An unwelcome guest
Pain is an unpleasant experience like an unwelcome guest who appears at any time. Acute pain results from diseases and inflammation or injury to tissues. The cause of acute pain can usually be diagnosed and treated, and it is confined to a given period of time and severity. Chronic pain is generally resistant to medical treatment
By FM Bureau
Chronic pain persists over a longer period of time than acute pain and is resistant to most medical treatments. It often causes severe problems for patients. There are hundreds of types of pain. Common pain syndromes include arthritis, back pain, central pain syndrome, cancer pain, headaches, head and facial pain, muscle pain, myofascial pain syndromes, neuropathic pain, reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSDS), sciatica, shingles and other painful disorders of the skin, sports injuries, spinal stenosis, surgical pain, temporomandibular disorders, trauma and vascular disease or injury.
No test can measure the intensity of pain, no imaging device can show pain and no instrument can locate pain precisely. The patient’s own description of the type, duration, and location may be the best aid in diagnosis.
Tests used to determine the cause of pain include electrodiagnostic procedures such as electromyography (EMG), nerve conduction studies and evoked potential (EP) studies; imaging, especially magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); neurological examination or X-rays.
The aim of pain management is to improve function, enabling individuals to work, attend school, or participate in day-to-day activities.
The most common treatments for pain include analgesic pain relievers (aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen), acupuncture, anticonvulsants, antidepressants, migraine headache medicines, biofeedback, capsaicin, chiropractic, cognitive and behavioural therapy, counseling, COX-2 inhibitors, electrical stimulation, exercise, hypnosis, lasers, magnets, nerve blocks, opioids and physical therapy .
Emergency back pain relief
The following remedies are appropriate for anyone who is suffering from back pain due to tight, aching back muscles or a strain. However, if you are experiencing pain, weakness, or numbness in the legs, or a loss of bowel or bladder control, see a doctor without delay.
- The best cure for an aching back is a little rest: It is almost impossible to do anything without using the back. Even activities that do not seem very stressful on back usually require some effort on its part. When strained, muscles need a chance to turn off, rest, and begin to heal themselves. Continuing to be too active can further aggravate a sore back. Find a comfortable position to allow back to rest.
- The best position for an injured or achy back is lying down on either back or side, with the curves of spine aligned in their natural position.
- Try lying down on a firm surface like a padded, carpeted floor. Relax back by placing a couple of pillows under knees.
- Place the pillows between the knees instead of under them. For neck’s comfort, roll up a small hand towel and place it under neck to give it a break, too.
- Apply ice to reduce swelling. Generally, unless otherwise instructed by a physician, ice should be used instead of heat for the first 48 hours after a back strain. You do have to be careful with ice also, though. Incorrect application of ice can damage the skin. To apply ice correctly, warm a towel or pillowcase in slightly hot water, wring out the water, and quickly place an ice pack, ice cubes, or crushed ice in it. Immediately place the towel or pillowcase over the strained area of the back for no longer than 12 to 15 minutes. If you do not have a towel or pillowcase handy, freeze water in a small paper cup. Peel the cup back so that the ice can go directly on the skin. Make sure that , continually move the ice around in circular motions, not allowing the ice to sit in one place.
- Another method is to place ice in a plastic bag or some plastic wrap before applying it to the skin. For additional benefits, use repeated ice treatment approximately once every hour for the first 24 to 48 hours after the strain. This should help to keep swelling to a minimum and reduce the related pain.
- Compress the area. Gently compressing an injured area can assist ice treatment in reducing inflammation and pain, besides speeding recovery. Compressing the muscles can provide some temporary support for the area, which may allow to move around more easily while making more comfortable.
- Try using an elastic bandage; wrap it around mid section over the strained area of the back. Make sure do not wrap it too tight. (The wrap can be used over an ice pack providing the ice is applied as described in remedy 2 and for no more than 15 minutes). An alternative to the elastic bandage is a back support, which acts like a corset to compress and support the back and stomach muscles.
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