Pain Management: Healing Mind and Body
Pain Management is a branch of medicine which eases the suffering and improves the quality of life of the one who is living with pain. It is also called algiatry or pain medicine. Medical practitioners, physiotherapists, pharmacists, psychologists, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse practitioners, massage therapists, mental health specialists and physicians are the ones who treat pain and distress.
According to the International Association for the study of Pain, “Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience. When only the sensory aspect is focused, the suffering component of the pain also becomes important to be recognized and to be healed aptly.”
Healing mind and body
It is rightly said that “a successful therapy requires harmony of the physical and psychological functioning in order to achieve a restoration of the body in its entirety.” Thus, the approach of pain management lies in addressing emotional and physical sufferings and considering a person as an entire human being. If medicine and pathology treat injury, pain management treats and relieves suffering during the treatment and healing.
Pain can be relieved either by interventional procedures or pharmacological methods. Chronic pain medication includes:
- NSAIDs, which is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that include aspirin, naproxen and ibuprofen
- Acetaminophen or Tylenol
- Steroids that include dexamethasone and prednisone
- Anti-seizure medication which treats nerve damage and injury
- Antidepressants that improve sleep
Pain management also includes certain therapies which aim at curing both mind and body. The therapies include Physical Therapy and Cognitive-behavioral Therapy.
- Physical therapy: A physical therapist guides the patient for an appropriate exercise regime that slowly builds tolerance and reduces the pain. Hence, the patient doesn’t end up overdoing exercise and follows the regime as it reduces the pain.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: In this therapy, a patient understands the origin of the pain and what exactly can be done to heal it. It also realizes the role of pain in one’s life and what it actually means to the one who is suffering from it.
There are some other pain management techniques that include:
- Heat and cold therapy
- Relaxation techniques
- Visual imagery where the patient visualizes peaceful scenes
- TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
Hence, it becomes important to seek help as soon as possible for faster mind and body treatment as the physical pain may get treated, but if emotional pain is not cured it can destroy one’s ability in functioning properly and efficiently.
Healing Mind and Body of a Mom-to-be
Curing pain, either chronic or acute, shows the relevance in improving quality of life. If healing mind and body plays a significance role in our lives, imagine how important is to heal the body and the mind of a mom-to-be, when she needs the utmost care. Pregnancy can be uncomfortable for some and requires the right kind of aid considering the baby’s safety.
Usually, obstetricians-gynecologists don’t recommend any medication for pain and advises relaxation techniques, massages and heat (for certain pains such as back pain). If these techniques fail, with the doctor’s consultation and approval, the medications are recommended. Any medication without doctor’s approval can be harmful for the growing fetus.
Pain during the first trimester
Stretching uterus, breast tenderness or corpus luteum cyst are some of the causes that create pain in the first trimester. These are considered as normal pains during pregnancy that get cured with time and patience. Medical attention is required when the mom-to be suffers from:
- Severe pain
- Pain with fever
- Pain while urination
- Pain accompanied by discharge from the vagina, which is bloody, smelly and yellow
Pain during the second trimester
As the fetus begins to grow, the body experiences changes which cause discomfort and pain. As the pregnancy progresses, mom-to-be may experience:
- Strain as the body carries extra weight
- Chemical changes that may lose joints and connective tissues
- Strain when the baby changes posture and sleep position
Pain during the third trimester
The fetus is all grown which causes joints and back pain. At this stage, massage can ease the pain. Would-be-mother is required to consult her doctor if experiences:
- Pain accompanied with bleeding from the vagina
- Pain during urination
- Pain with mild or high fever
Moms-to-be not only suffer from physical pain, but their minds also require therapeutic measures. It is recommended to consult your gynecologists before any medication.
Pratima Behl is a feminist. She is a zealous writer and has a love/hate relationship with the social media. She believes in giving fact based social views.