Dealing with pain

Pain is an unpleasant sensory experience. It may deprive us from our sleep and overshadow our days. It is sometimes so unbearably strong that it may cause a feeling of sickness, despair or nightmares. Fear of pain makes us feel tense in advance, which in turn generates pain. Strong pain scares us even more, it increases tension and thus intensifies pain. Sometimes when we feel actual pain, we might be afraid that people may think we are faking it if no bodily reason is found.

It is essential that we not perceive ourselves as captives of pain. Nowadays we may rely on pain relieving medicines and almost always an adequate medicine can be found, especially among the more modern, efficacious and reliable ones.

You should take adequate measures for neutralization of pain before it has become chronic. Otherwise its treatment becomes more difficult.

What does “It hurts” mean?
Pain is a subjective experience. It could not be proved by the sufferer or be disproved by the doctor. Some people tolerate pain easily and find it “no big deal”. With others the same pain may threaten their vital processes and turns into a serious problem. This is due to a complex interaction of physical, psychological and emotional factors. There have been numerous attempts to define pain which only confirms the involvement of a marked psychological feature.

According to a research held at the Stanford University, California, patients may be trained to individually control the extent to which pain is perceived by the brain and make it more tolerable. The medical team headed by Doctor Sean Mackey proved that with patients suffering from chronic pain certain mental exercises lead to suppression of pain perceptions. According to researchers many more studies are necessary in this field but the beginning has already been laid.

Acute and chronic pain
Pain appears suddenly and its episodes may be shorter or longer (up to several hours). It is a way in which your organism alerts you to changes in it which disturb its integrity, functions and adaptability. This is why a timely consultation with a doctor to establish the reasons for pain is utterly necessary. Clenching your teeth and ignoring pain is the worst possible strategy.

Acute pain must be determined, treated and managed. Otherwise you may develop a chronic pain syndrome, which often is no longer related to the initial acute pain and its cause. The nerve cells have already become so modified that even one touch, heat or stretching leads to the unpleasant feeling of pain. A “pain memory” is developed and pain may appear without any reason.

Chronic pain strains the sufferers
Many elderly people find prolonged chronic or recurring pain extremely torturing. Such pain is often caused by pathological processes falling within the diverse group of rheumatic diseases: arthritis, arthroses, spinal cord pain, etc. Continuous pain or recurring pain episodes impede the individual’s normal functioning to various extents.

Limiting your physical activity and resting when you feel pain caused by such type of pathology is not really useful and does not contribute to the healing process. Moderate and appropriate physical activity, despite pain, may cause a relief or at least prevent an increase of the pain.

…as well as their families

To live, work or be friends with someone who feels chronic pain could be pretty burdening and torturing. When continuous pain has started to define your everyday life and has become an almost exclusive topic of conversation, accounting the story of the infinite attempts for its treatment, when all the advice, compassion and suggestions for help have been exhausted, the only thing you have left is to be patient and compassionate, and recourse to the most contemporary medicines, now available in Bulgaria as well.

Act reasonably

People with a long history of pain tend to grasp at any straw, be it an even vague promise for help, and pay for it no matter the price. They seek special doctors, undergo countless surgeries, even if none leads to improvement; research alternative methods of treatment, believe every advertisement which promises complete recovery. Thus they expose themselves to the danger of being used by people with unreliable proposals and harming themselves (not only financially!). Therefore, carefully consider every such proposal. Consult your attending physician. Obtain information from serious and renowned institutions, medical doctors with recognized medical diplomas, patients who have gained certain experience with pain.

Monitor yourself closely and accurately interpret the experienced pain

The better you describe your pain, the easier you can find the appropriate medicine. This takes time, patience and trust between doctor and patient. Your interpretation and reliable account is of great importance.

How long
have you been in pain (started suddenly, some days/weeks ago; is pain becoming more intensive?)
Where exactly is pain felt?
In what situations does pain increase more and in what less?
How often does pain occur (in what intervals, constantly, when you move or when at rest)?
How would you describe the pain (sharp, burning, dull, clamping, throbbing)?
What did you do to fight pain? What was the result?
What relieves pain (pain killers, a particular action, a movement)?
How long do these measures stay effective?

The 1
to 8 score objectively evaluates pain
The pain evaluation score may help you define the intensity of pain and you may interpret it to your doctor.
1. No pain
2. Feeble (dull) pain
3. Unpleasant (nagging) pain
4. Bearable pain, does not impede normal activity
5. The pain has a significant impact and impedes normal activity
6. Strong pain, hampering normal activity
7. Strong, terrible pain
8. Very strong, unbearable pain

Keeping a diary of pain may be useful for you. In it you may describe all circumstances related to it and correlation may be detected between your behavior during normal daily activities and the occurrence of pain (certain movements, foods). If you find out that you have had some effect on pain, this is already a progress. This way you could help your doctor find the most effective medicine too.

Your role in pain management

Along with medication treatment, in close cooperation with your doctor, you yourselves may contribute for the accurate qualification of the pain you feel and together with your doctor adopt the right strategy for its management.
*Take the proposed medicines in accordance with the prescriptions.
*Write down your observations. They will help for the finding the most appropriate dosage for you.
*Observe the additionally proposed treatments such as medical gymnastics, physiotherapy or resting.
*Warm or cold compresses may relieve the pain. With inflammatory reactions cold compresses are more appropriate and with joint pain – warm compresses.
*Inform yourself of the disease that caused your pain. Thus you will know better the mechanism by which it occurs. This would facilitate its management.
*Include various activities in your daily life. This will distract your attention and direct it to other things, helping for easier handling of pain or even “forgetting” about it.
*Engage yourself in fun activities. Laughing no matter what may relieve pain because your body synthesizes certain hormones when you are laughing.

I am calling on you
for active cooperation. No one but you is better informed of your pain and its history. Trust your own observations and experience and discuss them with competent healthcare professionals.

Do you have the right analgesic?

Please, read these lines carefully before you start taking any medicine whatsoever.

Each of these medicines is intended for treatment without monitoring by a doctor. It may be used for treatment of mild, temporary ailments, which may be determined and managed without medical help. Тhe medicine may be purchased without prescription but to achieve optimum effect with minimum side effects, you have to use it properly.

If you have any questions, please consult your pharmacist. You have to visit your doctor if your symptoms do not fade away after a short period of treatment.

AllGone® (Nimesulide) belongs to the group of non-steroid anti-inflammatory medicines with analgetic (relieving pain) and antipyretic (lowering temperature) properties. It acts on the key mechanisms of the inflammatory process.
AllGone® is indicated for treatment of acute pain as well as for symptomatic treatment of painful osteoarthritis.
This medicine is indicated also for treatment of menstrual cramps.
Diclofenac-Tchaikapharma® is indicated for inflammatory and degenerative forms of rheumatism: chronic polyarthritis, juvenile chronic polyarthritis, arthrosis (including spondylarthrosis). Periarthritis humeroscapularis. Acute episode of gout.
Painful post-surgical and post-traumatic inflammations and edema, such as resulting from dental or orthopedic surgery.
Tonialgin® (Metamizol) has a potent pain-killing effect.
Tonialgin® is indicated for sudden acute pain, pain after injuries or surgeries, colic (in adults), as well as in acute or chronic pain unmanageable with other therapeutic measures.
Tonialgin® is indicated for lowering of high body temperature, if this cannot be achieved with other means.