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Pain Treatment : Treatment, Procedure, Cost And Side Effects

Last Updated: Dec 11, 2019

What is the treatment of Pain?

Pain is a disagreeable sensory and emotional experience related with actual or potential tissue damage in a human body. The nerve in the effected region sends a signal to the brain for interpretation as a Pain. The purpose of the pain signal is to allow the body to react and prevent further tissue damage. Pain can be a short duration pain, a long duration pain, reoccurring pain, a pain in a particular region of the body or spread across the body. Pain is not just a physical sensation. It is influenced by beliefs attitudes, social factors and personality, and social factors, and can involve emotional and mental comfort.

There are three main types of pain: chronic, acute, and cancer pain.

  1. Acute pain- it lasts for a short period of time and occurs following surgery or trauma or serious injury or any other similar condition. It acts as a warning to the body to seek help. Although it usually improves as the body heals, in some cases, it may not and requires medical assistance.
  2. Chronic pain- lasts beyond the time expected for healing following surgery, trauma or other condition. It can also exist without a clear reason at all. Although chronic pain can be a symptom of other disease, it can also be a disease in its own right, characterized by changes within the central nervous system.
  3. Cancer pain- can occur in patients with early stage and advanced stage of a cancer disease and in cancer survivors as a severe and debilitating side-effect of treatment.

The pain generally is caused due to tissue damage and is an act of the body's defense mechanism. The pain warns the brain to take an action so as to prevent further tissue damage.

The main aim of pain treatment is to cure person so that the person gets relief from the pain feeling and thus can resume their work properly thereby making them to work properly, get better function, attends office or school or participate in their day-to-day activities. There are many methods for the treatment of pain and all of these methods are effective and controlling the pain to the best possible extend. The main thing which every person should know is that the pain is treatable.

How is the treatment done?

The pain treatment begins by diagonising the pain. The doctor examines the patient description of pain, the area where the pain is occurring, how is it occurring like priking needles like,stabbing like etc., the pain pattern, other difficulties associated with it like feeling to cry, sleeplessness etc. Based on the patient description the doctor may also gather information like daily activity of the patient, sleeping habits, etc. and make an diagnosis of the pain.

There are many ways for the treatment of pain. First of all the doctor must know about the type of pain and the next step is the condition of the patient. Then the doctor recommends the important tests and checkups for the treatment. After these checkups the doctor decides the treatment for the person. There are many different types of pain so their treatment are also different in some cases the pain is cure by oral medicines on the other hand some pain can need surgery. The treatment for the pain includes:

  1. Medication: Various medications are prescribed as per the kind and the area of the pain. Some of the are as follows:
  2. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) are prescribed for acute pain of the back, muscles strains, etc. Some of them are acetaminophen, analgesic (aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen) etc. Aspirin may be the most extensively prescribed pain-relief drug especially for headache, and muscle soreness.
  3. In the case of seizure disorders the doctor can prescribe Anticonvulsants medicines for the patient such as Carbamazepine
  4. in neuropathic pain gabapentin drugs are very helpful. These medicines help in many other painful conditions.
  5. Anti-migraine drugs are given to those people who are suffering from migraine and headache problems.
  6. For the treatment used for postoperative pain, cancer pain, and the pain of childbirth the doctors can prescribe Chemonucleolysis and Chiropractic medicines.
  7. Opioids- are resulting from the poppy plant and are among the oldest drugs known to humankind. They include codeine and perhaps the most well-known narcotic of all, morphine. Morphine can be administered in a variety of forms, including a pump for patient self-administration.
  8. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is given to some patients because it can help the patient for coping skills and relaxation methods.
  9. TENS- in this method the small electrical pulses used to delivered through the skin to nerve fibers, to cause changes in muscles, such as contraction or lack of sensation. It can gives some amount of pain relief to the patient and help them to recover from the pain.
  10. Peripheral nerve stimulation- in this method the electrodes are placed surgically on a carefully in the effected part of the body and it can also helps the patient to recover from the pain.
  11. Spinal cord stimulation- in this method the electrodes are surgically inserted within the epidural space of the spinal cord it can cure the pain related to the spinal cord.
  12. Deep brain or intracerebral stimulation- it is considered as an extreme treatment and involves surgical stimulation of the brain, usually the thalamus. It is used for a limited number of conditions, including severe pain, central pain syndrome, cancer pain, phantom limb pain, and other neuropathic pains.
  13. Surgery: If the pain is not curable by the oral medicines or any other therapies then the last option is to go for surgery. Though it is not always an option for the pain relief treatment but sometime it becomes very important for pain relief. And it also helps in the pain especially related to the back problems or serious musculoskeletal injuries. Surgical procedures for back problems include discectomy, microsurgical techniques, microdiscectomy, laminectomy which removes only a disc fragment, and spinal fusion etc. Other operations for pain include rhizotomy, in which a nerve close to the spinal cord is cut, and cordotomy, where bundles of nerves within the spinal cord are severed. Cordotomy is generally used only for the pain of terminal cancer that does not respond to other therapies.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Anybody who is under the feeling of pain in any part of their body is eligible for the treatment. Pain can occur due to stressful life, sleeping habits, bad posture, strains, injury, trauma, disease, post-operative reaction etc. In all these condition if the pain is unbearable it is generally advised to consult the doctor and such patients are thus eligible for the pain treatment.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

