Study of Pain
The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) defines pain as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage. The word “pain” comes from the Latin root poena meaning punishment, a fine, a penalty. Pain Types and Meds for Pain.
There are two types of pain: acute pain and chronic pain. Acute pain occurs for specific reasons. With acute pain, an actual or potentially damaging event triggers special sensory nerve endings located in the skin, muscles and joints. These neural impulses then travel through the dorsal horns of the spinal cord and up to the higher centers of the brainstem and brain. An automatic and rapid course of action to eliminate the event and prevent further injury is decided upon.
Types of Pain
- Acute pain is a protective mechanism that helps us avoid damaging situations. It warns us that damage is imminent and provides information that the body uses to avoid further injury. For example, acute pain warns us to quickly remove our hand from a hot stove top.
- Acute pain lets us know when we need to seek medical attention – such as when we have received a cut, broken a bone, or are having a heart attack. Our action may be as small putting on a band-aid or as extreme as a visit to the Emergency Room.
- Acute pain is also a signal that we need to rest a body part to allow it to heal. For example, the pain of a broken ankle prevents us from putting weight on the leg until the bone has healed enough to withstand it.
Many RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) sufferers experience chronic pain. Unlike acute pain, chronic pain serves no purpose. It is defined as “the disease of pain” (Wikipedia: Pain and Nociception). The initial purpose of pain is long forgotten but the pain continues and may even worsen. A stronger emotional component is associated with chronic pain including anxiety, depression and helplessness.
The benefits of acute pain are automatic body responses that prevent the body from further injury. We can some receive some of the same benefits with chronic pain; however, our actions will need to be more deliberate and thoughtful rather than the immediate and spontaneous requests demanded by our body.
Pain as a Warning Signal
- Reduce environmental stresses on the body by making appropriate ergonomic changes to the work area.
- Use the body smarter, not harder. Use proper body mechanics when performing tasks such as lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling. Use power tools. Pace yourself. Use the strongest and largest muscles to perform heavier jobs. Plan ahead. Use good posture.
- Change harmful and painful work habits. Don’t ignore pain. Stretch regularly and take frequent mini-breaks. Avoid static grip or positioning. Avoid awkward positioning.
Pain as the Body’s Request for Healing
- Seek medical attention. Be specific with your pain concerns so that your medical practitioners can better diagnose your injury.
- Think outside the box with alternative treatments such as: Yoga, Pilates, movement therapies such as, massage therapy, acupuncture.
- Develop healthy habits: consult with a nutritionist, stop smoking, get a good night’s rest, and perform 15-20 minutes of gentle cardio activity daily.
Pain as a Signal to Rest
- Take frequent mini breaks. If you are less painful by the end of the day, you will actually be more productive for taking these breaks than if you worked straight through.
- Use splints and supports to rest painful joints and muscles. Your physician or therapist can help you choose the style that is most appropriate for your condition and provide instructions for wearing time.
- Use cold packs to control inflammation.
- Use either heat packs or cold packs to alleviate pain. Both may help to reduce pain by changing the way the pain signal is delivered to the brain. Try both and choose the one that feels the best.
When a part or your whole body starts aching badly, you try and tolerate it. But slowly when the pain goes beyond imagination, and it becomes unbearable, you pop in a prescribed pain killer. As the pain killer starts taking action, the pain in your body ceases and you feel relieved. Pain killers should, however, not be confused with anesthesia as the latter also makes the area numb. But, these pills might have certain side effects as well. Here are some more information about these pills and their side effects.
Pain Killers: What are they?
Pain killers are also known as analgesic, which has been derived from a Greek word and means ‘without’ and algos which means ‘pain’. Pain killers are members of that group of drugs that are used to relieve pain. One can categorize pain killers in several ways; one, the over the counter pills which does not need a prescription to buy, and the ones that require prescription for purchasing. The next methods of categorizing them are by their chemical type. The first chemical is the opiates which can also be called narcotics, non-selective non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), the selective NSAIDS, pain killers that do not fit into any of the categories above, and some pain killers of various chemical combinations.
Various Pain killers and Their Uses
while suffering from unbearable pain, people are often confused as to which pain killer will be best for them. There are so many pills in the market that we cannot decide. Well not to worry. Given below is a list of some of the common pain killers and also the best uses of these pills are given. This is sure to help you decide what you need.
