Pain therapy is a medical process of treatment that focuses on alleviating the pain felt by patients. Also know as pain medicine, the therapy is often used in conjunction with other forms of treatment that are aimed at resolving whatever health issues that may be causing the pain. In the interim, pain therapy minimizes the level of discomfort experienced by the patient, helping him or her to have a better quality of life as the health issue is identified, treated, and ultimately resolved.
Therapy for pain often involves a combination of medication and specific physical treatments designed to ease various types of body aches, including stiffness or sharp pains in various parts of the body. An excellent example of this type of combination pain therapy would be back pain therapy. As part of the pain management process, the patient may take oral medication to help with recurring pain in the muscles of the back while also undergoing physical therapy to soothe the irritated muscles.
In addition to therapy for back pain and other treatable illnesses that have a chance of being ultimately resolved, pain therapy can also be used on an ongoing basis to help patients cope with physical conditions that are not likely to be healed. An arthritis sufferer may see a physical therapist as part of the process for keeping the joints from becoming less functional while also taking some form of oral medication to ease the constant pain in the joints. This dual approach makes it easier to live with the discomfort and at least enjoy life to some extent.
Pain therapy is often a part of the end of life treatments provided for terminal patients. Once it is clear that there is no hope of recovery and that the individual has a limited amount of time to live, the focus often shifts from healing to easing the pain. The pain relief therapy may include massages, water therapy, or any other physical activity that may help to ease body aches. At the same time, medication may also be provided to help deal with the pain as it increases in the weeks leading up to death.
In many cases, effective pain therapy requires the services of several healthcare professionals. Physical therapists with expertise with pain management therapy related to specific illnesses are just about always a key member of the team. The primary care physician is also often involved, along with any specialists that the patient sees on an ongoing basis. For people facing end of life situations, a hospice team is also often involved with the other healthcare professionals to provide as much relief from pain as possible.