Pain Medicine

Pain medicine or pain relievers treat different types of health conditions. Most of these pain killers are in the category of over-the-counter (OTC) medication. OTC drugs play a significant role in relieving pain caused by headaches, arthritis, and muscle strains among other conditions. 

Prescription painkillers are taken to provide stronger relief for severe pain or chronic pain after surgery or trauma. Antidepressants, opioids, and anti-seizure are some of the medications that relieve pain. Read on to get a clear picture of how painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, and other similar drugs work. 

What are the Pain Medications Used for?

The main function of pain relievers is to ease discomfort caused by injuries, illness, chronic conditions, and surgical procedures. Different people experience pain differently depending on their situation and their health condition. 

What is certain is that pain can come on suddenly. This sudden pain is what doctors and healthcare providers refer to as acute pain. Another type of pain is chronic pain, which can last for several weeks, months, or even years. 

With the availability of different types of pain killer medicines, many patients can manage their chronic pain well. Typically, pain relievers come in different categories such as:

  • Analgesics
  • Painkillers
  • Pain medicines
  • Narcotics

What are the Types of Pain Relievers?

Different types of medication for pain are available today. The best among them are those considered to be the strongest pain killers. Some of them can serve as anti-inflammatory painkillers while others can be used as ordinary pain relievers. Despite all these emerging differences, medication for pain can be classified into two major categories:

  1. Over the Counter (OTC): Most of these painkillers can be found in stores within your neighborhood. Examples of OTC pain relievers include Acetaminophen. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), a combination of aspirin (an NSAID) and acetaminophen, and topical. OTC pain relieves lower fevers and relieves pain in a number of problems including tendonitis, arthritis, bursitis, broken bones, toothaches, and many others. 
  2. Prescription: The type of medications for pain are only available with your doctor’s prescription. These prescription pain killer medicines act as stronger pain relievers for different conditions. Most of them can help you manage chronic pain or treat severe pain following knee injury treatment and trauma. Prescription painkillers consist of antidepressants, anti-seizure medications, muscle relaxers, opioids, steroids, NSAIDs, corticosteroids, and topical.

Prescription Pain Relievers

Here is a brief description of commonly used prescription pain medicines

  • Corticosteroids: Are commonly known as steroids. These drugs are strong anti-inflammatory pain relievers. They work by stopping your body from producing chemicals that cause inflammation and irritation.
  • Opioids: They are a lab-made type of narcotic pain reliever. Opioids alter how your brain perceives and interprets pain messages. You may take prescribed opioids for a short time following a knee injury treatment, traumatic injury, or surgery. 
  • Antidepressants: They usually work or react with the chemicals called neurotransmitters found in your brain. Antidepressants are ideal for chronic pain such as migraines. 
  • Anticonvulsants (anti-seizure medications): These are medications for epilepsy. Their main function is to interrupt pain messages from reaching your brain.
  • NSAIDs: They inhibit the production of prostaglandins-hormone-like chemicals that irritate nerve endings, resulting in pain and inflammation.
  • Lidocaine patches: These are prescription skin creams, sprays, gels, and patches. Lidocaine patches ease muscle pain and fibromyalgia in arthritis.

What do Prescription Pain Relievers Treat?

As mentioned above, prescription pain relievers are drugs that you can only obtain after your doctor’s prescription. These pain relievers can alleviate chronic pain caused by conditions such as:

  • Migraines.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cancer.
  • Postoperative pain.
  • Severe arthritis pain.
  • Severe muscle pain such as back pain.
  • Traumatic injuries on your body, including broken bones and burns.
  • Nerve or neuropathic pain (including diabetic neuropathy).

Drugs Used to Treat Pain

Pain medicines can also serve as anti-inflammatory drugs or simply pain relievers for various conditions. These drugs relieve or reduce sore muscles, headaches, arthritis, and other types of aches including severe pains. 

Different pain medicines are available today. Each one of them comes with its own advantages and risks that you need to know. On the other hand, some of these pain relievers respond better to different types of pain or conditions that cause chronic pain than others. Individuals may also respond slightly differently to these pain killer medicines. 

