Pain can at times be debilitating. Many with haemophilia experience pain due to their condition, so part of living with a bleeding disorder is finding ways to better manage pain, whether at it’s source if due to a bleed or ongoing symptoms. Acute, short-term pain may be felt in a joint or muscle at the onset of a bleed, and may worsen if treatment is not readily available. At the first sign of acute pain, clotting factor is recommended.
Long-term pain is defined as chronic. It can be caused by repreated joint damage and prevails more in older members. Preventive measures can help stop syptoms from worsening over the years, so good management of acute pain is key.
Acute pain treatment
Pain from bleeds can be alleviated by giving clotting factor replacement to slow bleeding. Warm or cold compresses may ease acute pain as will elevating or supporting your arm or leg with a pillow or splint. Warm baths can help relax tired muscles. Make sure that should the pain be ongoing, you seek the intervention of your haemophilia nurse. This will ensure that the pain does not relate to the development of inhibitors or some other source.
Can I take pain meds?
It is fine to medicate with pain relievers, just make sure that the medicine does not interfere with your disorder. For example, Aspirin can affect platelet function and should be avoided. Best to consult first your pharmacist or haemophilia doctor before proceeding.
Chronic pain treatment
Chronic pain can take its toll at times but there are still treatments out there. Talk to your haemophilia centre or a specialist physio who can suggest ways of longer term management. This could include strengthening exercises or referral to mental health support.