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How do I manage my pain on a daily basis?

Matthew F. McCarty, MD
Anesthesiology

By first understanding that living totally pain free is not a realistic goal for most people. Why this is important is that many become depressed and anxious even addicted as they reach for that pain free state. Chronic pain like most other diseases is not overcome like an ear infection or a healed cut. It requires a multidisciplinary treatment approach over time that ultimately is patient centric where he or she becomes more self-reliant in recognizing the onset of flares. This is why it’s important to partner with a pain specialist in order to provide additional tools to fight these flares so that over reliance on any one thing such as narcotics can be avoided. Occasional injections can reduce the immediate pain thereby allowing the patient to pursue a physical therapy regimen that they can again institute at home. Once functioning has been restored then relationships can again flourish and the patient can pursue hobbies and volunteerism which all have been shown to reduce daily pain scores.

Depending on the cause of the pain, analgesics, or pain relievers, can help to manage pain until it goes away. Over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin can be effective with moderate pain, but if your pain is severe, your doctor may prescribe a stronger medication. Alternative treatments like acupuncture, hypnosis, or other therapies may also be helpful, especially for people with chronic pain.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.