Acute pain, such as occurs with trauma, often has a reversible cause and may require only transient measures and correction of the underlying problem. In contrast, chronic pain often results from conditions that are difficult to diagnose and treat, and that may take a long time to reverse. Some examples include cancer, neuropathy, and referred pain. Often, pain pathways (nociceptors) are set up that continue to transmit the sensation of pain even though the underlying condition or injury that originally caused pain has been healed. In such situations, the pain itself is frequently managed separately from the underlying condition of which it is a symptom, or the goal of treatment is to manage the pain with no treatment of any underlying condition (e.g. if the underlying condition has resolved or if no identifiable source of the pain can be found).
Medicine treats injury and pathology to support and speed healing; and treats distressing symptoms such as pain to relieve suffering during treatment and healing. When a painful injury or pathology is resistant to treatment and persists, when pain persists after the injury or pathology has healed, and when medical science cannot identify the cause of pain, the task of medicine is to relieve suffering. Treatment approaches to long term pain include pharmacologic measures, such as analgesics, tricyclic antidepressants and anticonvulsants.
Painrelieving drugs, otherwise called analgesics, include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, NSAIDs, acetaminophen, narcotics, antidepressants, anticonvulsants. Voltaren, Mobic treat pain or inflammation caused by arthritis or osteoarthritis.