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Pain Management 101: Common Types of Pain and Their Treatment Options

Whether it’s a sharp or dull sensation in your back or head, pain could easily wreak havoc in your daily life. In most cases, it’s a symptom of a disease or injury, and in other times, pain is the actual condition such as with migraines. That being said, below are the most common kinds of pain, their origins, as well as their treatment options.


Headaches impact people of all ages. There are four common headache types, which includes:

  • Vascular headaches, such as migraines
  • Traction headaches that appear due to conditions affecting the head, such as tumors
  • Tension headaches like in muscle contractions
  • Inflammatory headaches

Treatments typically involve medications, meditation, massage, biofeedback, acupuncture, chiropractic care, and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Neck Pain

This kind of pain usually surfaces as you age and is usually caused by osteoarthritis and acute injuries like whiplash following an auto accident or sports injury.

Neck pain could likewise be a result of sleeping or staying in an awkward position for too long, infection, sprains, arthritis, and in rare cases, spinal cancer. Treatment will depend on what’s causing your neck pain and might include staying and sleeping in more comfortable positions, mobility exercises, massage, ice, heat, relaxation techniques, chiropractic care, and medications.


This kind of arthritis results from cartilage breaking down. As therapists from physical rehabilitation centers in Chandler explain, the role of your cartilage is crucial since it’s what keeps your bones from grinding against each other. In most cases, osteoarthritis is caused by normal wear and tear. In some instances, though, it could also be a result of work-related or sports-related injuries.

The Arthritis Foundation states that osteoarthritis risk factors include old age, obesity, overuse of the joint, and a family history of osteoarthritis. While osteoarthritis isn’t curable, over-the-counter and prescription anti-inflammatory drugs might help with the pain and inflammation, and physical therapy could aid in improving mobility and strength.

man experiencing back painMuscle Pain

This type of pain is usually a result of people trying to do certain things that they’re muscles aren’t used to. To relieve pain from overusing and overextending the muscles, treatment usually includes anti-inflammatory meds, stretching, hot showers, acupuncture, and massage therapy.

Back Pain

People will experience back pain at some time in their lives, and there’s just no going around it. Common causes include overusing back muscles, sleeping, or staying in uncomfortable positions for prolonged periods, a wrong form while exercising, sports or accident-related injuries, as well as various diseases.

The pain could take place suddenly or get worse over time, and could affect anywhere from the base of the neck or above your pelvis. Common treatment options for back pain usually involve medications, regular exercise, massage, chiropractic care, weight loss, injections, surgery, and acupuncture.

You also have to keep in mind that people experience pain at different levels, and how you manage pain would depend on its cause, location, and severity. While medications are the first treatment options, it’s usually not enough. With this in mind, the best way to manage pain is to work with your doctor to create a sustainable pain management plan that’s suited to your specific needs.


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