Pain Management is a branch of medicine that uses an interdisciplinary approach for easing the suffering and improving the quality of life of those living with chronic pain. The typical pain management team includes medical practitioners, pharmacists, clinical psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, physician assistants, nurses, and dentists. The team may also include other mental health specialists and massage therapists. Pain sometimes resolves quickly once the underlying trauma or pathology has healed, and is treated by one practitioner, with drugs such as analgesics and (occasionally) anxiolytics. Effective management of chronic (long-term) pain, however, frequently requires the coordinated efforts of the pain management team. Effective pain management does not mean total eradication of all pain.
Medicine treats injuries and diseases to support and speed healing. It treats distressing symptoms such as pain to relieve suffering during treatment, healing, and dying. The task of medicine is to relieve suffering under three circumstances. The first is when a painful injury or pathology is resistant to treatment and persists. The second is when pain persists after the injury or pathology has healed. Finally, the third circumstance is when medical science cannot identify the cause of pain. Treatment approaches to chronic pain include pharmacological measures, such as analgesics, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants; interventional procedures, physical therapy, physical exercise, application of ice or heat; and psychological measures, such as biofeedback and cognitive behavioral therapy.
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