- Aspirin is good for all kinds of pains and earlier it was very popular as it was said to lower the chances or risk of the person suffering from stroke or any kind of heart diseases. Any kind of pain, all people used to do and still does now is pop in an aspirin.
- If you are suffering from a terrible tooth ache, or if you have fallen down and sprained your hand or leg and cannot bear the pain, then its better that you pop in a paracetamol. This pain killer is good for splitting headaches as well as getting rid of the common cold and fever. This is an over the counter pain killer.
- Morphine is a prescription drug that eases pain that is caused by heart attacks. It also reduces back pain, or pain caused by kidney stones and even pain after surgery.However, one has to be very careful about using morphine as it can be addictive.
- Codeine is another popular prescribed pain killer and it is used as a general pain killer. Sometimes, doctors even ask the patients to use this pill along with some other prescribed medications.
- Ibuprofen is a good over the counter pain killer for pains in muscles, migraines, minor sprains and strains, arthritis, menstrual pains or cramps and even severe toothaches. This is a very common pain killer which may people uses nowadays. But there are certain side effects too. Learn more about the side effects of ibuprofen.
- There’s one particular pain killer which is good for a sports person when they sprain their limbs or when they suffer from tennis elbow or when they are injured while playing and that’s Piroxicam. This pill can also be taken in by those who are suffering from tendonitis or juvenile arthritis.
or juvenile arthritis. Now popping in a pill when you are suffering from unbearable pain and that pill easing the pain, sounds good, but are you aware of the fact that popping in too many pills can have several side effects? Yes, pain killer’s side effects are very common especially among those who frequently take them. Let us see what the various side effects are.
Side Effects of Pain Killers
Pain killers might reduce the pain, but along with it you also have to accept the pain killer side effects. These side effects vary from one person to another and various drugs have different kind of side effects on us. Hence, one should take the pain killer only when the pain is ABSOLUTELY unbearable. If you feel that you can manage to bear it, avoid taking these pills as much as possible. Let us now see what some of the common side effects are.
- One side effect of pain killers is constipation, and this can be a major problem for many. Hence along with the pain killer, there are various constipation relief medicines that you can try out.
- Some people might also suffer from itchy skin problem and the person also gets a sensitive skin. There are people, who after taking pain killers might also develop hives.
- Blurred vision is another side effect that people have. However, this is only a case of severe side effect of these pills.
- Stomach related problems such as indigestion, or stomach ache or even diarrhea, are some of the common side effects of these pain killing pills.
- Other side effects of these pill are, drowsiness, feeling dizzy and lethargic.
- Production of saliva in the mouth is reduced hence the mouth becomes very dry and uncomfortable.
- The worst side effects of taking painkillers is that the person gets addicted to it and even at the slightest pain they pop in a pill, not realizing what harm they are causing to their body.
Pain is a sensation that alerts us to an injury or illness within our bodies. Pain can be stabbing, throbbing, burning, aching, pulling, cramping; it can be tightness or simply an unpleasant sensation. Acute pain usually is immediate, and lasts less than two weeks. It can occur as a result of injury, short-term illness or a surgical procedure. Acute pain can be controlled with many different, safe treatment options. Controlling pain is an important step to recovery. Do not hesitate to ask for pain relief medications. This brochure will help you work with your health care team (doctors, nurses, pharmacists) to control acute pain.
When your pain is controlled, you can: _ Heal faster. People with well-controlled pain Seem to do better. They may even avoid some problems such as pneumonia and blood clots. _ Feel better sooner. _ Start walking and doing you’re breathing exercises so you can get your strength back faster.
Both medication and nonmedication treatments can help prevent and control pain. Two or moremethods may be combined for greater relief. You and your doctor will decide which options are right for you.
Many medications may be used to control pain. Do not worry about becoming addicted to pain medication. Addiction is extremely rare when pain medicine is used to control pain. The following types of medications are used to control pain:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications
These medications (NSAIDs) are used to reduce inflammation and treat other causes of pain. The common NSAIDs are naproxen and ibuprofen.
These medications are generally used for moderate to severe pain. Commonly used opioids Include morphine, hydromorphone and oxycodone.
Medications such as muscle relaxants, steroids, anticonvulsants and antidepressants may be used in combination with opioids and NSAIDs.
