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There are many different options for pain relief when going through cancer treatment. Beyond the typical opioid medications, there are other resources for help. You can discuss your pain with your Oncologist to find the best course of treatment for your discomfort during your cancer journey.

Adjuvant Analgesics

Antidepressants, anticonvulsants and steroids are often used for conditions other than pain treatment, but now several of these drugs are being used to treat cancer-related pain with excellent results. Some of them can help with pain caused by inflammation or swelling, as well as specific pain including tingling and burning sensations.

Nerve Blocks

A nerve block is a procedure used in many medical disciplines to manage chronic pain. They are typically some form of injected substance that blocks the pain transmissions through specific nerves. They can be used for pain relief for a certain amount of time, usually providing relief for several months. This treatment can be repeated due to returning pain patterns to achieve longer-lasting pain maintenance.

Pain Pumps for Cancer Pain Relief

Medication is delivered directly into the space between the spinal cord and the covered casing of the spinal cord with these medical devices. Ziconotide, a powerful drug derived from the cone snail toxin, is commonly used in these pumps. It has been approved for treating extreme persistent pain providing successful long-term help. Pain signals can be interrupted using intrathecal pumps for widespread pain.

Neurosurgical Approaches

It is possible to interrupt or ablate pain through neurosurgery. Typically, a cordotomy is used to destroy the nerves that conduct pain in the spinal cord. According to The National Cancer Institute, a cordotomy , is “A surgical procedure that is used to relieve pain by cutting certain nerves in the spinal cord that send pain signals… In cancer, a cordotomy is usually done for patients near the end of life to relieve severe pain that cannot be relieved by other treatments.”

Cognitive Mental and Alternative Approaches to Pain Relief

An important component of treating chronic pain is cognitive psychological care. Counseling services for cancer survivors can include intensive dynamic psychotherapy, social integration or support and psycho-social intervention or personal coping strategies to aid in pain relief.

Physical therapy is an exercise program designed by a physical therapist or doctor who has undergone extensive training in physical medicine and rehabilitation. This light exercise movement can help improve function and decrease pain. In addition, hot tubs and deep-muscle massage may also be helpful.

An acupuncturist can stop pain signals by inserting thin needles into various parts of the skin to stimulate nerve comfort without medications. It is a good option for low to moderate pain cycles.

You do not have to suffer from cancer pain while living through treatment and beyond. Contact the specialists at Full Range Spine & Ortho located in Southern California for all your pain solution needs.

Posted on Behalf of Full Range Spine & Ortho

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