The common cause of cancer pain tends to come from the tumor growing into nearby tissue. Sometimes, cancer may spread to the spinal cord and press into the nerves. As a result, a person may experience back or neck pain. You may suffer from bone pain, which occurs when cancer reaches the bone. You also can sustain pain from surgery and treatments. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments have several side effects.
It is not surprising that you or a loved one with cancer develops pain. Fortunately, there are solutions to help relieve cancer pain.
What to Look for
It is necessary to know when you or a loved one is experiencing cancer pain. Some of the signs include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Difficult to move around
- Pain that does not go away, or it goes away but returns
- New areas of pain
One way to reduce cancer pain is by using pain relievers. They are the most common method of easing discomfort. They are effective in relieving the side effects of chemotherapy. There are over-the-counter medications available for you to use. They include:
There are some antidepressants that help treat cancer pain. Each person’s body reacts differently to different medications. It is important to take pain relievers exactly as prescribed.
Spinal Cord Stimulation
If you experience back pain due to cancer or cancer treatment, then spinal cord stimulation may be a solution. For this procedure, the doctor will implant a small device near the spine. The device will send low-current impulses to the nerves, which block pain signals from reaching the brain. A spinal cord stimulator uses an electrical wire and a generator, and you can use the generator to control the stimulation. The procedure is safe, and the currents are not painful.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation
You can seek therapy if other means of treating pain are not effective. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) involves using low-voltage electrical currents on the affected areas. Your doctor will place electrodes onto your skin and send electrical impulses. As a result, nerves are prevented from sending pain signals. It is often used to treat osteoarthritis and lower back pain. The treatment is safe and has little to no side effects.
TENS provides the potential for relieving cancer pain. In a 2015 study, patients were given a trial of TENS. They used the stimulation for four to six times a day for at least thirty minutes. Of the 87 participants, 84 stated they saw improvement. 69% of patients reported benefits of TENS during a follow-up. The results showed that TENS is more effective in reducing bone pain.
It is necessary to treat the painful areas that come from treatments. Try to avoid using TENS on areas with cancer. Cancer growth relies on angiogenesis and blood flow. There is no need to worry, however, because high-frequency TENS has no clinically significant effect on blood flow.
Another solution to cancer pain is regenerative therapy. Regenerative therapy involves stimulating amniotic stem cells to create brand new, healthy tissue. This treatment aids areas that have damaged tissue. Since tumors can destroy tissue, you may benefit from the therapy. There are a variety of tissues that can get treated, such as bone and muscles.
Regenerative therapy is often used to treat chronic back pain. It may relieve back pain that is a result of cancer pressing on the nerves in the spine. You can undergo surgery or radiation treatment to remove the tumor and follow up with a regenerative therapy session.
This treatment is administered through an injection, using stem cells from the amnion lining in the placenta. It is completely safe for patients, and you will be able to go home on the same day as well.
It is not always easy to treat cancer pain. Gateway Pain Solutions is dedicated to providing quality patient care. To learn how to relieve your cancer pain, contact us today.