I used to see medication as a ‘silver bullet’, & think that just needed to find the right one to get rid of the pain. Now i see it more like one of the tools in my pain management toolkit, which helps take the edge off the pain so i can keep active.

Medication and medical treatments (such as injections) can play an important part in pain management, alongside other pain management approaches.

Medication
Although pain medication generally works pretty well for acute pain, it is often less effective in persistent pain. Even when pain meds are working as well as they can, they are unlikely to take persistent pain away, and often come with side-effects. For most people, deciding how medication can play a part in managing pain takes some time and discussion with your GP & pain specialist.

Opiate Medication and Persistent pain

Many people have questions about the use of opiate medications, also known as opioids, for persistent / chronic pain. These medications include Morphine, Fentanyl, Oxycodone, Buprenorphine and Methadone.

There is little evidence that opioids are helpful in the treatment of long term pain, and their use is associated with risks to health.
‘Opioids Aware’, a Royal College of Anaesthetists resource about opiates click here

To see a Brainman cartoon about opiate medication and persistent pain click here

Below are links to information leaflets about commonly prescribed medicines for pain, written by the Faculty of Pain Medicine:

Amitriptyline – click here
Duloxetine – click here
Gabapentin – click here
Nortriptyline – click here
Pregablin – click here

A guide to using over-the-counter medicines click here

My neighbour has back pain, just like mine, and she had injections which she says have been great – but my doctor says injections aren’t right for me. Why?

The British Pain Society advises: “Many people hope that there is a ‘magic injection’ that will cure their pain, but sadly this is rarely true. However, injection treatment may be helpful for some pains.”

However, as everyone is different, it is important to talk to your pain specialist about whether medical treatments like injections may be helpful in your situation.