Managing pain is an important part of your treatment and recovery from an orthopedic disorder or injury. Pain can cause sleeplessness, depression and limitations on your ability to move - all of which can slow down your recovery.
It is important to manage your pain before it becomes too intense. Be sure to tell your doctor when you have pain and discuss ways to deal with the pain. The sooner you treat pain, the less likely it is to get worse or cause other complications.
Pain can be:
- Acute, lasting up to three months. It usually gets better after four to six weeks of home treatment. This type of pain is usually the result of an injury or a disorder such as arthritis. It can range from a muscle ache to s shooting or stabbing pain. Sometimes it limits your ability to move or stand up properly.
- Recurrent, a repeat episode of acute symptoms. Most people have at least one episode of recurrent low back pain.
- Chronic, lasting longer than three months. This type of pain often gets worse over time. Its cause can be difficult to identify.
Call your doctor if:
- Your pain has gone on for more than three months
- Your pain is interfering with your usual daily activities
- You can't sleep because of pain
- Your orthopedic disorder or condition has healed, but pain is still there
Usually, pain is treated beginning with the least invasive and less potent measures first. If these don't work, your doctor will then try stronger approaches. At the Cedars-Sinai Orthopaedic Center, a team of experts in orthopedics and pain management carefully monitors each patient throughout his or her treatment. Some treatments for pain include:
- Assistive devices. This includes the use of tools to add strength, stability or support to a joint or bone to relieve painful pressure
- Behavioral medicine. This approach attempts to train your mind to develop strategies for managing back pain.
- Conservative medical care
- Drug therapy
- Interventional pain management
- Physical therapy