Medication for pain how do you deal with pain
An analgesic ladder is usually used by Doctors to decide the best medication; in addition to these, adjuvant therapies, such as physiotherapy, acupuncture or transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TENS), can be added in every step of the analgesic ladder.
The analgesic ladder is a concept that was first introduced by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the 1960s, for the treatment of cancer patients. However, it is now widely used for all forms of pain.
The analgesic ladder is a stepwise approach to the treatment of pain.
The very first step of the analgesic ladder includes medications such as paracetamol and NSAIDs, many of which are available off the counter. However mild, these medications should always be taken under the supervision of a Doctor as they can have relevant side effects and should not be taken if you are or have been affected by conditions such as a gastro-intestinal ulcer, renal impairment, vascular diseases, heart failure, heamophilia or other conditions increasing the risk of bleeding and AERD (aspirin exacerbated respiratory disease)
Moving up the ladder involves the introduction of increasingly stronger medications containing opioids. While very effective, opioids cause addiction and they have important side effects (most commonly nausea and sedation on the central nervous system), and can easily reach levels of toxicity; for this reason they are prescribed under strict supervision.
The last step of the analgesic ladder involves more permanent and radical procedures such as nerve block, epidural, PCA pump or spinal stimulators. These are usually applied in cases of long lasting, chronic pain.
When deciding for your treatment, the Doctor will also need to consider any analgesia you are already taking or have taken in the past, whether you have any allergies and whether your kidneys work properly.
how do you deal with pain