Options for the treatment of Chronic Pain: Part Two - Non Surgical Treatments

In the last article we looked at the different surgical options available for treating chronic pain conditions. These treatments are generally used in tackling severe chronic pain and mostly as a last resort, once other less invasive treatments have failed.

In this article we will be looking at some of the other medical treatments available to manage chronic pain.

Trigger Point Injections

Trigger point injections are injections into specific areas of the body that may be causing pain. Trigger point injections are mainly used in the treatment of Fibromyalgia.

In Fibromyalgia sufferers there are 18 trigger points on the body that may cause sufferers pain. These are the usual markers of Fibromyalgia and are used alongside other symptoms as an identifier and diagnostic tool for doctors.

The points may be tender and sore when pressed, or they may ache continuously. In order to provide some relief from this, a trigger point injection is injected directly into the painful area to relax contracted muscles causing pain.

The injections contain a local anaesthetic and may also contain a small amount of steroid. More than one injection can be used at one time on separate trigger points.

There is a short recovery period of 1 to 2 hours following the injection, after which you can return home.

Trigger point injections can be very effective in managing pain when used alongside other treatments such as physiotherapy. The injections are usually carried out by your GP or your consultant.

TENS

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, known as TENS, is a small machine that you can purchase from a pharmacy.

A TENS machine uses small adhesive pads placed on the skin to send electrical impulses to the muscles on your body.

This produces a tingling sensation and helps to loosen tight muscles that can cause pain.

It is recommended that you discuss the use of a TENS machine with a medical professional before purchasing one, as it is not recommended for use with some conditions.

TENS can be a helpful pain relief in chronic pain conditions when used alongside other treatments such as medication or Physiotherapy.

Qutenza Patches

Qutenza Patches are adhesive skin stickers that are used to treat targeted areas where you may experience pain. Qutenza patches contain anaesthetic and Capsaicin which can have a pain relieving affect.

The patches are applied by a nurse or doctor to the painful area of your body. Your doctor may use a numbing cream such as EMLA cream on the skin before applying the patches as they may sting initially.

As with topical medications, these patches are for use in targeted pain areas. A protective mask and eyewear will be used in the application of Qutenza as it must not be inhaled.

The patches will be removed after around 30 minutes for the treatment of nerve pain in the feet and after 60 minutes when treating pain elsewhere in the body.

Some sufferers find Qutenza patches to be very effective in the treatment of specific pain.  However it has been reported that pain relief with Qutenza therapy can take up to 2 to 3 weeks.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is becoming more and more common in recent years as a medical treatment for pain relief.

Acupuncture is the use of extremely fine needles being tapped into pressure points under the skin in order to stimulate the sensory nerves and reduce pain. The needles then produce a light tingling sensation in the nerves.  

Acupuncture is not readily available on the NHS, and as such it is usually a private treatment. However, we would strongly recommend discussing this with your doctor beforehand.

Acupuncture therapy usually takes place over a number of sessions and lasts anywhere from 40 to 60 minutes. The effectiveness of it is subject to a lot of debate, with some believing the benefits are psychological with a positive placebo effect rather than anything physiological.

We would advise that any of the above treatments are discussed with a medical professional before being undertaken.

If you have any questions about anything raised in this article or feel that you may be experiencing chronic pain as a result of an accident or injury please do get in touch.

At Goughs our specialist chronic pain lawyers are highly experienced and can help you understand your condition and will always seek the opinion of top medical experts and leading barristers to reinforce your claim.

This approach allows us to build a strong case, ensuring that you feel safe in the knowledge that we are in the best possible position to try to secure compensation that will assist you for the rest of your life.

We encourage you to take advantage of our free initial consultation and we will come to see you at home, at work or anywhere in England and Wales to discuss your claim on a no win no fee basis.

We take the time to really understand what you are going through and will explain exactly how we can help.

For further information on a wide range of chronic pain conditions please visit our chronic pain section. 

We listen, we advise, we are here for you.