Safely Managing Pain After Surgery
After surgery, doctors do everything they can to help you control your pain. Expect to feel some level of discomfort following surgery, especially the next day. Growing advancements in pain management makes it easier to monitor and decrease your pain.
To avoid the overuse of opiods, patients and surgeons are more interested in alternative methods like acupuncture in addition to the other usual forms of medications. We like to individualize each patients post-op plan and have found a combination of methods gives the best results.
Focus on the alternative approaches doctors use for your pain management.. To learn more about opiods and other medicines used to control pain after orthopaedic surgery: Managing Pain With Medications After Orthopaedic Surgery
K-Laser, also known as High Power Laser Therapy, targets damaged tissue with specific wavelengths of light that have been found to interact with tissue and accelerate the healing process.
TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)
During this treatment, a special device will elicit a low-level electrical charge into the area of the body that is experiencing pain.
A TENS unit is a small, battery operated machine with wires connected to electrodes. These electrodes connect near the area of pain or at the site of the pressure point. It delivers a mild electrical current to your skin and along the nerve fibers.You may feel a warm and tingling sensation. Treatment using TENS usually lasts 15-30 minutes per area per treatment.
Much research suggests that TENS is useful in easing pain following surgery. Also, it can be helpful to some who experience chronic low back pain. Usually, it is considered safe but the routine use of TENS is not recommended.
How does TENS Work?
Gate Control Theory: For us as humans to be able to feel pain, the sensation must pass a gate to get to access the brain. If the electrical current is absent, the pain is able to freely pass through a gate to enter the brain. When the electrical current is applied to these gates, it will achieve a threshold limit and will be unable to allow pain sensations to pass through.
Release of Endogenous Opiates: Some scientists believe that the method in which TENS works by is related to the neurons. Our body’s neurons release more of our body’s natural pain killers called “endorphins.” In conclusion, this will cause the body to feel pain.
Central Inhibitory Effect: TENS may also alter the way that the brain perceives and processes pain.
When to Avoid TENS
TENS may not work well for you if your pain is elicited by mental/emotional problems. Also, if you struggle with drug addiction, the TENS method will not work well.
TENS should not be used if you have any of the following conditions:
- Implanted medical device (defibrillator or pacemaker)
- Mental retardation
- Undiagnosed pain
PENS – percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
There is also an acupuncture version of TENS in which the electrical impulses are delivered to the needles rather than the original TENS method of electrode pads. This method is referred to as PENS (percutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.
CONTINUOUS PASSIVE MOTION
Continuous Passive Motion (CPM) is a technique utilized in which your joint is constantly in a mechanical splint to decrease stiffness and increase ROM. Fortunately, a CPM machine will assist your joints through the motion while preventing you from exerting your own effort.
Medical evidence supports the use of immobilization of joints will increase one’s pain level following surgery. In addition, early motion is applied to orthopaedic injuries following surgeries/procedures. Continuous Passive Motion is thought to be effective in treating conditions s
- Cartilage damage
- A bacterial infection inside a joint
- A fracture around a joint after it has been fixed with internal devices