What are the treatment options for chronic pain?
More than 20% of American adults live with chronic pain.1 It is also the leading cause of disability in the United States.
So, what is chronic pain and how can I get relief? Chronic pain, which lasts three months or longer, is persistent and is often debilitating.
If you’re experiencing chronic pain, you’re not alone. Your life may look different than it once did. But, with the right treatment plan, you can regain your independence and get back to the things you enjoy. Newer treatment options offer hope.
What should you consider when thinking about treatment, and what are some traditional treatment options?
Traditional Treatment Options
Prescription medications and epidural steroid injections
When you first start experiencing pain, you may treat it with over-the-counter pain medications. If that isn’t effective, your doctor may recommend prescription medications like opioids. While these prescription medications are often helpful for acute pain, they are less useful for chronic pain. It’s crucial to really understand the side effects of prescription medications. There is a significant risk for serious side effects, including addiction. You may also experience drowsiness and constipation.
Your doctor may also suggest epidural steroid injections. With these injections, steroids are directly inserted into the spine. While these injections don’t offer long-term pain relief, you may find injections useful for short-term pain relief.
Spine surgery is the most invasive option. Some of the traditional spine surgery procedures include laminectomy, microdiscectomy, and traditional lumbar fusion. Spine surgery is often appropriate for correcting mechanical issues but is often ineffective for resolving debilitating nerve pain. The most significant risk of spine surgery is not knowing if it’s going to help. If you get spine surgery, you likely won’t know if it works until you recover from surgery.
Physical therapists can identify areas of weakness that may be contributing to pain. When muscles and joints are strengthened through exercises, you may experience pain relief. Physical therapists can help you learn new ways of doing daily activities that won’t cause pain. Physical therapists can also provide education to help you avoid further injuries.
New treatment options for long-term pain relief
Spinal cord stimulator (SCS) systems deliver mild electrical pulses to the spinal cord, and quiet the nerves that deliver pain signals to the brain.
SCS systems have been around for more than 30 years, but HF10® is an advanced spinal cord stimulator. It is helping more people experience long-lasting pain relief. HF10 also provides better relief for both back and leg pain.
Nearly 88% of people with HF10 are more independent because of their reduced pain.2
So, what do you do next? How do you weigh your options and determine the best option for you? Of course, each treatment option comes with pros and cons. When weighing your options, you should talk to your doctor about your specific situation. Your doctor can also help you consider the side effects, your possible risk factors, and your lifestyle. With the right treatment plan, you can reduce your pain and regain your independence.
Interested in learning more about HF10? Take an assessment to find out if HF10 is a good fit for you.
● Chronic pain can significantly inhibit one’s ability to do the activities you love. However, there is hope.
● Traditional chronic pain treatments include physical therapy, prescription medications, steroid injections, and surgery.
● HF10, a type of spinal cord stimulator, offers a new treatment option that can be more effective with fewer side effects than other options.
- Dahlhamer J, Lucas J, Zelaya, C, et al. Prevalence of Chronic Pain and High-Impact Chronic Pain Among Adults — United States, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2018;67:1001–1006.
- Calculated from patient survey data and functionality measures within the SENZA-RCT. Data on file.
Injections failed to bring Elizabeth lasting relief until she tried HF10
Elizabeth is gardening, walking her dog with her husband daily and doing housekeeping again now…