How to approach the management of acute pain?
Along with the previously listed items, the patient should also be questioned about what they have tried to relieve the pain, over-the-counter nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), brief activity modification, and what has been the response to these interventions. Treatment objective for acute injury is to manage pain while promoting self-healing to jump-start activity. Pain management may be in the form of NSAID use, neuro-modulating agents (Neurontin, Lyrica), muscle relaxants, steroids, or narcotic pain medications. Interventional pain management in the form of steroid epidural injections, nerve blocks, or steroid joint injections may also be used. One must also encourage patients to reintegrate back into daily routine and work-related activities. Physical therapy may help encourage movement and functional reintegration. Should the patient experience red flags such as bowel/bladder changes, focal extremity weakness, signs or symptoms of myelopathy or other emergent central nervous system damage, immediate attention should be made to treat the issue seriously