Body aches are very common. Most are short-lived and not a cause for concern. In many cases, the source of the discomfort can be easily identified and addressed without the help of a physician. However, pain is also a symptom of many health conditions – some of which are potentially serious – so it’s important to recognize the need for medical attention and promptly seek it if necessary.
Minor aches and pains often respond well to simple home remedies. For instance, if you have sore muscles following an intense workout, you may benefit from taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication or applying an ice pack to the painful area. Likewise, a throbbing headache may improve after a warm bath or soothing foot rub. Pain may simply be your body’s way of telling you that you need to slow down a bit and take a short break, and it’s always best to heed this warning. Chances are, if you’ve experienced a similar pain in the past, you already know what works best for you.
Common pain treatments recommended by physicians
If you need to seek medical attention for your pain, a physician can help you explore your options for finding relief. For instance, he or she might recommend:
- Physical therapy – By regularly performing targeted stretches and exercises, you can increase your strength, flexibility and range of motion, allowing your muscles to assume some of the weight burden that is straining your joints.
- Joint injections – To reduce pain and inflammation in a specific joint, such as a knee, hip or shoulder, a physician can inject a local numbing agent combined with a steroid medication directly into the painful joint.
- Epidural steroid injections – To address neck or back pain, a physician can use X-ray guidance to precisely place a thin needle into the space surrounding your spinal cord, then inject a powerful steroid medication.
- Pain patches – Special adhesive patches can be applied to your skin to deliver a slow release of medication to help relieve superficial nerve pain.
- Compounding creams – Certain types of pain medications can be compounded into a cream form that can be topically applied to painful areas.
If you have questions about managing your pain during or after cancer treatment, you can request an appointment at Moffitt Cancer Center by calling 1-888-663-3488 or completing our new patient registration form online. We do not require referrals.