Below is a list of medications/drugs that are related to or used in the treatment of pain:

  • Gabapentin
  • Tramadol
  • Ibuprofen
  • Acetaminophen
  • Dilaudid
  • Tylenol
  • Oxycodone
  • Hydrocodone
  • Methadone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Percocet
  • Celebrex
  • Naproxen
  • Diclofenac
  • Paracetamol
  • Ultram
  • Ketorolac
  • Aspirin
  • Demerol

Alternative Treatments for Pain

Some people may not respond well to painkillers. Therefore, they need an alternative way to ease their pain. A lot of options are available and your doctor or caregiver can suggest some of these methods to you instead of prescribing pain relievers. Bear in mind that not all alternative treatments for chronic pain work for everyone. Some can be risky while others may fail to provide the much-needed pain relief. 

For instance, some of these alternative forms of pain treatment can help with severe pain caused by backaches, headaches, and osteoarthritis. The same alternative pain treatment options may not be effective for chronic pain resulting from diabetic nerve damage, or fibromyalgia. 

Check out this list of the most used forms of alternative treatment options for chronic pain:

  • Acupuncture
  • Use of marijuana
  • Taking on regular physical exercise
  • Chiropractic manipulation (spinal manipulation)
  • Taking supplements and vitamins
  • Visiting a therapist
  • Adopting stress-reduction techniques such as relaxation therapy, hypnosis, guided imagery, massage, biofeedback, and Yoga

If you are always experiencing chronic pain, you may consider alternative treatments if painkillers don’t work for you. Make sure to integrate these non-pain relievers treatment options with a proper pain management plan for better results.

At Sforzo Dillingham-Stewart Orthopedic and Sports Medicines, you will find great assistance from experienced and knowledgeable healthcare providers. Dr. Christopher R. Sforzo, Dr. Christopher L. Dillingham, and Dr. Charles E. Stewart will provide the best possible medical solution to your chronic pain. 

These doctors are board-certified orthopedic surgeons and fellowship-trained in surgeries involving different parts of the human body. The doctors are experts in the treatment of health problems that include elbows, forearms, shoulders, hands, and wrists. They also perform complex surgical operations using minimally invasive techniques like endoscopic carpal tunnel release, arthroscopic wrist procedures, arthroscopic elbow procedures, arthroscopic rotator cuff repair, and many more. Book your appointment with one of the doctors at Sforzo Dillingham-Steward Orthopedic and Sports Medicines today and learn more about the best pain relievers and their applications. 

Final Thought

There is no known cure for chronic pain. However, quite a number of effective pain medications can help relieve pain to let you enjoy every moment just like other healthy people. Some of these pain relievers work perfectly well on their own, while others reduce pain significantly when taken as a combination. Make sure to work hand in hand with your healthcare provider to find the simplest long-term solution to your chronic pain. Apart from that, keep all your medical risks to a minimum in order to improve or maintain your current health status. Find more information on pain medicine by contacting doctors at  Sforzo | Dillingham | Stewart Orthopedics + Sports Medicine  in your free time.

How do doctors treat joint pain?

Your doctor can treat joint pain by encouraging you to take enough rest from vigorous exercises. The doctor may also use physical or occupational therapy, joint protection, hot or cold compresses, and surgical operation to correct joint damage. Prescription of pain relievers can significantly reduce or treat joint pain among different patients.

What is the fastest way to reduce joint inflammation?

The most effective and fastest way to reduce joint inflammation is by the use of anti-inflammatory painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs. Other options include heat and cold therapy. With this option, you may use a source of heat like heating pads to apply around the aching joints. Make sure to use the heating pads for a period that does not exceed 20 minutes at different intervals. Hot showers or hot baths and immersing painful joints in a reasonable amount of warm paraffin wax can help relieve pain for a short time. 

How do I reduce inflammation in my joints?

