Pain management

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:47 pm
Pain may be the result of injury, disease, surgery, or other medical procedures. It may also be brought on by stress or other emotional factors. How pain is treated depends on its cause, which should be diagnosed through a medical examination. You may be able to treat the pain with something simple, such as over-the-counter analgesics, including aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen. Stronger medications, such as narcotics, require a doctor's prescription. Nerve blocks or electrical nerve stimulation are other treatments for severe pain. Chronic pain can affect every aspect of your life, not just your joints and muscles. More recent treatments for controlling pain involve alternatives to drugs and invasive procedures. These include biofeedback, acupuncture, total relaxation techniques, self-hypnosis, guided imagery, and movement therapy. In addition, nutrient supplements and improved diet may also help. Psychologists and psychiatrists can help deal with emotional pain and can provide mental strategies to manage physical pain. Sometimes a combination of techniques works best. Changing certain lifestyle habits, rather than just masking the pain with painkillers, may result in eliminating pain at its source. For more information about how to manage pain, contact a healthcare professional.

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