OsteoArthritis – inflammation of joints – osteoarthritis is commonly associated with older populations.
Rheumatoid Arthritis – has a younger age of onset than Osteoarthritis; the body’s immune system starts to attack tissues, including joint tissues, which causes inflammation and pain.
Analgesics (pain relievers), from Paracetamol to opiates.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as naproxen & ibuprofen (Nurofen), ketoprofen (Orudis)
Corticosteroids (taken by tablet or injection) (prednisolone, cortisone injection)
Disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDS) – suppress the immune system (biological DMARDS block substances that cause inflammation). Halting the inflammation reduces pain (Orencia, Humira) (Arthritis Information Sheet: Medicines and arthritis, 2012)
Ergot alkaloid - Ergotamine (vasoconstrictor alkaloid often combined with caffeine for treatment of migraines, i.e. Cafergot)
Combination of paracetamol, codeine and antihistamine doxylamine (Dolased or Mersyndol) (Duckro, 1999) (Consumer Medicine Information: Mersyndol, 2007) (Consumer Medicine Informaiton: Dolased Analgesic, 2004)
Common chronic generalised pain conditions (pain throughout the body) include:
Neuropathic pain is caused by damaged or malfunctioning nerves. It is often described as different from other forms of pain and is often described as: electric shocks, burning, or “heavy” sensations. It can occur by itself or along with other forms of pain in many conditions. Some examples include:
Alcohol dependence and Diabetes can contribute to peripheral neuropathy (pain at extremities such as hands and feet)
Phantom pain – pain from a part of the body that has been lost, common experience of amputees and can become chronic.
Operations such as mastectomies or thorocotomy or amputations can leave ongoing chronic neuropathic pain at the affected site.
Neuropathic pain is difficult to treat compared to somatic pain. A combination of treatments can be used: