Severe pain is never pleasant, and often, it can be debilitating. When the pain is chronic, it can interfere with your ability to work, enjoy your hobbies, and even perform basic tasks like taking a shower or cooking dinner.
If you’re dealing with chronic pain, you may be wondering if it’s time to start taking pain medication. Let us take a closer look at the prime factors in this article, suggested by Dr Brian Blick, the pain medicine specialist.
There are a variety of pain medications available, each with its own set of risks and benefits. Always follow your doctor’s instructions when taking pain medication. Be aware of the side effects associated with each type of pain medication. If you experience any severe side effects, stop taking the medication and call your doctor right away.
- NSAIDs: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are some of the most commonly used pain medications. They can be effective at relieving both acute and chronic pain. Common NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve).
- NSAIDs work by reducing inflammation, which can help to reduce pain. NSAIDs are available over-the-counter and by prescription. Side effects of NSAIDs include stomach upset, diarrhea, and constipation.
- NSAIDs can also increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, so they should be used with caution in people with heart disease or stroke risk factors.
- Opioids: Opioids are strong medications that are typically only used for severe pain that do not respond to other treatments.
- Opioids work by binding to receptors in the brain and spinal cord to change the way that pain signals are processed.
- Opioids can be very effective at relieving pain, but they also come with a high risk for addiction and abuse.
- Opioid overdoses are becoming more common as the number of people using these drugs increases.
- Opioids should only be used under the supervision of a healthcare provider. Side effects of opioids include drowsiness, nausea, and constipation.
- Before taking any medication, it is important to consult your doctor and follow their specific instructions. This is especially true for pain medications, which can be addictive and potentially dangerous if not used properly.
- When taking pain medication, always start with the lowest possible dose and increase it as needed.
- Be sure to take the medication as prescribed, and do not alter the dose or frequency without consulting your doctor.
- It is also important to be aware of the potential side effects of the medication and to stop taking it immediately if you experience any serious problems.
By following these simple guidelines, you can help to ensure that you use pain medication safely and effectively.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of when it’s appropriate to start taking pain medication for chronic pain management. The decision should be made on an individual basis after talking with your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of each type of medication.
In general, though, Pain medications should only be used as a last resort after other methods of treatment have failed to relieve your pain adequately.