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pain relief medications

The pain usually varies to a great extent, it can be– severe, sharp mild, or dull. 

Causes leading to Chronic Pain: Anything like a bad mattress or stomach ulcers may cause chronic pain. Though it may start with an illness or injury, it may develop a psychological dimension even though the physical problem gets heals.

Causes of Chest Pain: You must never ignore chest pain. But you learn that it could be due to many possible reasons.

Burns / Pain Burns usually differ in kinds and severity — as does the pain. 

Compressed Nerve (Pinched Nerve): A pinched nerve occasionally causes other conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, peripheral neuropathy, or tennis elbow. Early diagnosis helps in the prevention of further damage. 

Hand Pain Causes: With the increasing active society, the amount of hand problems is also increasing. Hand pain has several specific causes/treatments.

Hip Pain: In spite of the durability, the hip joint is not indestructible. With the increasing age and the use, the cartilage might wear down or could be damaged.

Neck and Shoulder Pain: This pain may be classified in several ways. 

Chronic Knee and Joint Pain: Arthritis affecting the “shock absorbers” is the reason behind pain and the disability in hip joints or knee can lead to surgery. 

About Muscle Pain:  Muscle pain is too common in which aching or sore muscles can be associated with overuse, tension/stress/muscle injury from physically demanding work, or exercise. Muscle pain might involve tendons, ligaments, and soft tissues. Muscular aches might be an indication of conditions that affects the body like infections.

The following mentioned medications are associated with or used in treating this condition.

Muscle Pain Relief:

Pain is diagnosed to reach the root of pain, and for this doctors can use several tests. 

Quality-of-Life Scale for diagnosing Pain: It is one tool that helps the doctor in assessing the pain. This scale also helps you and the doctor to monitor deterioration or improvement or treatment-related complications.

Do You Require a Pain Clinic?

A pain clinic is an asset up of a health care facility that focuses on diagnosing and the management of chronic pain.

Treatment & Care by using Pain Relief Medication:

Pain is very complex, and hence there are various treatment options – Pain medications, mind-body techniques, or therapies. 

Treating Chronic Pain: A Pain Relief Medication, acupuncture, and mind-body technique helps in relieving chronic pain. 

Natural Pain Relief: Physical therapy, lifestyle changes, or counseling — in addition to pain relief medications or surgery, induces bringing pain relief. 

Spine Pain and Treatments: When you experience painful compression fractures in your spine, either non-surgical or surgical treatments or both are explored. 

Lower Leg Pain Treatment: If you suffer from lower leg pain, it could be serious or might be treatable at home only.

Alternative Therapy: Researchers have proved that acupuncture as well as other nonmedical treatments help in providing pain relief.

Pain Killer Medication

Nerve Block Injections and Local Anesthesia: With the injection of local anesthetic, a nerve block is achieved — thereby blocking the pain

Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relief medications involve:

      • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
      • Tramadol
      • Soma
      • Oxycodone
      • Hydrocodone
      • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn),  ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), or diclofenac gel 

Both acetaminophen and NSAIDs help in reducing fever as well as relieving pain which is caused by muscle stiffness or muscle aches, but only NSAIDs helps in reducing inflammation (irritation and swelling). All drugs work differently. Tramadol relieves pain by acting on the brain to change how the body responds to the pain.  Soma is a muscle relaxer blocking pain sensations arising in nerves and brain.

Using Tramadol never increases the risk of stroke or heart attack and has never caused stomach ulcers or bleeding. 

Topical pain killers are also there without a prescription. These products include lotions, creams, or sprays that are applied to the skin for relieving pain arising due to sore muscles or arthritis. Few examples of such pain medication are included BenGay, Aspercreme, Capzasin-P, or Icy Hot.

Pain Relief Medications are:

      • Opioids (Tramadol, Hydrocodone)
      • Antidepressants
      • Corticosteroids
      • Lidocaine patches
      • Anticonvulsants (anti-seizure medications)
      • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Corticosteroids:

Prescription corticosteroids help in providing relief in inflamed areas of the patient’s body by reducing, redness, and itching, swelling, and allergic reactions. Corticosteroids are also helpful in treating asthma, allergies, and arthritis. When used in controlling pain, they are usually given in the form of injections or tablets pills targeting specific joints. 

Examples include prednisolone, prednisone, and methylprednisolone.

Corticosteroids are strong drugs and might have serious adverse effects, including:

      • Peptic ulcer disease
      • Trouble sleeping
      • Weakened immune system
      • Thinning of the bones and skin
      • High sugar levels
      • Weight gain and salt retention
      • Mood changes

To reduce such potential side effects, corticosteroids are usually prescribed in the lowest effective dose possible for very less duration of time as required to relieve the pain.

What Are Opioids?

