Skip to main content

What's Your Game Plan?

Whenever two football teams play a game, each of the teams has a strategy. The same goes for baseball teams, basketball teams, tennis players, those who play poker and other card games, chess, checkers, and so many other things. In medicine, a treatment algorithm helps guide practitioners in treating various medical conditions. The common denominator in all of the above is strategy.



Football play strategy
Image source: Wikimedia


You can use this same kind of thinking to battle chronic pain issues.  That is why it's so important to have many different pain management tools available.  Every individual experiences pain differently--so knowing yourself and what to try first is a good place to start. The next step is to have a "plan B" so that you have a second treatment option on hand if your first option doesn't quite do the job.  From there you may want to add subsequent steps to your treatment plan.

Multimodal pain management is highly recommended for people with chronic pain.  The beauty of this is that not every step in your treatment plan has to be medication.  Here's an example:

Mary realizes that her knee is aching.  Mary has osteoarthritis in that knee and it's going to be there unless at some point she opts for joint replacement surgery.  Mary  has pre-decided that first step in her treatment plan involves placing an ice pack on her knee since that seems to give her great relief most of the time.  An hour later, Mary still feels some discomfort in her knee joint.  So she goes on to step two of her plan---and in her case, that means she's going out for a walk followed by some stretching.  Later that day, Mary notices that her knee is more comfortable.  Mary knows that if the pain continues after these first two steps in the plan, she needs to take some acetaminophen to achieve comfort....and so on.

You are the best person to devise your own pain management strategy.  It does help to talk to those who are involved in your medical care--doctors, nurses, physical therapists, chiropractors, pharmacists, and the like for some ideas to help you succeed.  The key is to prepare a plan for action ahead of time so you are prepared when the need arises!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Living with Chronic pain hits the big screen!

Been to the movies lately?  Jennifer Aniston is on the big screen in a recent release titled "Cake."
Her character, Claire is a victim of chronic pain...she belongs to a support group, where all of the members are coming to terms with the suicide of one of their members.  Of course, she also takes pain medication and addiction is another of her problems...and of course there's more!

I guess I am writing this post just to bring readers' attention to the fact that Hollywood has become aware of the crisis that is chronic pain.  This movie is a testament to that. People that don't have to live with this kind of pain don't fully understand the whole story.  Maybe this movie will shed some light on the issues.

Here is the official trailer for the movie:


Sources: prweb;NorthJersey.com;YouTube


Herpes As A Helper?

If you've ever had shingles, or known anyone that has experienced it, you probably know that chronic pain can persist following the initial attack (post herpetic neuralgia).  This is because the herpes virus seems to have an affinity for nerve cells.  And while it's not fun to have shingles or post herpetic neuralgia, the herpes virus may be a key in future development of delivery systems for pain management treatments.





Here's the deal--since Herpes simplex has an affinity for nerve cells, researchers are looking a genetically modified, safer version of the virus to deliver genetic material to damaged nerves.  In simple terms, once the genetic material reaches these nerve cells, it will hopefully encode these nerves to ultimately inhibit pain signals.  Animal studies and clinical trials in cancer patients have been encouraging thus far.

This is one of those developments that makes me believe that there is hope for those in chronic pain. Along with so many other exciting d…

The Knee Bone's Connected To The Leg Bone....

Two recent studies have brought a not-so-novel concept into the limelight-the concept being that people who present with knee pain often develop pain in other parts of their bodies.  These studies, known as the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study (MOST) and the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI), were assessed by a Clinical Epidemiology Team as Boston University School of Medicine in an effort to find preventive strategies to combat this trend.




The authors suggest that knee pain may cause individuals to alter their gait in an effort to compensate for their discomfort. In doing so, the alignment of other body joints is altered, and this may be the cause of secondary joint pain, especially hips and ankles. The authors go on to say that the pain in these secondary sites is not necessarily osteoarthritis--perhaps bursitis or some other injury.

Osteoarthritis is a result of wear and tear in the joints.  We may not be able to completely eliminate osteoarthritis from occurring, but some common se…