Pain that persists for more than six weeks, after the initial injury has healed completely, is regarded as chronic. Chronic pain may last for several years and range on any day from mild to serious. While most pain killers can effectively control pain, and in many cases, cure it, chronic pain does not respond to medication. It is a good idea to seek advice from a professional before choosing a medication or visiting your doctor.
Acute pain is often associated with trauma to the body, such as falling, playing sports, or operating machinery. Some people experience acute pain following surgery or having surgery done to repair a torn ligament. The pain of this type usually goes away quickly but can be relived using over-the-counter medications. Migraine headaches, muscle tension, and back pain are also common causes of acute pain. Chronic pain may also be caused by inflammation or infection, or it may be a symptom of another disease. Different types of therapy, such as massage, acupuncture, acupressure, hypnosis, and physical therapy can be used to alleviate pain.
Different types of pain can also be associated with different issues. When there is an issue with the nervous system, such as a whiplash from automobile accidents or strokes, the issue is known as central pain. Issues affecting the digestive system can be called gastro-intestinal pain. And problems in the lower back can be referred to as sciatica.
To deal with chronic pain, doctors use different kinds of medications, depending on what the issue is. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) help relieve the inflammation, pain, and swelling. Anticonvulsants, on the other hand, are used to stop excessive nerve firing. In addition, narcotic analgesics can be used to treat withdrawal symptoms when someone becomes addicted to pain relievers like aspirin or ibuprofen.
However, if you suffer acute pain, you may not be able to take NSAIDs. Acute pain usually goes away on its own within a few days to a week. If you have an issue that won’t go away on its own, your doctor will probably prescribe an injection of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). However, an exception will be made for people with severe, life-threatening abdominal aortic aneurysm. In this case, a dose of a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug should be administered immediately.
Although NSAIDs relieve pain, some people become wary of taking them due to the potential for negative side effects such as stomach ulceration, bleeding, gastrointestinal bleeding, or nausea. Studies also show that long-term use of NSAIDs may result in increased incidence of kidney failure and cancers of the bladder and uterus. For these reasons, non-narcotic pain relievers are preferable for people who don’t require the additional side effects of long-term use.