How Can I Get Relief from My Postsurgical Pain?

Sep 01, 2023
How Can I Get Relief from My Postsurgical Pain?
If your postsurgical pain lingers longer than your doctor told you to expect, you need a way to find relief. Please keep reading to learn about the treatment options we offer.

You receive anesthesia when you’re having any kind of surgery so you don’t feel any pain while the surgeon is working and for a while afterward. At some point, though, the anesthesia is going to wear off, and the pain will hit. How bad it is depends on a number of factors, such as the invasiveness of the surgery, your age and overall health, and your individual pain threshold.

Pain is normal following a surgical procedure for a couple of days up to a week or two, by which time you should be well on the mend. However, some people’s postsurgical pain never goes away, leaving them dealing with a chronic condition and desperate to resolve it.

Primary care physician Dr. John Lewis and our team at Umbrella HealthCare understand how pain can derail your life, which is why we offer medical pain relief to help combat postsurgical pain and pain from other sources, as well. Here’s how we can help.

What is pain?

Pain is generally grouped in two categories: acute or chronic.

Acute pain usually results from a specific injury (including surgery), disease, and/or inflammation, and it may be accompanied by anxiety or emotional distress. It’s your body’s protective response to tissue damage, and its cause can be diagnosed and treated. The pain is also self-limiting, confined to a specific period of time and severity. In some cases, though, it can become chronic.

Chronic pain is a medical disease worsened by environmental and psychological factors. It persists over a long period of time and can be difficult to manage. People with chronic pain often live with more than one painful condition and have an increased risk for developing difficulties with physical functioning, cognition, and emotional responses from those conditions.

To sense pain, your body contains thousands of specialized sensory neurons (nociceptors) that trigger an electrical impulse when encountering a painful stimulus. The signal travels through nerves from the injured/damaged site to the spinal cord and up to the brain. Nociceptors in the head and face relay pain signals directly to the brain stem, where the body’s pain pathways converge.


One brain region that receives pain signals is the thalamus, essentially a relay station that distributes sensory signals to a number of other brain regions, including those in the cortex. The cortex processes the nociceptive information from the body and produces what we experience as pain, including where the pain is located, just how unpleasant it is, and how we can avoid it.

Researchers have discovered that many of the brain systems involved with experiencing pain overlap with the experience of basic emotions. As a result, when people experience negative emotions (e.g., fear, anxiety, anger), the same brain systems that control those emotions also magnify the experience of pain.

How can I get relief from my postsurgical pain?

At Umbrella HealthCare, our team offers a variety of medical pain relief options. We always start with the conservative options, but if they don’t reduce your pain enough, we progress to more advanced interventions. Some of the modalities we offer include:

Physical therapy

Physical therapy is an invaluable resource for musculoskeletal conditions and injuries. It combines active stretching and strengthening exercises designed to build up weakened or damaged tissues, plus passive therapies like massage and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to “reset” your pain dial..

Pain medications

Over-the-counter pain medicines, such as acetaminophen and naproxen, can reduce most mild-to-moderate pain. For severe acute pain, you might need stronger prescription painkillers, such as opioids. Because these drugs can be highly addictive, we prescribe them sparingly.

Other medications

Low-dose tricyclic antidepressants and anti-seizure medicines are often used “off label” to reduce chronic pain. Cannabidiol (CBD), derived from industrial hemp or the marijuana plant, can relax muscles and relieve pain. Unlike THC, though, it has no psychoactive properties.

Steroid injections

Steroids are strong anti-inflammatory drugs, and if you reduce inflammation, you often reduce pain. We inject steroids into damaged joints and tissues, where they have a long-lasting effect.

Advanced medical pain relief

Some patients don’t respond to any of these treatments; in these cases, we often refer them to a pain specialist or orthopedist who can perform advanced therapies like selective nerve blocks, epidural steroid injections, radiofrequency ablation, spinal cord stimulation, and intrathecal pain pump implantation.


Medical pain relief is just one part of managing chronic pain. The Umbrella HealthCare team also offers counseling services that help with emotional difficulties and mental health problems like depression and anxiety, which often occur alongside chronic pain.

If your postsurgical pain has passed its expiration date and you’re desperate for relief, Umbrella HealthCare can help. Give us a call at 623-242-1389 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Lewis, or book online today.