Take a healthy diet consisting of veggies, fruits, and whole grains to help fight inflammation naturally. Don’t smoke or indulge yourself in hard drugs. Most importantly, do regular exercise to keep yourself fit and reduce inflammation in your joints. If need be, take prescribed or over-the-counter medicines for relieving inflammation and pain in your joints.

What is arthritis pain like?

The first sign and symptom of arthritis is pain. This type of pain is called arthralgia. Typically, this pain feels like a burning sensation or a dull ache. Often, pain caused by arthritis starts immediately after you have used the affected joint several. For instance, the pain may start after you have spent some time using the same joint. Activities such as walking up the stairs or gardening can trigger arthritis pain. You may also feel soreness first thing very early in the morning. 

Why do my joints hurt so much?

Your joints may hurt due to a condition like osteoarthritis. This is a common form of arthritis that happens over time after your cartilage (the protective cushion found in between the bones) wears away. The worn-out cartilage makes you experience pain and stiffness in your joints.

Focusing On You

As healthcare is ever changing, Sforzo | Dillingham | Stewart Orthopedics + Sports Medicine, is doing things differently…

  • Christopher R. Sforzo, M.D. is a board certified orthopedic surgeon and fellowship trained in hand and upper extremity surgery. He provides expert care in the treatment of problems involving the shoulder, arm, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand. He performs many procedures using minimally invasive techniques includi
  • Christopher L. Dillingham, M.D. is a board certified orthopedic surgeon and fellowship trained in hand, shoulder, and arm surgery. He specializes in the treatment of problems with rotator cuff disorders, carpal tunnel syndrome and nerve injury, joint replacement, arthritis surgery, fracture repair, foot and ankle
  • Charles E. Stewart M.D. is a board certified, Johns Hopkins fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon specializing in adult complex reconstruction of the lower extremity. His specialties include, lower extremity sports injuries, meniscal injuries, partial knee replacement, total hip and knee arthroplasty (replacement), as
  • Philip A. Meinhardt, M.D. is a board certified orthopedic surgeon and fellowship trained spine surgeon. He specializes in adult spinal surgeries including reconstruction of spinal deformities, minimally invasive/microscopic spinal procedures, decompression, spinal instrumentation, fusion procedures and microscopic cer



After tearing my rotator cuff, not only was I experiencing pain but my quality of life was diminished. Playing golf and working out were painful rather than enjoyable. Graci and I sought out Fellowship trained Dr. Christopher Sforzo and the team at Sforzo | Dillingham | Stewart Orthopedics + Sports Medicine. I was treated non-surgically and am now pain free, mobile and enjoying everything I did before.

- Dennis and Graci McGillicuddy

As avid golfers and tennis enthusiasts, our rotator cuff injuries left us in pain, and unable to enjoy our sport. In researching for the most qualified surgeons, we found that Sforzo | Dillingham | Stewart Orthopedics + Sports Medicine not only had the highest level of training and experience, but they were also highly recommended by friends and associates who had excellent results. We, too, had outstanding…

- Mike Wilton, Bud Polley and Arnie Vance

I was visiting the area looking at property and considering a full time re-location from Minnesota when I was in a traffic accident. The result was a very painful shoulder injury that would ultimately require bilateral RTC repairs. I was unable to undertake regular day-to-day activities or participate in my favorite sport – tennis. It was essential that I choose a shoulder specialist that could quickly set…

- Pat Cooper

Over the years we had seen several orthopedists in town but were never impressed. They seemed to lack knowledge or compassion or both. Then when Liza was in high school, she went to Sforzo | Dillingham | Stewart Orthopedics + Sports Medicine for a minor sports injury. They not only diagnosed her somewhat obscure problem, but explained things in a way that she understood without being patronizing…

- Liza, John and Betsy Kane-Hartnett

As a very busy business owner in Sarasota, having not one, but two, massive rotator cuff tears had a debilitating effect on both my personal and professional life. From my first consultation with Sforzo | Dillingham | Stewart Orthopedics + Sports Medicine, I knew I was in good hands. The surgeons are board-certified and fellowship-trained, which gave me the confidence in achieving a successful outcome. More importantly,…

- Bob Kirschner

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