A 30-year-old software engineer has been plagued with debilitating lower back pain. He had to be off work for two-three months.

This constant pain has adversely affected his work. Physiotherapy did not help much. But now that he is taking pain killers, he has got some relief.

Pain is a human condition that can be specific or non specific and either acute or chronic in nature. Back pain is a common musculoskeletal symptom that may be caused by a variety of diseases and disorders. If pain persists for long, there is a risk of progression to chronic pain.

New paradigm

Treatments that may improve outcomes in patients with pain include analgesic and anti-inflammatory medications with proper diet and balanced lifestyle.

The new paradigm in pain management is to allow patients with disabling pain to return to work as soon as possible. Along with painkillers, cognitive behaviour therapy has shown remarkable efficiency. In this patients are encouraged to use relaxation techniques to lower muscular tension.

Medication plays an important role in the treatment of pain. Different medicines are available to help relieve pain. There are different kinds of pain relievers: oral, topical and injection. Pain relieving drugs include acetaminophen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids, narcotics and local anaesthetics.

Of all these, acetaminophen can be used to relieve mild to moderate pain and also treat fever. Paracetamol, which is an acetaminophen, is widely employed as a pain and fever reliever. It is currently one of the safest analgesics known (at recommended doses).

For over more than 50 years, Paracetamol has proved to be a safe medication to alleviate pain as well as fever. With certain innovations in the composition, paracetamol provides quick and fast relief during deep pain. This is good news for those suffering from problems like osteoarthritis since that is when pain becomes unbearable and the patient generally looks for quick and fast relief.

A study published in PubMed revealed that Paracetamol is recommended as a basic first line analgesic in acute pain states and as a valuable component in multimodal analgesia.

Living with pain tends to affect the quality of life. While assessing or starting treatment, the physician should document anatomic location, severity and duration of pain. The patient's medical history is also important to understand and assess the severity.

Pain is a symptom that something is wrong. If left untreated it may grossly affect normal sleep, regular activities, social interactions and also performance at work.

The writer is a Delhi-based physician

Keywords: pain management