The people who are healthy and are not feeling any discomfort like pain or if the pain is not persistent are not eligible for the treatment of the pain. Moreover people who are allergic to some medicines and have some problems like high blood pressure, are on blood thinners may require further investigation before undertaking this treatment and thus solely are not eligible for the treatment.


Are there any side-effects?

The sides effects of the pain treatment are related to the type of a treatment a person have taken. Some of the side effects are as follows:

  1. Anti-migraine drugs include naratriptan and sumatriptan and these medicines can cause anxiety, cough, itching and many other health related problems.
  2. Neuro-pain killers are sedative in nature and thus can cause drowsiness, nausea, headaches.
  3. Some patients who suffer from diseases like Gilbert Syndrome and liver disease are allergic to Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) medicines to some extent. They require special dosage instructions and thus may feel palpation, short breathiness, nausea etc.
  4. Some medicines may cause itching, nausea, headaches, palpation.
  5. Because surgery can result in scar tissue formation that may cause additional problems, patients are well advised to seek a second opinion before proceeding.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Some of the post-treatment guidelines are as follows:

  1. consume the medicines as prescribed by the doctor.
  2. The doctor may advise for changes in lifestyle, sleeping habits, eating habits and the patient is required to adapt to these changes.
  3. Some patients may be advised to exercise so as to get relief from the pain.
  4. Surgery requires complete rest for few weeks thus the patient is required to avoid to travel, work or go to school.
  5. Some medicines may be sedative and thus patient is advised to not to drive, not to drink alcohol and not to work.

How long does it take to recover?

The recovery time varies from the patient condition to condition and the treatment mode opted. The acute pain may get relieved through oral medication in few days to few weeks. In case of chronic pain and surgery the recovery time may vary from two month to six months. But the recovery of the patient is totally depending upon the type of pain and its treatment.

What is the price of treatment in India?

The price of the treatment in India starts from INR 500 to INR 10 lakhs. It also depends upon the type of pain treatment under taken and the place where it is undertaken.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The result of the treatment is dependent upon the type of pain the patient is feeling and the treatment the patient is undergoing. Some pain can be cured permanently and some cannot be because some pain are reoccurring in nature and can be caused due to some injury or strain like the case of lumbar pain and some pain like cancer pain can occur anytime.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

There are many alternatives available for the pain treatment. Some of them are as follows:

  1. Acupuncture
  2. Homeopathy medicines
  3. Ayurveda
  4. Exercise
  5. Swimming
  6. Sleeping
  7. Magnets
  8. Physical therapy and rehabilitation
  9. Massage, heat packs, ice packs


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Written ByDr. Kailash Kothari MD - Anaesthesiology,MBBSOrthopaedics
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Reviewed ByDr. Bhupindera Jaswant SinghMD - Consultant PhysicianGeneral Physician
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