Pain therapy in three stages
The classical pain therapy continues to work with drugs. Before a successful therapy is the exact diagnosis. The patient must be thoroughly examined, but above all, the pain must be assigned to the original trigger - that may be years ago. The doctor determines if the pain has a physical cause, such as a tumor, whether it is a malfunction of the nerves or pain receptors in the brain, or if there is a completely different cause.
Psychological and social aspects are also included in the diagnosis. For particularly intense chronic pain, it makes sense to visit the pain therapist.
- The first stage consists of weak analgesics. Here drug ingredients such as acetylsalicylic acid, paracetamol or diclofenac are represented.
- In the second stage, one uses medium-strong morphine-like agents, so-called weak opiates. These include the active ingredients tramadol, tilidine and naloxone.
- In the third stage, morphine and other morphine-like painkillers are administered. These are active ingredients such as morphine sulfate, buprenorphine or fentanyl.
So it is not surprising that painkillers are the bestsellers in pharmacies. Their annual turnover in Germany is around 500 million euros. The most important active ingredients are acetylsalicylic acid, ibuprofen and paracetamol. As early as around 2, 500 years ago, Hippocrates successfully treated pain and fever with the bitter extract of willow bark. This extract contained a high proportion of salicylic acid, the prototype of today's aspirin. Since then salicylates and later advanced acetysalicylic acid have been used successfully in pain therapy.