Tips for Managing Pain From Sickle Cell Disease: How to Get Relief

Tips for Managing Pain From Sickle Cell Disease: How to Get Relief
Tips for Managing Pain From Sickle Cell Disease

A typical issue for those with sickle cell disease is pain. The illness is brought on by sickle-shaped red blood cells, which clog small blood arteries and prevent blood flow. This can result in an abrupt onset of a pain episode or crisis, typically affecting the lower back, arms, legs, chest, and abdomen. For others, the health complications resulting from sickle cell disease may lead to chronic pain that worsens over time. Sickle cell pain can be challenging to manage, and it may have an impact on your mental well-being by increasing stress and depressive symptoms.

But there are several choices available to help you get relief from sickle cell pain, regardless of the kind you have. Consult your physician about developing a pain management strategy.

How to Manage a Pain Crisis

Over-the-counter analgesics such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin), acetaminophen (Panadol, Tylenol), or aspirin (Bayer, Bufferin) can typically relieve pain after an incident. (Aspirin should not be taken by anyone under the age of 19.) Other items that might be helpful are as follows:

  • Drink fluids, like as water, as soon as your symptoms appear. By staying hydrated, you can prevent an attack from getting worse.
  • Take a warm bath or use a heating pad.
  • Try some relaxation techniques, acupuncture, or massage therapy.
  • Take up a task to distract yourself from your suffering. Listen to music, watch TV, or make phone calls.

The majority of people can manage a pain crisis at home by themselves. However, you or your child might need to visit the hospital for additional care if the pain doesn't go away or is extremely bad. It could be necessary for your doctor to administer IV fluids to you or to prescribe stronger analgesics.

Many medical professionals assist patients with sickle cell disease in developing a pain management strategy. It can lead you through particular procedures so you can manage your discomfort on your own. It can also assist other medical professionals, such as nurses or paramedics, in knowing how best to assist you in an emergency. Before an attack, ask your doctor to assist you in creating one.

When taken regularly, the medications hydroxyurea (Droxia, Hydrea, Siklos) or voxelotor (Oxbryta) may reduce the frequency of pain episodes in both adults and children. For sickle cell discomfort, L-glutamine (Endari) may help you need fewer or shorter hospital stays. Crizanlizumab-tmca, a monoclonal antibody, is the most recent drug to be approved by the FDA (Adakveo). It is SSD's first focused treatment. It lessens vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC), which can hurt and harm organs, by preventing red blood cell clumping. Find out from your doctor if either medication is appropriate for you or your kid.

Help for Chronic Pain

Sickle cell disease can have excruciating long-term repercussions, particularly in adults. For instance, insufficient blood flow can lead to chronic pain and damage to the bones and joints.

Your doctor may prescribe daily medicines to help with persistent pain. To support your back or limbs, they could also suggest orthopaedic devices or physical therapy. Additionally, in certain situations, doctors could advise surgery to address an issue that is causing you pain or to temporarily numb a nerve to provide you with relief.

Find Support for Sickle Cell Pain

It can be difficult to live with sickle cell disease, particularly in young people. Individuals who experience pain frequently may struggle with despair and anxiety. Due to their condition, they could feel excluded or singled out from activities that others find enjoyable. These emotions may exacerbate additional issues that the illness may bring on.

Counselling or psychotherapy may be able to help if you're feeling depressed, anxious, or overwhelmed. Speak with a mental health expert about your issues to discover dependable, healthful strategies for managing pain and other sickle cell disease concerns.

Additionally, find out from your physician or nurse about support groups that allow you to interact with other sickle cell disease patients and their families. You can discuss how life is with the illness and receive guidance on managing pain and other difficulties together.


What can I drink for sickle cell?

8 to 10 glasses of water

What pain reliever is good for sickle cell patients?

Diclofenac and ibuprofen

Does massage help with sickle cell pain?

Massage is an inexpensive and easy way to manage pain

Is banana good for sickle cell?

These benefits are especially advantageous for people with sickle cell anemia

How long can a sickle cell patient live?

52.6 years

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