In the US over 76.2 million Americans, one in every four citizens, has experienced pain that lasted longer than 24 hours at least once in their lives, and millions more suffer from acute pain. Pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined. In addition, pain is cited as the most common reason Americans choose to access the healthcare system, it is the leading cause of disability, and is a huge contributor to current rising health care costs.
Pain management is a branch of medicine devoted to studying the causes of and developing various treatments for pain in an effort to alleviate the suffering of and improving the quality of life for those who live with chronic pain. Pain can either be managed using pharmacological or interventional procedures. Pain management practitioners come from all fields of medicine. Together, this diverse team of various medical professionals can help create a package of care that is suitable to the patient.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a pain ladder for managing pain relieving drugs. First prescribed for use with types of cancer pain, the pain ladder is now used by medical professionals as a general principle when dealing with pain medicine for almost all types and levels of pain. The exact medications to manage pain will vary depending on the country and individual treatment center, but most places that follow WHO guidelines will have a ladder that looks like this
- Mild pain
- Mild to Moderate
- Moderate to severe pain
If the treatment fails to provide adequate pain relief at any point, then the doctor can move up to the next step. There are also physical and psychological techniques to manage certain forms of pain but they do not necessarily use a pain ladder.
For more information on pain management, and pain management techniques please consult a licensed physician. Get help today and find the answers you need to manage your pain!