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Chronic pain solutions

Last Modified: May 22, 2024

Diseases & Disorders, Family Medicine

Man reaching for neck in pain

This post was written by Melissa Lucio, NP, PPG – Pain Management. 

Pain management is a critical aspect of healthcare for millions of individuals living with chronic pain conditions such as neck and back painneuropathic painosteoarthritisheadaches and fibromyalgia. Studies have shown that the pervasive nature of this physical ailment can significantly impair an individual's quality of life, leading to functional limitations, emotional distress and social isolation. Research from the National Library of Medicine indicates multimodal combination therapy yields a more significant reduction in discomfort than relying solely on single treatments. Here, we explore effective techniques that offer patients a comprehensive pain management approach. 

Pharmacologic approaches

There is an array of numerous medications available to alternatives that address different aspects of pain. Some of these alternatives also help manage the symptoms of additional ailments accompanying chronic pain, lessening the need for more medications. 

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Aleve® and Advil®, are effective at reducing pain and inflammation. 

Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) is widely used for its analgesic properties without anti-inflammatory effects, offering a safe option for pain relief.  

Antidepressants such as serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) like Cymbalta® and Elavil® modulate pain signals and improve mood in individuals with chronic pain, providing dual benefits. 

Anticonvulsants, Gabapentin® and Lyrica®, help manage neuropathic pain by stabilizing nerve activity, offering targeted relief for nerve-related pain conditions. 

Topical NSAIDs, in gel or cream form like Voltaren®, reduce pain and inflammation at the application site when applied directly to the skin. 

Topical anesthetics, such as Lidoderm®, temporarily cause a loss of feeling in the area where the patch is applied.  

Muscle relaxers Flexeril® and Robaxin® improve muscle tightness, alleviating involuntary muscle spasms and discomfort associated with chronic pain. 

Nonpharmacologic approaches 

Alternative therapies often focus on treating the patient as a whole by addressing both the physical and psychological aspects of chronic pain. Common methods include: 

Physical therapy exercises and techniques aim to improve mobility and reduce pain.

Learn more about physical therapy and pain management: 

Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) helps manage chronic pain by addressing thoughts, emotions and behaviors.

Learn more about CBT and pain management: 

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) practices enhance pain-related coping skills.

Learn more about mindfulness-based stress reduction: 

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese therapy that uses fine needles to stimulate specific points.

Massage therapy relieves muscle tension and promotes relaxation.

Learn more about massage therapy:

Chiropractic care involves the manipulation of the spine to alleviate pain. 

Learn more about managing back and spine pain:

TENS therapy (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) sends an electrical current between two electrodes while using the nerve tissue as a conductor. 

Home remedies such as using an ice pack to reduce inflammation, applying a heating pad to relax muscles, elevating a sore limb above heart level to decrease swelling and receiving sufficient rest are also effective pain management techniques. 

PPG—Pain Management interventional therapies  

The specialists at PPG – Pain Management provide advanced treatment for a wide range of complex, chronic pain conditions, prioritizing enhancing function and restoring normal activities. Here are some common treatments, therapies and interventions: 

Epidural steroid injections may help pain, tingling or numbness in the neck or arms.

Nerve blocks relieve pain by interrupting the transmission of pain signals to the brain. They are injected with medication near a nerve, spinal cord or nerve root.

Steroid joint injections, or facet joint injections, are shots of medicine that help with pain from arthritis or other causes. 

Spinal cord stimulators are a minimally invasive, non-drug treatment that involves implanting a device in the back to deliver mild electrical impulses to the nerves, interrupting pain signals to the brain.

Myofascial trigger point injections involve inserting a needle into the trigger point and injecting medicine such as a local anesthetic.

Radiofrequency ablations involve inserting tiny needles into the nerves, causing the pain and burning them away to help eliminate discomfort in specific joints.

Final thoughts

Nearly 40% of individuals living with chronic pain show impairments in function and daily activities and require some form of pain management treatment. Parkview Pain Management works diligently to offer patients holistic chronic pain treatment based on a multimodal approach.

Appointments with PPG – Pain Management providers are by referral only. If you suspect you need to see a pain management provider, contact your primary care physician. To establish care with a PPG – Internal Medicine provider, schedule online or call our 24/7 scheduling center at 877-774-8632.


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