While I believe in looking for natural alternatives first, there are times when medications to control pain can be a good thing. An example would be right after extensive surgery. In the past, a patient in a hospital might not get enough pain medication to control their pain. The reason could be because it "wasn't time for another pill" or the doctor was afraid that the person might become addicted to the pain medication.
Recent research has show that the reduction and elimination of pain can actually be a tremendous boost to faster healing with the patient having fewer emotional scars.
That difficulty has just changed. An organization that certifies the quality and safety of most medical facilities in the US has developed the equivalent of a patient's pain bill of rights. They require that:
All patients have their pain assessed and managed appropriately.
Patients must be asked to rate their level of pain.
The results must be documented.
This still means a person must tell the doctor or nurse that they are in pain. Be pro-active. Ask about side effects and well as different drugs.