How to find the right balance with pain management

(BPT) - If you're facing surgery soon, you may have concerns about pain management. In a 2018 Mayo Clinic survey, 94% of the adults surveyed said that they would choose an alternative to opioids for treatment after surgery, but only 1 in 4 actually talked to their healthcare professional about those alternatives. Successfully managing pain involves much more than treating it with either prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medicine. Recent research has shown that the most effective approach to pain relief is achieved by combining more than one method or therapy.

Coming up with a successful pain management plan requires having a frank discussion with your healthcare professional, but it also helps to consider your own preferences for treatment before having that conversation.

Create a plan

Take the first step in creating your pain management plan at This is a new pain management tool developed by the Get Relief Responsibly initiative from Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. The tool is a short interactive questionnaire — with just seven questions — that you can easily fill out online or on your mobile device.

After responding to basic questions about your goals, concerns and preferences about treatment options for pain, the tool then creates a customized discussion guide for you to review with your healthcare professional.

Using the tool may help you feel more informed about your choices and potential solutions, and together you can develop a strategy using a variety of methods and therapies. These could include prescription medicines, OTC pain relievers or non-drug methods like acupuncture, massage and/or physical therapy.

Safely use your medicines

In addition to the completed plan that captures your goals and the pain relief techniques you want to explore, the Pain Management Tool provides a clear one-page description of several common OTC pain relief medicines, listing their ingredients, dosing information and clear instructions for which medications should not be combined with others. Always read the drug facts label and instructions of any medication carefully before taking it. Make sure to tell your healthcare professional about all medications or supplements you're taking, including prescriptions, OTC medicines and vitamins, to avoid potentially harmful interactions.

Talk to a healthcare professional

The purpose of any pain management plan is to establish your goals, like getting back to work or going for walks, and to help you manage pain so you can get back to activities that mean the most to you. The tool can help you openly discuss concerns you have regarding treatment with your healthcare professional, and to gain a better understanding of your options.

For more information about the importance of pain management plans and your role in developing a care plan, visit To use the mobile-friendly tool, visit

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