Opioids are defined as narcotic pain relief medications that contain synthetic, natural, or semi-synthetic opiates. Opioids are usually ingested in acute pain, like short-term pain occurring after surgery. Few examples of opioids involve:

      • Tramadol
      • Morphine
      • Codeine
      • Fentanyl
      • Hydrocodone-acetaminophen (Vicodin)
      • Oxycodone
      • Oxycodone-acetaminophen (Percocet)

Panic attacks are actually the sudden terror feelings that strike without any alarm signal. These episodes of panic attacks might happen at any time, even while sleeping. People who have experienced a panic attack might feel that they are suffered a heart attack or they are going crazy. The terror/fear experienced by a person during the panic attack is not proportionate to the actual situation and might be unrelated to what is occurring around them. Most people suffering from panic attacks experience the following symptoms:

      • Feeling weak, faint, or dizzy
      • Sense of terror, 
      • Sense of impending doom 
      • Breathing difficulty
      •  Having chills
      • Feeling sweaty
      • “Racing” heart
      • Numbness in hands and fingers
      • Chest pains
      • Feeling a loss of control

A panic attack is usually brief, and lasts for just 10 minutes, although few symptoms might persist for a longer duration. People who have earlier experienced panic attacks are more prone to having a subsequent panic attack in comparison to those who never experienced any panic attack. When it occurs repeatedly, and there are chances of more episodes, an individual is considered to suffer from a condition called panic disorder.

People having panic disorder might be extremely fearful or anxious, as they are unaware of the occurrence of the next episode. Panic disorder is typically common and generally affects nearly 6 million people in America. Females are twice more susceptible in comparison to females to develop this condition, and its symptoms start in early adulthood.

It is yet not clear about the causes of panic disorder. In most of the people who show biological vulnerability to the panic attacks, they might develop it along with major life modifications (like starting the first job, getting married, having a child, etc). There is also some proof that suggests that the tendency of developing panic disorder usually runs in families. People suffering from panic disorder also suffer from chronic anxiety, depression and attempt suicide, or might abuse drugs or alcohol.

Types of anxiety

Most of the individuals having anxiety face several symptoms of various kinds of anxiety and might suffer from depression also. It is mandatory to take help as early as possible if you’re having chronic anxiety. The symptoms may stay and do not go away when it is left untreated, 

There are several types of anxiety

 Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD):

A person might become anxious on many days, and worry regarding many different things, for a duration of 6months or even more.

GAD is a too common anxiety disorder that is characterized by constant and chronic anxiety, nervousness, worrying, and tension. Unlike a phobia, in which fear is due to a certain thing or some situation, the anxiety occurring in GAD is actually diffused—it is a general feeling of unease or dread that paints your entire life.

Causes / Risk factors in GAD: a family history of chronic anxiety. Prolonged or recent exposure to stressful situations, involving family illnesses. 

 Social anxiety:

In this case victim, you may have an intense fear of being embarrassed, criticized, or humiliated, like eating in public, speaking publicly. 

Specific phobia:

A person feeling very fearful regarding some situation or object and might reach to great lengths for avoiding it, for example, traveling on a plane or having an injection. There are several different kinds of phobias.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD):

There are ongoing intrusive/unwanted fears and thoughts that cause anxiety. Although victims might acknowledge these thoughts as silly, they often try to relieve their anxiety by carrying out certain rituals or behaviors. For example, a fear of contamination or germs might cause constant washing of clothes or hands.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

It happens when a person experiences a traumatic event (e.g. assault, war, accident, disaster). Symptoms are upsetting dreams, difficulty relaxing or flashbacks of the event, and avoiding any such event. PTSD can be diagnosed when an individual has symptoms for about a month.

Living with Anxiety: How to Cope

Dealing with anxiety could be very challenging but there are several effective ways for coping with it. Use the combination which works best for you.

Anxiety Relief Medication: 

The standard treatments for dealing with an anxiety disorder are:

  1. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): It is based on the fact that a person’s thoughts make his behaviors and feelings and not the external things, like situations, people, or any event. The advantage of CBT is that person can alter the way he thinks to feel and can act in a better way even though the situation does not change. CBT typically focuses on knowing the behavior and thought patterns that are responsible for causing or sustaining anxiety attacks.
  2. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): It is a kind of cognitive therapy that emphasizes an individual’s psychotherapy and group skills training thereby helping people in learning new strategies and skills—involving distress tolerance or mindfulness–for managing panic or anxiety.
  3. Anxiety Relief Medications: They are used for controlling or reducing symptoms associated with an anxiety disorder. They are very effective when used in combination with other treatments, like cognitive behavioral therapy or exposure therapy. Anxiety Relief Medications are used for treating chronic anxiety or panic disorder includes antidepressants, although they require many weeks for proving effectiveness. Benzodiazepines like Xanax or Ativan act quickly. But being addictive they are used only for a short time period.

