufferer become the only source of diagnosis.

Though, there are a number of medicines that help in alleviating pain, excessive unprescribed consumption of the same can have a harmful impact on the body. It is also important to determine the exact cause of pain so as to establish a suitable management plan. A wrong cause can lead to a possible medical error which can worsen the entire condition.

Pain can arise in the limbs, joints, nerves, chest, hips, neck, shoulder, back and others. The following steps are taken by pain management doctors to heal the aches and twinges.

  • Therapy – Physiotherapy is the most common technique used to manage chronic pain. It uses some lifestyle enhancement methods to improve functional activity. However, it proves to be successful only if performed regularly on a day to day basis. It is mostly used to heal the pain associated with the central nervous system or the muscular system.
  • Acupuncture – It is said that there are a few points on our body that direct energy flow between the internal organs and the superficial parts. This technique involves exposing those points to needles so as to channelize this flow of energy in the right direction. It is said to heal neck pain, headache, menstrual cramps, dental pain, etc.
  • Medicines – WHO has prescribed a concept called the pain ladder that indicates the hierarchy of medicines to be taken to reduce pain. The first step involves administration of nonopioid medicine such as paracetamol. If pain persists, then weak opioid medicine like tramadol is prescribed. Further, strong opioid medicine such as morphine is recommended.
  • Other methods – These include the use of various kinds of injections, stimulators, pumps to deal with severe pain. Meditation along with yoga is said to reduce the harshness of pain. Psychological training lays an emphasis on enhancing peace of mind of, motivation to accept pain as a way of life rather than stressing over it and performance of regular physical exercise to inhibit it.
    The patient while visiting a pain clinic should carry any CT or MRI scan reports or any other document that may facilitate pain detection and strategy making. He should provide all the necessary information required such as any disease he is suffering from, his current course of medicines, etc. for proper pain management. He should, also, religiously follow his treatment regimen.