As tumors grow and/or spread, they can press against the space they take up or destroy tissues and/or nerves, often causing pain.
The range of treatment options for pain is vast and deep. Treatments for pain involve both non-surgical and surgical options. Treatments for chronic pain (regardless of the cause) are quite diverse. Surgical alternatives are a later course of treatment if other means have been exhausted. Generally, no single technique will yield complete pain relief. Therefore, it is often necessary to utilize a combination of treatments. Your doctor will work with you to identify a course of treatment that is best for your diagnosis.
Pharmacotherapy: includes both prescription and nonprescription medications delivered via several routes (e.g., orally, intravenously, topically).
Injections and blocks: these are site-specific injections that deliver medications to decrease swelling, inflammation and/or pain.
Acupuncture: An ancient Chinese practice of inserting extremely thin needles into specific points of the skin to relieve pain.
Chiropractic care: focuses on the relationship between structure and functionality of the body. Chiropractic manipulations often involve movement of joints beyond their usual range of motion in an attempt to provide relief from pain and improve functionality.
Physical therapy/physiatry: a tailored stretching and exercise program is used to increase mobility and decrease pain. Other treatment modalities may be used, including: ultrasound, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), deep tissue massage of muscles and connective tissues, as well as heat and ice therapy.
Trigger point injections: these injections treat areas in a muscle that contain knots (trigger points). The injection may allow muscles to relax and decrease inflammation.
Psychological therapy: Psychological treatments provide methods that can treat pain directly by reducing physiological stress that often aggravate pain, and helping patients learn how to improve their quality of life. Specific treatment techniques may include: individual and group counseling, cognitive and behavioral therapy (including mindfulness-based cognitive therapy), relaxation and stress reduction training, hypnosis, and biofeedback.
Nutritional therapy: many pathological conditions can be either caused or exacerbated by nutritional deficiencies. Patients often work with a physician and clinical dietician to determine the presence of any nutrient deficiencies (including vitamin and mineral) and formulate a corrective plan.
Neurostimulation: a device is surgically implanted that delivers electrical signals to the spinal cord, brain or specific nerves. Basically, the electrical signals disrupt the pain signals being sent to the brain.
Targeted drug delivery: this is delivery of medications directly to a specific site deep within the body versus taking a medication orally, intravenously or topically.
Neuroablation / radio frequency (RF) ablation: these procedures use radio waves to deactivate a specific part of the nerve, spinal cord or brain that is causing pain.
This list is thorough, but by no means all-inclusive. Your doctor will recommend the course of treatment that is most appropriate for your individual condition. Always ask your doctor about the efficacy of treatment, the duration, the results you can expect, and any other questions you have to help you understand the care provided. Read all the pain articles found within this website and ask questions about terminology and treatments. Conversations between you and your doctor will help him understand your condition better and will involve you in the outcome of your treatment.