FAQs on Pain Medication Management in Atlanta

Prescription Pain Management

Pain is a symptom of some type of injury or illness in a painful part of the body. The sudden onset of pain is called acute pain, whereas chronic pain is pain that reoccurs and lasts for more than 3 months. Pain interrupts work, recreation, and social life. Common sources of chronic pain include backaches, headaches, joint problems, overuse injuries, and cancers.

Why does pain get worse?

The wind-up phenomenon causes untreated pain to progressively worsen with time. Nerve fibers transmit painful impulses to the brain, and they can become trained to deliver the pain signals, becoming more effective and stronger as the intensity of signals increase. The brain will become more sensitive to pain, so the pain feels worse even when the injury or illness is not worsening.

What is the goal of treatment pain?

The goal of treating chronic pain for both the patient and the doctor is to eliminate the pain. Unfortunately, many injuries and illnesses are not curable, so treatment is focused on alleviating the pain and other symptoms so the person can function as normally as possible.

What is general somatic pain?

Pain that arises from the muscles and skin is easily localized by the brain. Fibromyalgia and chronic back pain is in this category. Normally, somatic pain resolves after a few days, but with some conditions, the pain persists. Somatic pain is often treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

What is visceral pain?

Visceral pain originates from the internal organs, and it is more difficult to pinpoint. The connections from pain sensors in the internal organs to the brain are not sophisticated. Pain from the abdomen can lead to shoulder pain, which is not easy to recognize. These pains are more difficult to treat.

What are commonly prescribed chronic pain medications?

Most chronic pain medications have a maximum dose, which is one that you cannot exceed without causing harm to the patient. Taking more than the maximum dose will not increase the pain relief, but rather, may cause toxic side effects. Commonly prescribed medications include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – These are used to fight inflammation, which occurs with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and headaches. A new class of NSAID is COX-2 inhibitors, which includes celecoxib (Celebrex) and meloxicam (Mobic).
  • Opioids – For extreme pain, opioid painkillers are prescribed. These are often used for neuropathic pain, low back pain, and arthritis pain. Examples of these drugs include tramadol (Ultram) and oxycodone (Endocet).
  • Antidepressants – These drugs are used to help control pain by changing the body’s chemicals. Tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline or nortriptyline, raise the level of certain neurotransmitters in the body. These drugs are often used to treat diabetic neuropathy, neck pain, low back pain, and fibromyalgia.
  • Antiseizure medications – Also called anticonvulsants, these medications work to suppress the nerve signals that go to the brain so the pain messages cannot be transmitted. Pregabalin (Lyrica) and gabapentin (Gabarone) are two medications in this category used to treat fibromyalgia and diabetic neuropathy pain.
  • Corticosteroids – Steroids are powerful anti-inflammatory drugs that can be taken by mouth or injected. Examples of these medications include prednisone and dexamethasone. These drugs work by stopping the body from producing substances that cause inflammation.
  • Muscle relaxants – Used to reduce pain associated with muscle sprain/strain/spasm, muscle relaxants provide relief by relaxing tight muscles and improving sleep. Carisoprodol (Soma) and baclofen (Lioresal) are two examples of muscle relaxants.
  • Topical medications – Certain drugs are applied to the skin where they are gradually absorbed. Examples include lidocaine patch (Lidoderm) and capsaicin.

Pain medication in management in Atlanta with top pain doctors is customized based on specific needs. Often it is performed in conjunction with interventional procedures for best results!