What Is Breakthrough Pain?
Breakthrough pain is a sudden increase in pain intensity that occurs when someone is either not taking their medication, or the medication has worn off. It usually starts where the person was previously numbed or after an injury. It is especially prevalent in people who take opioid medication regularly (usually prescribed, but sometimes not) and have been taking it for an extended period.
Most people who experience breakthrough pain will not get it all the time. However, some people may have breakthrough pain more often than not, especially if they neglect to properly follow their doctor’s orders. Addiction is a possibility, but it is also possible that a person may be given too much medication at one time. In these cases, it may be beneficial to take a lower dose of medication or break up the dosage throughout the day.
Breakthrough pain can include pain in an area where there was a previous injury, the sudden onset of pain anywhere in the body, or a rapid increase in pain with no apparent explanation. Breakthrough pain is not always an indicator of addiction, but it should be taken seriously. It is essential to note in your medical records when the pain got worse and what else was happening at the time.
Different Types of Breakthrough Pain
There are several types of breakthrough pain, so it’s good for clients to know about them, especially if they get the sensation often. The feeling can differ from person to person based on the reason for it.
1. Spontaneous Pain
Spontaneous pain has no obvious cause. Often, it can be treated successfully with a combination of over-the-counter medications and review by your physician. If there is no clear reason, clients should consult with their doctor to rule out any other possible causes such as an infection or nerve damage.
2. Incidental Pain
Incidental pain is the sensation caused by a specific activity such as eating, bowel movements, and everyday body motions. The causes for incidental pain can be varied, but some cases may be associated with certain conditions like kidney stones or partial bowel obstructions. It can also be aggravated by stress levels or infection. Lab studies and tests are needed to get to the bottom of it.
3. Fracture Pain
Fracture pain is pain that arises from skeletal injury. It can be caused by osteoporosis, falls, childbirth, accidents, and more. Clients with this type of pain may commonly experience severe, intense pains in the lower back, hips, wrists, and arms that can last days after they initially occur. Often, people are diagnosed with nerve damage as the cause of their fracture pain.
The best way to track flare-ups is through detailed journaling, which can benefit pain management. It is recommended to record the time and type of flare-up as well as the severity. Often an increase in pain is not a sign of an emergency, but it may end up being a symptom for other conditions. As with all events in the client’s life, it’s important to take note of them in order to get a clearer picture of their own individual health.
How Do I Deal with Breakthrough Pain?
Although it can be a difficult experience, there are ways to deal with breakthrough pain. The first thing to do is evaluate your overall health and well-being by getting an overall physical exam from a physician or similar healthcare professional. If any underlying conditions or disorders are found, they will be treated. In the meantime, you may need medication to help relieve your symptoms.
Sometimes when you’re experiencing pain, it’s difficult to focus on anything else. Distracting yourself with something else can be beneficial. For example, if you are at home and feeling pain in your back or leg, you can soak in a hot tub. This will help distract you from the pain and allow you to relax. You may also want to consider using essential oils to help with your pain. A few of the oils in this category include lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, and rosemary. These can be used in diffusers or other means of surrounding yourself with their aromas.
If you’re experiencing a lot of discomfort, you can talk with others about the pain. Talking about it may make you feel less alone and will help distract you from the pain. You may also want to consider the things that bring you joy, like hobbies or spending time with loved ones. Taking care of yourself is important when experiencing chronic pain. Self-care can help you deal with breakthrough pain more effectively.
Remote, Mobile, and Wearable Devices
Remote, mobile, and wearable devices are now being used to help deal with breakthrough pain. Remote devices include a continuous passive motion machine (CPM) that helps clients decrease their edema. A CPM is used for restorative therapy as well as recreational therapy. Another type of remote device is a cold laser used to treat chronic pain in areas like the back or knee joints. Other types of treatment also involve remote devices. For example, spinal cord stimulation works via electrical pulses that are sent from an implantable pulse generator to sacral nerve roots in the lower back.
Wearable devices include things like ultrasound or ice packs. Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to help break up scar tissue or muscle knots. Ice therapy can help reduce swelling and inflammation, which can be especially helpful for clients with arthritis and similar conditions.
Breakthrough Pain and Addiction
A desire to take more than the prescribed amount of medication can indicate a deeper problem. The person may be addicted to the drugs, even if they are legally prescribed. There are several things that professionals look for when making a diagnosis of addiction. For example, when an individual is experiencing chronic pain, they may begin taking extra amounts of medication or using alternative drugs or medications that are intended for other conditions. They need assistance and guidance in order to overcome their addiction and get back on the path to good health.
Addiction is a chronic disease that requires individualized treatment plans. Many individuals who suffer from chronic pain do not receive treatment like what is recommended for other chronic conditions. There are several things that pain can do to an individual who suffers from addiction. The main thing to consider is that addiction can negatively impact their ability to function socially. This is one important indication of the disorder. It is important for clients to seek treatment for this type of pain in order to reduce their chances of becoming addicted.
Medication to Treat Breakthrough Pain
When there is an underlying issue that can cause pain in the body, this needs to be identified. For example, clients may undergo tests to rule out nerve damage as a cause of their back pain and sciatica. The treatment provided for incidental pain depends on the cause of it as well as the client’s medical history. The treatment for breakthrough pain is often the same for all three types. The main goal is to reduce the pain as much as possible by taking a narcotic only when needed. Some clients may require additional intervention based on their type of chronic pain. An inflamed or infected joint can be treated with joint injections to relieve stiffness or swelling. Sometimes prescription medications are used to help with inflammation and support the bone healing process.
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is often used in the case of chronic pain. This treatment program helps to manage the clients’ addiction so that they can get back on track with their health and manage their medical conditions. If you are experiencing breakthrough pain, there are several things that you can do to manage it. The first is to take your narcotic as prescribed. If you’re experiencing spontaneous pain, treating it and ruling out any underlying conditions are the first steps that should be taken. Additionally, there are ways to distract from the pain with practices like acupuncture or massage therapy. You may need to try one approach for a while and see if it helps before trying another one.
Other types of treatment may include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, other types of medicine to reduce pain, muscle relaxants, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy, and counseling and guidance. If there are other conditions that need to be addressed with the client’s doctor, then their prescriptions will be reviewed.
Breakthrough pain is a term used to describe a situation in which the pain becomes worse than the acute pain. If you’re suffering from breakthrough pain, you should take it seriously so that your chances of becoming addicted can be reduced. People are also encouraged to seek help as soon as possible since it is highly unlikely that they will be able to cope with the pain on their own. Granite Recovery Centers is here to help you through this experience and get you the treatment that you need. Moreover, we can also help you with any withdrawal symptoms that may arise as a result of treatment. Contact us today to get the professional assistance you need!