Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Pain Management

Pain management means getting the right treatment for physical and emotional pain, whether it is sharp, dull, aching, burning, strong or mild.

What is Pain?

However it feels, pain comes from messages between the brain and specialized nerves. Pain experiences vary from one person to another. Pain can be acute or chronic.

Acute pain is sudden and typically resolves within a certain amount of time, usually a few weeks to months. It can result from an illness, injury or surgery. Acute pain is normal and often serves as a protective response from your body. With acute pain, you will generally be encouraged to stay active and gradually return to your normal activities.

Chronic pain persists for generally three months or more. A Center for Disease Control report on chronic pain estimates it affects approximately 50 million U.S. adults. High-impact chronic pain that interferes with work or life most days or every day affects approximately 20 million U.S. adults.

Retrain your Brain

Pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. Unlike acute pain, chronic pain is not usually due to ongoing tissue injury. Injuries to muscles, bones, ligaments and disks usually heal in three to six months. To assist with treatment, it can be appropriate to use medications initially and then taper down over time according to a doctor’s care plan.

Chronic pain is often due to increased sensitivity of the nerves. This means that we must retrain the brain’s reaction to pain.

Active approaches are best for retraining the brain. Physical therapy, yoga, and general exercise are some examples. Diet and lifestyle also affect how our brain perceives pain.

Pain influences people’s lives and can affect your mood and stress levels. Finding ways to reduce stress can help treat pain by winding down the nervous system.

Treatments

Every person experiences and responds to pain differently. You are not alone and there is hope in behavioral, physical, and pharmacological alternative options. No single treatment works for everyone.

If you are experiencing pain, you and your provider can discuss and determine the best treatment plan for you.

You also may be interested in...

Five ways to manage chronic pain for military wellness

Article
9/30/2021
Military personnel fighting through the pain after a 12 mile ruck march

Ways to manage chronic pain for military wellness

Recommended Content:

Pain Management

New Opioid Antidote Prescriptions are Making Pain Management Safer

Article
9/29/2021
Airman holding a box of Narcan, an opioid overdose antidote called naloxone, in her hands.

Opioid antidote naloxone available in MHS

Recommended Content:

Opioid Safety | Pain Management

Your Pain on a Scale of 1-10? Check Out a New DOD Way to Evaluate Pain

Article
9/17/2021
Graphic of a bar graph

The Defense and Veterans Pain Rating Scale provides more and better ways to assess pain levels.

Recommended Content:

Pain Management

Virtual pain care skills training features 28 workshops, Simon Sinek

Article
8/30/2021
Dr. Christopher Spevak, an anesthesiologist and pain physician at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland will lead their Annual Virtual Pain Care Skills Training.

This is the largest pain military training in the country.

Recommended Content:

Pain Management | Pain Management

Opioid Safety: Common Prescription Opioids

Infographic
8/3/2021
Social media graphic on opioid safety showing list of opioid drugs

Heroin is one of the world’s most dangerous opioids but medicine in the United States would never use it. Common generic prescriptions include: Hydrocodone Oxycodone Oxymorphone Morphine Codeine Fentanyl Methadone

Recommended Content:

September Toolkit | Pain Management | Opioid Safety | Pain Management

Living with Pain Retrain Brain 2

Infographic
8/3/2021
 Social media graphic on pain management showing a brain

Opioid Safety – Living with Pain? Retrain your Brain! Change how the brain perceives pain with a healthy lifestyle.

Recommended Content:

September Toolkit | Pain Management | Pain Management

Pain Management Spotlight

Infographic
8/3/2021
Social media graphic on pain management

Pain management means getting the right treatment for physical and emotional pain, whether it is sharp, dull, aching, burning, strong or mild.

Recommended Content:

September Toolkit | Pain Management | Pain Management

Pain Management

Infographic
8/3/2021
Social media graphic on pain management

Pain management means getting the right treatment for physical and emotional pain, whether it is sharp, dull, aching, burning, strong or mild.

Recommended Content:

September Toolkit | Pain Management | Pain Management

Opioid Safety: Signs of Abuse

Infographic
8/3/2021
Social media graphic on opioid safety

Everyone who takes opioids is at risk for opioid poisoning (overdose), even if taken as prescribed, and should take appropriate precautions. If you have pain and your doctor prescribes opioids, there are things you can do to prevent overdose. Work with your doctor to create a plan. Know your options and consider ways you can manage pain without an opioid.

Recommended Content:

September Toolkit | Pain Management | Opioid Safety | Pain Management

Opioid Safety: Safety Precautions

Infographic
8/3/2021
Social media graphic on opioid safety showing precautions

Opioids can be highly addictive. Work with your doctor on a plan to take opioids safely and to taper off opioids when possible.

Recommended Content:

September Toolkit | Pain Management | Opioid Safety | Pain Management

Living with Pain Retrain Brain 1

Infographic
8/3/2021
Social media graphic on pain management through physical activity

Living with Pain? Retrain your Brain! Reduce sensitivity to pain with increased physical activity.

Recommended Content:

September Toolkit | Pain Management | Pain Management

Living with Pain Retrain Brain 3

Infographic
8/3/2021
Social media graphic on reducing stress to alleviate pain

Living with Pain? Retrain your Brain! Reduce stress to soothe your nervous system.

Recommended Content:

September Toolkit | Pain Management | Pain Management

Defense and Veterans Pain Rating Scale

Publication
5/10/2021

The Defense and Veterans Pain Rating Scale (DVPRS) is a graphic tool clinicians can use to facilitate self-reported pain diagnoses from patients.

Recommended Content:

Primary Care Behavioral Health | Pain Management

Back pain Infographic

Infographic
1/8/2021
Infographic featuring images of people with low back pain and explaining that TRICARE will waive cost-shares for up to three low back pain physical therapy sessions for  beneficiaries in ten demonstration states, if beneficiaries meet eligibility criteria.

Infographic featuring images of people with low back pain and explaining that TRICARE will waive cost-shares for up to three low back pain physical therapy sessions for beneficiaries in ten demonstration states, if beneficiaries meet eligibility criteria...

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Low Back Pain and Physical Therapy Demonstration Toolkit | Pain Management

Military Health podcasts provide resources for patients and providers

Article
11/6/2020
Hands holding a smartphone with the Living Beyond Pain podcast playing on the device.

Podcasts have become an increasingly popular way of getting information.

Recommended Content:

Technology | Pain Management | Connected Health
<< < 1 2 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 2

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.