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Pain affects all types of people – and presents itself in many different fashions. Migraine headaches, sports injuries, medical conditions such as arthritis, bursitis or even recovery from surgery, can create discomfort and require a pain management specialist. Traumatic incidents such as automobile accidents or on-the-job injuries create pain. Pain is the most common symptom for which individuals seek medical help – whether it’s acute pain or chronic pain.
What is Pain Management?
Pain management is a specialty area of medicine and pharmacy that addresses patient pain. Often using an interdisciplinary, shared approach, a pain management team can consist of several specialists, such as physicians, pharmacists, physical therapists, nurse practitioners or massage therapists, just to name a few. The end goal of the pain management team is to ease the suffering and improve the quality of life of those living with pain.
How do Pain Management Creams work?
Topical creams have become increasingly popular for pain management. Instead of using multiple oral pills which may have high systemic absorption, addictive side effects and may cause stomach distress, topical creams can be compounded to address the patient’s individual pain management goals.
By using the “Triad of Care” in the pain management process, the physician, pharmacist and patient discuss the therapeutic goals and customize a medication truly specific for the patient. Topical creams are applied to specific “dermatome” areas of the body to best address the type and location of pain and can include one or several different medications to help address pain symptoms. Side effects are usually minimal with transdermal delivery due to lower systemic absorption.
Pain management creams may be a solution for patients that cannot tolerate oral medications. Talk to your pain management specialist to discuss if topical creams may be a therapy for you.