Pain may be the result of injury, disease, surgery, or other medical procedures. It may also be brought on by stress or other emotional factors. Pain can also be an indicator that something's wrong in your body-- or in your life-- and needs your attention. How the pain is dealt with depends on its cause, which should be determined through proper examination and diagnosis. It's important to determine the source of what's really causing the pain. Once you do that, you may be able to treat the pain with something simple, such as over-the-counter analgesics, including aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen. Stronger medications, such as narcotics, require a doctor's prescription. Nerve blocks or electrical nerve stimulation are other treatments for severe pain. Chronic pain can affect every aspect of your life, not just your joints and muscles. More recent treatments for controlling pain involve alternatives to drugs and invasive procedures. These include biofeedback, acupuncture, total relaxation techniques, self-hypnosis, guided imagery, and movement therapy. In addition, nutrient supplements and improved diet may also help. Psychologists and psychiatrists can help deal with emotional pain and can help you 'psych' yourself with mental strategies to manage physical pain. Sometimes a combination of techniques works best. Changing certain lifestyle habits, rather than just masking the pain with painkillers, may result in eliminating pain at its source. For more information about how to manage pain, contact a health care professional.
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