Dr. J. Fred Stoner on Treatment types for Chronic Pain Management
In most cases, the presence of pain is regarded as a symptom or side effect of another problem in the body. If the problem is treated and the pain persists, medical professionals turn to focusing their attentions directly on treating the pain itself. This type of pain which persists relentlessly and is removed from any obvious illness or ailments is referred to as “chronic pain”.
In his work as a medical professional specializing in pathology, Dr. J. Fred Stoner is often faced with the task of treating chronic pain.
Common Treatments for Chronic Pain
Dr. J. Fred Stoner explains that some of the most common treatment methods for those experiencing pain are non-narcotic drugs such as acetaminophen, aspirin and ibuprofen. These medications are generally less intense in their approach in comparison to opioids or other substances, but have the benefit of being widely available and relatively unintrusive. This means they may be prescribed with little chance for abuse or life-altering side effects.
In addition to non-narcotic drugs, narcotic medications such as morphine and methadone are sometimes necessary in treating chronic pain, especially in patients experiencing pain which makes performing daily activities either difficult or impossible.
While these drugs are currently considered the most common treatment methods for chronic pain, their effectiveness and overall sustainability in regards to the patient’s quality of life is highly questionable. While non-narcotic drugs are relatively safe and generally do not lead to overdose or addiction, they’re often found insufficient for managing chronic pain in severe cases. Conversely, narcotic medications are often found to be stronger in their ability to reduce pain, though they increase the risks of dependency, abuse or overdose.
New Methods for Treating Chronic Pain
With some skepticism and dissatisfaction regarding traditional treatment methods for chronic pain, several newer methods have entered the scene. These newer methods are being tested clinically on patients with varying degrees of success.
One such treatment is transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). TENS is a therapy that uses electric currents to stimulate the nerves. The method uses an designated device to deliver low-voltage currents through the skin, focusing on areas near the source of the pain. The device’s goal is to stimulate the nerves in the surrounding area, causing the brain to ease the perception of pain.
Dr. J. Fred Stoner cites medicinal marijuana as another developing treatment for chronic pain. While marijuana products have been used widely for many years, it is only recently that the substance has become more widely accepted as a safe and effective treatment for chronic pain. While many attest to the drug’s effectiveness, studies on the substance still lack hard scientific evidence. Due to the substance’s long standing status as an illegal drug, there have been few clinical studies done on the effects and long term benefits of marijuana use in conjunction with chronic pain treatment, leaving much of its overall effectiveness from a clinical standpoint to be determined.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine
The past two decades have seen a push-back against pharmaceutical and other drug-based treatments in regards to chronic pain. Often used in conjunction with other treatment methods, unconventional methods (collectively referred to as complementary and alternative medicine) has gained considerable popularity. A few examples of the most common alternatives include herbal supplements, yoga, and meditation but also extend to a wide array of practices such as hypnosis, magnetic therapy, and acupuncture.
While the overall effectiveness on these alternative medicine is highly debated, many patients claim they have helped them manage their pain significantly; common discourse from professionals like Dr. J. Fred Stoner dictate that when it comes to the treatment of chronic pain, anything that provides relief is worth investigating as a valuable resource.
For more information on Dr. J. Fred Stoner: https://www.linkedin.com/in/fred-stoner-9122389b/