There are two kinds of pain. Acute pain and Chronic pain. Acute pain begins suddenly, lasts for a short time, and goes away as your body heals. Acute pain can be caused by injury such as a broken bone, or from treatable medical conditions such as a kidney stone.
Pain that lasts for three months or longer is called chronic pain. Chronic pain can be caused by health conditions such as arthritis. It may also follow acute pain from an injury or surgery.
Living with any type of pain can be hard and it may lead to other issues such as:
Many people have a hard time describing pain. Think about these questions when you explain how the pain feels:
Doctors often ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being no pain and 10 being the worst pain you can imagine.
Treating, or managing, chronic pain can be accomplished in many different ways. Some treatments may involve medication, and some, including physical therapy may not. Ask your doctor how long it may take before you feel better. You will likely need to stick with the treatment plan as prescribed before you get relief. It's important to stay on a schedule. As your pain improves, you can likely become more active and will see your sleep and mood improve.
Your doctor may prescribe one or more medications to help relieve your pain. Talk to your doctor before starting any medication including over the counter medications.
It's important to take exactly the amount of pain medicine your doctor prescribes. Don't chew or crush your pills if they are supposed to be swallowed whole. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you're having trouble swallowing your pills. Mixing any pain medication with alcohol or other drugs can be dangerous. Make sure your doctor knows all the medicines you take, including over-the-counter drugs and dietary supplements.
What Other Treatments Help with Pain?
In addition to drugs, there are a variety of treatments that may provide relief. It may take both medicine and other treatments to feel better. As always be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin any treatment.
There are things you can do yourself that might help you feel better.
Ty Strahl is the areas leading senior adviser. Her job is to help you navigate the many aspects of aging and to help seniors who are in transition to find the right solutions for their individual needs.