A nightmare is actually a disturbing dream that is linked with negative feelings, like fear or anxiety which awakens you. Nightmares have been too common in kids; still, it might happen in any age group. The occasional nightmares are generally not worrisome.

Nightmares may start in kids around the age of 3 to 6 and may decrease after 10 years of age. During the young adult years, girls appear to get nightmares more in comparison to boys. Few people get them when they grow up into adults or throughout their lives.

Although nightmares are too common, this disorder is relatively rare. Nightmare disorder is actually when nightmares happen frequently, disrupt sleep, causing distress, create fear of going to sleep or create problems in doing daytime activities.

Symptoms

A person usually has a nightmare in the 2nd half of the night. Nightmares might rarely occur or may occur more frequently, even many times in the night. Episodes are typically brief, but they may awake you, and returning back for sleep may become too difficult hence nightmare disorder treatment is too necessary for a person.

A nightmare may involve these features:

  • The dream seems to be real and vivid and it is also too upsetting, frequently becoming very disturbing when the dream unfolds
  • The dream leads to distress keeping you away from falling asleep 
  • The dream storyline is actually associated with safety, to threats, or survival, but it can also have other disturbing elements
  • The dream might awaken you
  • You feel scared, anxious, angry, sad, or disgusted as a result of your dream

Nightmares are a disorder only when you experience:

  • Impairment during the day or major distress, like or bedtime anxiety, anxiety, or persistent fear regarding having another nightmare
  • Its frequent occurrences
  • Problems at the workplace or school 
  • Fatigue or daytime sleepiness or low energy
  • Problems in focusing or memory
  • Fear of the dark
  • Behavioral problems associated with bedtime 

Insomnia Treatment

Treating chronic insomnia involves 2 main objectives: improving sleep duration and quality, and lowering the associated daytime impairments. The chronic insomnia treatment usually involves at least 1 behavioral intervention that usually takes the form of cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-i); if the therapy or behavioral interventions do not prove to be effective, the health care expert might recommend some form of sleep drugs like Ambien.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia

CBT-i is considered the best treatment for insomnia as it does not carry the health risks linked to sleep medication. In many cases, CBT-i is performed by a licensed psychologist.

Sleep education and hygiene: Educating patients regarding proper sleep patterns/lifestyle habits aids them in understanding why they get insomnia symptoms. Particularly sleep hygiene emphasizes increasing the behaviors which improve sleep quality while removing behaviors causing sleep problems. 

Medications for Insomnia

Before consuming any medication for insomnia, make sure to consult the doctor. For most of the people, medication is the last option after relaxation techniques, stimulus control, and other CBT-i methods are not effective for improving the sleep. Medications for insomnia fall into many different categories, including:

Benzodiazepines: Called as BZD in short, benzodiazepines are typically a group of psychoactive drugs. A total of 5 BZDs are approved for the treatment of insomnia by Americans. Food and Drug Administration, involving those with intermediate, short, and long-acting effects. BZDs are usually never recommended for the long-term insomnia treatment as there is a high risk for dependence or abuse; all 5 insomnia BZDs are being classified as Schedule IV controlled substances under the American Drug Enforcement Administration. Moreover, individuals who consume such drugs usually develop a tolerance for the sedative effects.

Nonbenzodiazepines: This class of insomnia medication – called Z drugs in short – was formulated to give the same relief BZDs while lowering the side effects and abuse potential. That said, Z drugs (such as Ambien) need a prescription. The DEA has categorized it as Schedule IV controlled substances.

Melatonin agonist: In the evening time when the natural light starts to fade, the pineal gland of the brain produces melatonin, which is a hormone inducing feelings of relaxation or sleepiness. The insomnia medication known as ramelteon works as a melatonin receptor agonist, and is used for the medication for insomnia associated with sleep onset, or to fall asleep. The effects of this drug tend to be low and not very severe in comparison to Z drugs or BZDs, although the patients often experience nausea, dizziness, and fatigue.

Off-label treatments: Certain insomnia treatments primarily are intended for the treatment of other conditions and this might reduce insomnia symptoms. These include some antipsychotic and antidepressant medications. They might be prescribed in few cases.

Over-the-counter medications: Few over-the-counter antihistamines show sedating properties and typically serve as sleep aids. Melatonin supplements are intended for helping the balance of the melatonin levels in the body. While it does not require prescriptions, always talk to the doctor before taking an over-the-counter drug.

In the last, a word regarding natural treatment for insomnia options: Historically individuals have taken herbal supplements like kava and valerian for reducing insomnia symptoms and improve sleep. Few findings have indicated that such supplements might not be similar as once thought.