It is important to prevent pain before it starts or gets worse. Use your pain relief
Medications on a regular schedule.
Pain medication can be administered by different methods. Common methods include:
Pain medications are taken by mouth in pill or liquid form.
Patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) pump.
A PCA pump is attached to the intravenous (IV) tube in your vein. This pump allows you to push a button to give yourself pain medication when you need it. It also prevents you from getting too much medication.
A “shot” of medication is injected into a muscle or under the skin. Injections are used only when necessary.
An epidural is a small tube placed in your back by an anesthesiologist. The tube may be Connected to a pump that delivers continuous pain medication.
Skin patches that contain pain medications can be applied to the skin for long-term pain Management. Skin patches are not used to control pain after surgery. Non-medication treatments can be used to control pain. Ask your doctor about the following:
Massage helps relieve tension in tired, achy parts of the body. A massage therapist can do it or you can learn to do it yourself.
Depending on the cause of the pain, your provider may suggest repositioning, which is adjusting your body to positions that relieve pressure or pain.
Splinting of an incision
Pain at the incision can be reduced by splinting (supporting) the incision with a small towel or pillow when coughing or breathing deeply.
Heat and cold therapy
Hot packs, heating pads and warm baths produce relaxation by reducing inflammation. Cold therapy often works better than heat in controlling pain.
Cold can help relieve an itch or decrease muscle spasms. Alternating between heat and cold therapy can be more effective than using either technique alone and may be used for severe pain.
Relaxation and prayer
Yoga, prayer and meditation help relieve anxiety and muscle tension. They produce elaxation, which lowers the body’s stress response.
Music is an example of distraction therapy. It reduces pain by taking your mind away from it.
People who stay positive and hopeful feel less pain or are less bothered by the pain they do feel.
Benefits of pain control
Pain control options
How medication is given
Non medication treatments
The following guidelines may help you describe your pain:
Use a pain rating scale. Get acquainted with the scale below. On a scale of 0 to 10, 0 means “No pain” and 10 means “Worst pain possible.”
What rating will allow me to return to
Normal activities? Everyone is different. Many people can function without problems with a pain rating of 4 or less. Studies show that people who rate their pain at 5 or higher have trouble carrying out difficult activities.
Onset of pain. Tell your provider when and how your pain began.
Location. Point to or describe where your pain starts and where it goes.
Quality. Describe your pain. Is it sharp, shooting, burning, aching or cramping?
Intensity. Is the pain constant or does it increase or decrease? What makes the pain worse?
Response to treatment Describe
Describe if there is anything that helps relieve the pain. How much relief does it give? How long does the relief last? Together, you and doctor will create acceptable goals and a plan for managing your pain. Be prepared by writing down your questions before you meet with your doctor.
Talk with your doctor and nurses about pain control methods that have or have not worked for you.
Talk with your doctor or nurses about any concerns you may have about pain medications.
Tell your doctor or nurses about allergies and reactions to medications.
Ask your team what you can expect: Will there be much pain. Where will you feel it?
How long is it likely to last?
Take your pain medication or ask the nurse for pain medication before pain starts or as soon as you feel it starting.
Take pain medication prior to getting out of bed, walking or doing breathing exercises,
Especially if these activities make your pain worse. It is harder to ease pain once it starts. Controlling Acute pain
A Guide for Patients and Families
Keeping pain under control Side effects of opioids all opioids can have some side effects. Not everyone will experience them. Most happen in the first few hours of treatment and gradually go away. The most common ones are listed below.
The best way to prevent constipation is to drink lots of water, juice and other liquids, and to eat more fruits and vegetables. Exercise helps too. In addition, your doctor may prescribe a laxative or a stool softener.
Nausea and vomiting
Nausea and vomiting usually last only a couple of days after starting a medicine. Be sure to tell your doctor about any nausea or vomiting. Medicine to stop these side effects may be given, or another kind of pain medication may be used.
Some people who take opioids feel drowsy or sleepy when they first take the medicine. This usually does not last too long. Do not drive if you are taking opioids.
This sometimes happens when the dose of medicine is increased. You may take fewer breaths in a minute or feel short of breath. Ask your doctor what to watch for and when to call for help. If you want more information on any medical topic, please contact the Park Nicollet Health Library. A medical librarian can help you find out what you need to know.
