One thing about pain is that it is complex. As such, there is no single treatment for all kinds of pain. The type of pain, its underlying cause and severity are just some of the factors to be considered in determining the appropriate treatment. There are many treatment options for pain. This includes pain therapy. Learn more about pain therapy, including its pros and cons here.
Common Treatment Techniques
Among the most common pain therapy techniques are the following: electrical stimulation/electrothermal therapy, bioelectric therapy, and a wide variety of alternative treatments.
- Electrothermal therapy
This is commonly used to treat relieve pain in various conditions. The most common form of this kind of therapy is transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation therapy, also known as TENS. This provides short-term pain management and relief.
In TENS therapy, a battery-operative device is inserted near the source of the pain. This small device works by delivering low-voltage electrical current through electrodes. This electricity stimulates the nerves in the area where the pain is felt and send signals to the brain. As a result, it disrupts the pain’s normal pain perception.
Another form of electrical stimulation therapy is intradiscal electrothermal therapy or IDET. This is used to manage and treat pain caused by damaged intervertebral discs. In IDET, an electrothermal catheter is inserted in the disc. This catheter generates heat in the disc to modify the nerve fibers and disrupt pain receptors in the spinal disc.
Radiofrequency discal nucleoplasty is also a form of electrothermal therapy. However, unlike other electrothermal therapies, it uses radio frequency instead of heat and electricity. It works by partially decompressing the disc, which in turn provides pain relief in the area and the nearby areas.
- Bioelectric therapy
Bioelectric therapy is used to treat acute and chronic pain conditions. It works by blocking pain signals to the brain, therefore, providing relief. When you have pain condition or if you are injured, the pain receptors will deliver messages to the brain and such will be registered and interpreted by the brain as pain. Bioelectric therapy interrupts such pain signals even before they can reach the brain. That way, the pain is masked and hence, relief is achieved. Aside from this, bioelectrical therapy also helps in the production of endorphins, which help relieve pain.
- Alternative Therapy
Alternative treatments are those that are outside conventional medicine. This includes a wide variety of disciplines, including mind-body therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic treatment, yoga, aromatherapy and massage, among others.
Mind body therapy is a form of alternative therapy which aims at honing the mind’s ability to mask the pain and other symptoms. This includes relaxation techniques, guided imagery, meditation, hypnosis and biofeedback.
Acupuncture is a traditional treatment for pain-related conditions such as low back pain, headache, tennis elbow, myofascial pain, menstrual cramps, fibromyalgia, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Because of the history and tradition of acupuncture, it is accepted as an alternative or part of a pain management program.
Chiropractic treatment is considered as the most common form of alternative therapy and non-surgical treatment for back pain. According to research, it may also be helpful in treating neck pain, headache, whiplash, and arm and leg pain. It is a helpful alternative to invasive procedures in treating pain conditions.
Physical therapy is commonly accepted as part of a pain treatment program. This does not only help relieve pain, but also restore physical function. It improves overall fitness as well. Physical therapy includes manual therapy, exercises, health education, electrical stimulation and other modalities.
However, aside from pain therapy, you can also resort to other ways of treating pain like medications and injections.
Each pain therapy treats specific or generic pain conditions and symptoms. For instance, bioelectric therapy is used to treat both acute and chronic pain conditions including complex regional pain syndrome, back pain, muscle pain, headaches, migraines, arthritis, temporomandibular joint syndrome, diabetic neuropathy, neuropathic pain and pain caused by poor circulation. On the other hand, electrothermal therapies are commonly used to treat chronic low back pain and other spinal disc-related pain.
Alternative therapy are helpful in providing pain relief for various pain symptoms. This includes neck pain, cancer pain, back pain, whiplash, headache, migraine, fibromyalgia and many others.
Pros and Cons
Each pain therapy has its pros and cons. While bioelectric therapy is effective in providing temporary pain relief, it works best if it is used not on its own but as part of a pain management program. It must not also be used by pregnant women and people who have pacemaker, thrombosis or bacterial infection. Due to the use of electrodes, it may also cause redness and skin irritation in the affected area.
Alternative therapies are not as commonly accepted as conventional therapy. While they help in providing pain relief, they are not generally recommended as treatment in themselves. This means that they are only accepted as part of a total pain management program. For instance, physical therapy works best if paired with other conventional treatment. If the pain is caused by a serious underlying condition, then that condition must be treated accordingly and the alternative therapy is only used to reduce and manage the pain.
The important thing to remember when trying out a particular therapy for your pain condition and symptoms is that you see to it first that you are a good fit. Every pain therapy is not for all. Considering the complexity of pain, there is no one-shoe-fits-all solution to everyone’s problem. Needless to say, the safest route is to seek medical attention from the specialists.
Why You Should Reach Out to AZ Pain and Spine
As already mentioned, pain is complex. And the people who best understand pain are those who specialize in treating pain. As pain specialists, AZ Pain and Spine Institute is the place to go for your pain concerns. We have a team of highly qualified, experienced and skilled professionals. On top of that, we also use proven and tested pain therapies and medications. We use only cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art facilities to ensure the success of each treatment and for the safety and overall satisfaction of our patients. We do not only offer pain therapy like IDET, we also use other techniques in treating and alleviating your pain. We treat based on the individual needs of our patients.
If you have low back pain, neck pain, cancer pain or any kind of pain for that matter, don’t hesitate to come to us. We will help you live a pain-free life. Make an appointment with us today and get started.