5 Trends in Pain Management

Doctors working in various fields within the health care industry keep an eye on the top trends in pain management as a way to keep up with the field. Looking closely at those trends helps them decide what their patients want and also allows them to learn about new procedures that may become mainstream in the coming years. As a med student or a working doctor or nurse, you may want to look into those trends too.

Using Implants

One of the newest trends in pain management is the use of an implant. Doctors previously used a type of pump that allowed a patient to increase and decrease his or her pain medication based on the level of pain. The problem with a medication pump is that it is often expensive. Many health insurers will not cover the cost of the procedure or the cost of refilling the pump. Most insurers will cover the surgical implant because it does not require any expensive refills later.

Starting with Medications

Though some doctors encourage patients to use holistic or natural ways to cope with their pain, one of the growing trends in pain management is among doctors who believe in using prescription medications first. Those doctors provide patients with painkillers for everything from a toothache or a minor back ache to a broken bone or sciatic pain. Some states recently cut down on doctors who wrote frequent prescriptions as a way to battle back against the growing number of people addicted to prescription drugs.

Related: How do You Become a Pharmacist?

Thinking Outside of the Box

Holistic healing and treatment centers encourage patients to think outside the box and opt for healthier ways of coping with pain, which may explain why the number of these centers is on the rise. Instead of sending patients home with a prescription, these centers recommend that patients take yoga or Pilates classes and learn how to meditate. Some centers also have chiropractors working on-site who offer treatments designed to align the parts of the body together. The belief is that a proper alignment of the body will reduce pain in various spots.

Caring for Pain at Home

One of the current trends in pain management came about as the number of patients interested in caring for themselves and coping with their pain at home increased. This led to manufacturers introducing machines that patients can use at home. One example is a TENS unit, which was once only available for use in doctors’ offices. These small machines use electrodes to stimulate nerve endings and reduce pain. You can now pick up a machine for well under $100 that you can use at home. You simply place the electrodes on your sore muscles, turn the machine on and let the unit stimulate the muscles and nerves.

Stem Cell Procedures

Becker’s Spine Review found that biological solutions are among the hottest trends in pain management. Biological solutions include the use of steam cells. Doctors inject these cells directly into the tissues around the spine. Those cells then stimulate those tissues and help heal injuries to discs, nerves and other parts of the back. While still in the experimental phase, some doctors believe that using stem cells and other biological procedures can significantly reduce pain in patients.

The top trends in the medical field change as new technology and new procedures become available. Doctors working in the field of pain management look at those trends when helping patients cope with pain at home and in the office. Some of the current trends in pain management include biological procedures, holistic care centers, implants and remedies for caring for pain at home.