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Pain Relief

Relaxation exercises and gentle stretching can help to reduce pain. Some people find that massage therapy, physiotherapy, osteopathy, taking a bath with Epsom salts, acupuncture, acupressure, Botox injections and Lidocaine injections are also helpful. A relatively new therapy, called Synaptic Electronic Activation Technology (SEA Tech.), used by physiotherapists, shows promise for long-term pain relief (however, you should not use it if you are pregnant or have a pacemaker).

If relaxation, stretching and other physical therapies do not reduce your pain, your doctor may suggest pain or other prescription medication. Discuss the benefits and potential side effects of any medication with your doctor, including over-the-counter medications, as any medication can have side effects.

When it comes to pain relief, there is no “one size fits all” solution. Pain relief is a process of trial and error that you must enter into with your doctor, to help improve your pain and the quality of your life. It is most helpful if you bring in your activity log to all your regular appointments with your doctor. On your activity log, record the pain level by assigning a number from zero to 10 (10 is the worst pain), the time and amount of medication you are taking, and any side effects that result from the medication.

The purpose of taking the medication is to improve your quality of life. You will not be able to get rid of all of your pain. The medication will help to reduce your pain so that you will be able to do more as your health improves. As you become more mobile, you may be able to reduce the amount of pain medication you are taking by doing relaxation and meditation exercises to help control your pain.

Medications that may help include:

  • acetaminophen (Tylenol), every four hours; with added codeine, as needed (no more than eight tablets per day)
  • tricyclic antidepressants, such as Amitriptyline or Nortriptylline
  • SSRI antidepressants, such as Paxil, Zoloft and Effexor
  • top-grade omega 3 fish oil and omega 6 oil, which can help reduce inflammation
  • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as Advil, Ibuprofen and COX-2 inhibitors like Celebrex
  • magnesium glycinate/citrate, which can help reduce pain and muscle spasms 
  • muscle relaxants, such as Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), which can help to relax spastic muscles
  • antinauseants, such as Gravol, and cannabinoids like Cesamet

Patients with severe pain may need stronger pain relieving medications, including narcotic medication. Your doctor will carefully monitor this kind of treatment and may refer you to a pain clinic.

 

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