Spinal Cancer Pain Management & Control
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Pain Management for Spinal Cancer
Managing pain during spinal cancer treatment is important to the healing process. Unrelieved pain interferes with everything in your life, including your appetite, energy level, and mobility, as well as your ability to tolerate treatment.
The pain management team at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) will help control your spinal cancer pain so you can use your energy to fight the disease.
Your Individualized Pain Management Plan
Pain associated with spinal cancer is generally related to the tumor size and location. Since there are many different tumors that can form in the spinal cord and column, pain varies for each individual.
Upon your arrival at CTCA, you’ll meet with a pain management practitioner to assess your pain. We’ll also use information from your diagnostic tests, including your physical exam, medical history and imaging tests, to assess your spinal cancer pain.
Then, we’ll work with you to formulate an individualized plan that includes pain control methods best suited to you. Throughout your spinal cancer treatment, your pain management practitioner will meet with you regularly to reassess your pain.
Pain Control Methods for Spinal Cancer
Your pain management practitioner may use any of the following to control pain throughout your spinal cancer treatment:
Pharmacological pain relief
- Orally (anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-convulsants, narcotics)
- By injection (e.g., spinal opiods, steroids)
- As a lozenge or mouth rinse
- As a suppository
- Topically, such as a continuous-release pain patch (e.g., fentanyl, lidocaine)
- Through a patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) pain pump
Non-pharmacological pain relief
- Nerve block
Because of the complex nature of cancer-related pain, successful pain management for cancer patients usually involves a combination of techniques.
Your Care Team Collaborates to Control Your Pain
The CTCA pain management team is fully integrated with the other disciplines offered at the hospital. In addition to the pain control methods mentioned above, your spinal cancer pain management plan may include one or more supportive therapies:
- Naturopathic medicine - uses natural therapies, including amino acids, fish oil, herbs and vitamin complexes to repair nerve damage and reduce neuropathic pain.
- Acupuncture - uses thin needles applied to specific areas of the body (acupoints) to stimulate energy flow and relieve pain.
- Oncology rehabilitation - uses physical and occupational therapies and massage to increase strength, improve mobility and reduce pain.
- Mind-body medicine - uses counseling and relaxation techniques to alleviate symptoms contributing to pain, such as depression or anxiety.
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