Treatment of Pain
A pain management specialist called the Podiatrist will usually take several approaches to assess pain. Aside from taking a thorough patient history, physical examination and discussing factors such as the location, quality and frequency of pain as well as moderating and exacerbating factors in pain episodes, the podiatrist will need to observe the patient for non-verbal signs of pain such as facial grimace and changes in behavior from the patientfs usual patterns. Finding the cause of pain may sometimes be a long process.In most cases, the pain is minimized or eliminated once the underlying disorder is treated. However, pain relievers may still be needed to quickly manage the pain. An analgesic is chosen based on the type and duration of pain and on the likely benefits and risks. Analgesics can either be narcotic or opioid analgesic, non-opioid analgesics and adjuvant analgesics.Opioid analgesics are commonly used for the treatment of severe acute and chronic pains due to cancer and other serious disorders. They are the preferred form of analgesics due to their effectivity in controlling pain. The use of opioids however to treat chronic pain not due to cancer is relatively uncommon but is becoming more acceptable. Selective prescription is necessary as opioids are all chemically related to morphine and may have various side effects.Non-opioid analgesics such as aspirin, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, naproxen and acetaminophen are available in prescription and non-prescription strengths. Non-prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) formulations are reasonably safe to take for short periods of time. Most non-opioids analgesics are classified as non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). They work to reduce the sensation of pain while reducing the inflammation that often accompanies and worsens pain.
Adjuvant analgesics are drugs that are not usually used for pain relief but may relieve pain in certain circumstances. This would include anti-depressants, anti-convulsants and oral or topical local anesthetics. There are many other treatments that can help relieve pain in addition to drugs. Some of which are cold and warm compresses, ultrasonography, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, acupuncture, biofeedback and other cognitive techniques.