In one sense, pain is one of the most useful things going on in our body. It's unbeatable as a warning system we have a physical problem that needs our attention. But it's also the worst of all things because, once we have the message, we can't switch it off. The same message keeps on going like a burglar alarm that won't shut off even though the thief is long gone. Whoever designed this system without an off-switch was not very intelligent. So, when the pain message keeps on playing, we need a way of managing the problem. Otherwise, it may keep us awake and wreck our lives.
The first step is to get a proper diagnosis of the cause of the pain. If this is real pain, there's no sense in guessing. You need a professional opinion. It's the old saying applied to lawyers: "A lawyer who acts for himself (herself) has a fool for a client." So unless it's obvious like a bleeding wound or broken bone, or the same old problem like arthritis, always get a doctor to confirm exactly what is wrong and to advise on the different treatments available. Sometimes, the proper approach is not obvious. For example, almost as soon as you have had treatment for some physical injuries, you should start exercising. Muscles lose their tone if you are inactive. More importantly, you sometimes need to build up muscles to compensate for an injury. So even though moving may be painful, the best treatment can sometimes be to work through the pain to heal more quickly.
Once you have had all the standard treatments for the underlying problem, you may be lucky and find the pain disappears. Congratulations, you are fully cured! If you are unlucky, the pain remains. This is the point at which the pain itself should be treated like a disease in its own right. Assuming there are no more effective treatments available for the cause, you now have to manage the pain. Except, of course, this is not easy. Many doctors take your complaint about continuing pain as a complaint about the quality of the treatment you have received. They take it personally and as a possible treat of an accusation of professional malpractice. They get very defensive, refuse to discuss your problem and resort to buying you off with painkillers. If you keep complaining, they give you stronger painkillers. This is a common problem and it's driven by the fear of litigation. No matter how good the insurance coverage, patients suing doctors damages their reputations and causes everyone to get stressed.
Effective pain management depends on the medical profession's willingness to accept criticism and focus on giving the best possible treatment to their patients. This may just be giving them Tramadol if they are in pain. It's an excellent drug. But there comes a time when a second opinion is called for in deciding whether Tramadol or another painkiller is the best option. That's where pain management comes in. Different doctors review the case and add options for helping you live with the pain.