Physical and Physiological Approaches in Pain Medicine

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are a drug class that groups together drugs that provide analgesic (pain-killing) and antipyretic (fever-reducing) effects, and, in higher doses, anti-inflammatory effects. The term nonsteroidal distinguishes these drugs from steroids, which, among a broad range of other effects, have a similar eicosanoid-depressing, anti-inflammatory action. First used in 1960, the term served to distance new drugs from steroid related iatrogenic tragedies. The most prominent members of this group of drugs, aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, are all available over the counter in most countries. Paracetamol(acetaminophen) is generally not considered a NSAID because it has only little anti-inflammatory activity. It treats pain mainly by blocking COX-2 mostly in the central nervous system, but not much in the rest of the body. Most NSAIDs inhibit the activity of cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and thereby, the synthesis of prostaglandins and thromboxanes. It is thought that inhibiting COX-2 leads to the anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic effects and that those NSAIDs also inhibiting COX-1, particularly aspirin, may cause gastrointestinal bleeding and ulcers.

An analgesic or painkiller is any member of the group of drugs used to achieve analgesia, relief from pain. Analgesic drugs act in various ways on the peripheral and central nervous systems. They are distinct from anesthetics, which temporarily affected, and in some instances completely eliminate sensation. Analgesics include paracetamol (known in North America as acetaminophen or simply APAP), the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as the salicylates, and opioid drugs such as morphine and oxycodone. In choosing analgesics, the severity and response to other medication determine the choice of agent; the World Health Organization (WHO) pain ladder specifies mild analgesics as its first step. Analgesic choice is also determined by the type of pain: For neuropathic pain, traditional analgesics are less effective, and there is often benefit from classes of drugs that are not normally considered analgesics, such as tricyclic antidepressants and anticonvulsants.

  • TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)
  • Acupuncture
  • Light Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy Pain Management
  • Overview of mindfulness for the clinic patient

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