Types of Pain Management: The Difference between Passive and Active Pain Management

Pain can become debilitating when it is not addressed properly. Depending on what causes your pain, it can be chronic or acute. The treatments for it are also divided based on the methods used to soothe the pain. From exercising to using heating packs, your pain specialist can advise on a variety of ways to treat your pain. The techniques for managing pain are divided into active pain management and passive pain management. Each of these two has its own characteristics and they can be blended by your pain management specialist to find the best way to address your pain.

Active pain management

One of the ways to soothe pain is to undergo physical exercises and participate in the pain management activity. This is active pain management and it consists of a number of activities one can do to relieve their pain.

Yoga is a popular active pain management technique, which combines the physical activity with the mental focus. It can strengthen your body and improve your flexibility, stamina, balance and coordination. By doing yoga you also learn to relax and control your stress, which contributes to pain relief.

Breathing techniques are also a form of active pain management used to relax and reduce the pain. As you breathe deeply, you can also teach your mind to manage the stress, which helps reduce the pain you feel.

Regular exercises might look like counterintuitive, but they are very effective in fighting pain. Depending on your doctor’s advice, you can engage in different levels of physical exercising, from simple walking to lifts and stretching. One of the types of chronic pain addressed with this active pain management technique is back pain. By strengthening your core, you lift some of the pressure from your spine, reducing the amount of back pain you feel.

Passive pain management

In the case of passive pain management the patient is not actively involved in the pain relief process. Instead, it is conducted by someone else, like the pain physician. Some of the methods used under this type of pain management are ultrasounds, massage, heat or ice packs.

Treatments conducted by a specialist are a form of passive pain management: acupuncture, chiropractic treatments, TENS therapy and hypnosis. Using pills or cortisone injections are also filed under this category.

Most passive pain management treatments are used to fight pain on short term, while active pain management is used to soothe pain on long term. In practice, the two methods are often merged, to help the patient function properly on short term and provide a solution for long term pain management. For example, your doctor can prescribe you pills or acupuncture to soothe your pain right away and stretching exercising to help you control your pain on the long term.

If you suffer from debilitating pain or acute pain, you need to see a pain management specialist, who can make you a plan to fight the pain and regain control over your life.

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