Active Vs Passive Pain Management: What’s the Difference?

October 26, 2022

Technically defined as the “branch of medicine concerned with treating pain,” pain management approaches pain as an “abnormal condition that negatively affects the body,” and then applies the full power of modern medicine to treat it. Moreover, by providing both active and passive interventions, pain management doctors are able to provide the care that patients need, to function properly and improve their quality of life.

In this informative post, learn about these two approaches to pain management and why they’re important, and discover how a pain management doctor in Austin can provide both of them.

The Difference Between Active & Passive Pain Management

Because acute and chronic pain can be challenging to eliminate completely, pain management doctors often need to utilize a combination of techniques and methods to treat pain, both in the short run and the long run. This is where active and passive pain management comes into play.

Active pain management involves actively participating in various activities to relieve your pain, whereas passive pain management involves working with a pain specialist (or other medical practitioner) to treat your pain for you. 

Common Active Pain Management Interventions

Active pain management activities include a vast variety of techniques, many of which you can perform yourself with a bit of instruction and practice. Yoga, for example, and similar exercises is a well known active pain management technique. By incorporating physical poses with breathing and stretching, yoga can help strengthen the body and improve flexibility, balance, and coordination. Various exercises and stretching can also help ease chronic pain—both by strengthening your core, loosening up your muscles, and, even, helping you better manage stress which could be contributing to your discomfort. 

Common Passive Pain Management Interventions

Passive pain management activities include any and all interventions that require outside help—such as a Texas pain management doctor—to provide the treatment. This includes everything from stimulation and massage, to physical therapy, TENs therapy, and acupuncture. Medication and epidural injections are also considered “passive” treatment modalities, since they provide relief without your physical involvement. 

Which is Better?

Active and passive interventions are both effective at treating pain. That’s why, instead of asking “which one is better?” it’s better to consider which one you really need. 

Generally, passive interventions are good at providing immediate pain relief, whereas active interventions which typically take longer are better at providing pain relief that lasts. Moreover, whereas active treatments can improve your day-to-day physical and emotional functioning (as well as enhance your sense of self-efficacy), passive treatments can provide the relief you need to make it possible for you to participate in those activities. 

By working with a pain management doctor, you can ensure both active and passive treatment methods are incorporated in your treatment plan, so that you experience the relief you need to function properly in the short-term, as well as long-term solution for treating it in the long term.

Why Seeing A Pain Management Doctor Is Important

Another thing to keep in mind is both the active and passive treatments your doctor recommends should be dependent on your specific condition. Neck pain, for example, which is often caused by sleeping uncomfortably can be relieved by both massage therapy (a passive treatment) and by changing your mattress (an active one.) That said, we wouldn’t recommend doing either if you’re suffering from a migraine or a herniated disc. 

That’s why it’s important to work with a pain management doctor who can make the best pain care recommendations based on your unique condition and circumstances.

Work with A Pain Management Doctor in Austin

When it comes to treating debilitating pain, patients have many options to choose from. Not only can you choose between different types of medical specialists, but from a wide variety of treatment options. Unfortunately, this abundance of choice can easily overwhelm patients, causing many of them to wait and research their options, which can often exacerbate their pain even more.

If you’re suffering from acute or chronic pain in Austin and need relief from your pain—don’t wait—contact us today! One of our professional pain management doctors can assess your whole condition and recommend a combination of interventions—including both active and passive treatments—to fully relieve your pain. 

If you're looking for short and long term pain management in Austin, Kyle, or Dripping Springs, choose Greater Austin Pain Center to manage your pain today!

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People often experience different levels of pain that need different types of pain care management. We can help you find a customized pain relief regimen that addresses the root issues. Please contact one of our pain clinics today to schedule an appointment!

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