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What Are the Different Types of Pain Management Plans?

By Hollie Thomas
Updated May 17, 2024
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Pain management plans are often implemented by medical and clinical teams from a range of specialties to help patients cope with the levels of pain that they might be experiencing. By developing strategies for controlling pain, medical professionals are able to help patient achieve an enhanced quality of life and provide effective pain management techniques. Among the different types of pain management plans are those that involve the use of aids or tools to perform everyday activities; plans that use medication, injections or even surgery to reduce pain; those that use physical modalities such as ice, heat or electrical stimulation; and plans that use cognitive behavioral techniques in an effort to control the pain. The pain management plan that is used often reflects the patient's level and frequency of pain.

A pain management plan usually is devised after a pain assessment has been conducted. This assessment will identify the needs of the patient and, where appropriate, embark on a treatment or therapy that could eliminate pain where possible, alleviate painful symptoms or help the patient have more control over the pain that he or she might experience. As such, the pain assessment will help clinicians determine which type of pain management plan should be pursued.

A person who suffers from long-term pain, which might be exacerbated when he or she performs everyday activities, might be offered a pain management plan that utilizes aids to help the patient control both the level and frequency of pain. Orthopedic cushions that offer appropriate relief when sitting or lying down illustrate how the use of aids can be implemented in these types of pain management plans. Other aids, such as magnetic tools or grabbing tools, help the patient avoid performing regular physical functions that might increase the frequency of pain.

An interventional pain management plan might include the use of injections or invasive surgical procedures. In some instances, an interventional pain management strategy might incorporate the use of surgery and injections combined with medication. It is more likely, however, for this form of pain management plan to be devised for chronic and acute sufferers of pain.

There also are pain management plans that incorporate physical techniques or use modalities that offer fast relief. In such plans, the use of ice or heat might be employed and applied to the painful areas. The usage of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) also might be implemented into a pain management plan in which physical techniques have been identified as a way help a patient control his or her pain.

Irrespective of the pain relief that is given to some patients, there are some instances in which pain still might be experienced. In such cases, cognitive behavioral techniques might be implemented into a pain treatment plan. Controlling pain through the use of cognitive behavioral therapies might include the use of hypnosis or relaxation techniques. When therapies are used in this way, they can help patient have a better understanding of his or her pain, resulting in increased coping skills.

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