Pain management

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:49 pm
Uncontrolled pain can be both devastating and disabling. Generally speaking, pain is your body's alarm system that tells you something is wrong. Basically, there are two types of pain: acute and chronic. Acute pain is more of a short-term pain that can be controlled with painkillers, such as aspirin and ibuprofen; however, chronic pain can't be controlled so easily. Chronic, or long-lasting pain, such as the pain of arthritis, may require pain medication in combination with treatments, such as heat or cold therapy, acupuncture, massage, exercise, and rest. Other modes of pain relief include transcutaneous (trahns-kyoo-TAY-nee-us) electrical nerve stimulation, or 'TENS' (tens), which is a small device that uses mild electric pulses to stimulate the nerves in the painful area. Nerve blocks can provide temporary pain relief and permit the performance of other types of therapies, such as physical therapy.

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