Tramadol hydrochloride (Ultram®) is a prescription medication licensed for the treatment of pain. Specifically, tramadol benefits include treating moderate to moderately severe pain in adults (age 16 and older).
Tramadol is classified as a “centrally acting opioid analgesic.” This means that it works in the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), acts much like morphine in the body, and relieves pain. Tramadol also works in a similar manner as some antidepressant medications by inhibiting the reuptake of certain brain chemicals (serotonin and norepinephrine).
Originally, tramadol was marketed as a medication with weak narcotic effects and little potential for abuse. However, research has since demonstrated that this drug works primarily through morphine-like activity, and numerous cases of abuse and dependence have been reported.
What Is Tramadol?
Tramadol hydrochloride (Ultram®) is a prescription medication approved to treat moderate to moderately severe pain in adults. Currently, tramadol is not considered a controlled substance or a narcotic by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). However, this medication has significant potential for abuse and is classified as a controlled substance in certain states.
(Click What Is Tramadol Used For? for more information, including possible off-label uses.)
Are There Side Effects?
Just like any medicine, tramadol can cause side effects.
However, not everyone who takes the drug will experience problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either requires no treatment or is easily treated by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
Common side effects of tramadol include but are not limited to:
- Dizziness or a spinning sensation (vertigo)
An Introduction to Tramadol Side Effects
Just like any medicine, tramadol hydrochloride (Ultram®) can cause side effects. However, not everyone who takes the drug will have problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either requires no treatment or is easily treated by you or your healthcare provider.
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with tramadol. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of tramadol side effects with you.)
Serious Side Effects Seen With Tramadol
Some tramadol side effects, while occurring infrequently, are potentially serious and should be reported immediately to your healthcare provider.
These include but are not limited to:
- Seizures (see Tramadol and Seizures)
- The urge to take more tramadol than prescribed or for a non-medical purpose (see Tramadol Abuse)
- Signs of serotonin syndrome (see Tramadol and Serotonin Syndrome), such as:
- Confusion or other mental changes
- A rapid heart rate
- Blood pressure changes
- Overactive reflexes
- Slow or irregular breathing
- Signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
- An unexplained rash
- Swelling of the mouth or throat
- Difficulty breathing
Common Tramadol Side Effects
Tramadol has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials. In these studies, one group of people received the real medication, while another group was given a different pain medication. As a result, it is possible to see what side effects occurred, how often they appeared, and how they compared to the other medication.
In these studies, the most common side effects of tramadol included:
- Constipation — in up to 46 percent of people
- Nausea — up to 40 percent
- Dizziness or a spinning sensation (vertigo) — up to 33 percent
- Headaches — up to 32 percen
- Drowsiness — up to 25 percent
- Vomiting — up to 17 percent
- Nervousness, shakiness, agitation, or other “overstimulation” problems — up to 14 percent.
Other common side effects (occurring in 1 to 13 percent of people) included but were not limited to:
- Indigestion or heartburn
- Dry mouth
- Hot flashes or flushing
- Coordination problems
- Small, pinpoint pupils
- Sleeping problems
- Abdominal pain (stomach pain)
- Loss of appetite
- Vision problems
- Frequent urination or difficulty emptying the bladder fully
- Menopause symptoms.
Rare Side Effects of Tramadol
Rare tramadol side effects occur in less than 1 percent of people taking the drug. Because these side effects are so uncommon, it is difficult to tell whether they are caused by tramadol or something else.
These rare side effects may include but are not limited to:
- Accidental injury
- Weight loss
- A rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
- Abnormal walking pattern
- Concentration problems
- Changes in taste
- Painful urination
- Menstrual problems
- Liver failure
- Low blood pressure (hypotension) or high blood pressure (hypertension)
- Heart palpitations
- Heart attacks
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
Final Thoughts on Tramadol Side Effects
You may experience some or none of the side effects listed in this article. Unfortunately, there is no way for your healthcare provider to know beforehand if you will have side effects from a medicine that you have never tried. Therefore, make sure to let your healthcare provider know if you develop any possible side effects of tramadol during treatment or if something “just does not seem right.” Even if the side effect is not caused by tramadol, your healthcare provider will be able to diagnose and treat the problem.