Do you know that Chronic Pain can limit your mobility and reduce your flexibility?
Everyone experiences body aches and pains.
In act, student pain is often a reaction of the nervous system that helps alert you to possible injury.
Moreover, when an injury occurs, the pain signals travel from the injured area to your spinal cord and then to your brain.
Pain often becomes less severe as your injury heals.
However, chronic pain is different from typical pain that occurs from an injury.
During chronic pain, your body continues to send pain signals to your brain, even after the injury heals.
Furthermore, it can also last from several weeks to years.
This pain also limits your movements, flexibility, strength, and endurance.
Thus, making it challenging o get through daily tasks and activities.
Keep on reading to learn more about it in detail.
Understanding Chronic Pain
Many doctors define chronic pain that lasts at least 12 weeks.
The pain might be sharp or dull, thus, causing a burning or aching sensation in the affected area.
Moreover, it may be steady or intermittent, comes and goes without any apparent reason.
Chronic pain can affect almost every part of your body.
However, the pain can feel in various affected areas of your body.
Some of the most common types of chronic pain are:
- post-surgical pain
- post-trauma pain
- lower back pain
- cancer pain
- arthritis pain
- neurological pain or the one that occurs due to nerve damage
- psychological pain or the pain that occurs due to disease, injury, or nerve damage
According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, more than 1.5 billion people all around the world have chronic pain.
Moreover, it is the common cause of long-term disability in the United States, affecting about 100 million Americans.
Causes of Chronic Pain
Chronic pain often occurs by an initial injury like a back strain or a pulled muscle.
Moreover, doctors believe that chronic pain often develops after nerves become damaged.
The nerve damage also makes the pain more intense and long-lasting.
In such cases, treating the underlying injury may not even resolve the chronic pain.
In some cases, however, you may experience chronic pain without any prior injury.
The exact cause of chronic pain without injury is not well understood.
The pain, in some cases, results from an underlying medical condition.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: It is characterized by an extreme, prolonged weariness that is often accompanied by pain.
Fibromyalgia: This is widespread pain in the bones and muscles.
Interstitial Cystitis: A chronic disorder that is marked by bladder pressure and pain.
Vulvodynia: Chronic vulva pain that occurs without any obvious reasons.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease: IBD is a group of conditions that causes painful, chronic inflammation in the digestive tract.
Endometriosis: A painful disorder that occurs when the uterine lining grows outside of the uterus.
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction: TMJ is a condition that causes painful clicking, popping or locking of the jaw.
Symptoms of Chronic Pain
One of the important things to note is that chronic pain can range from mild to severe.
Moreover, it can continue day after day or come and go.
The pain can feel like a dull ache, throbbing, burning, shooting, and squeezing sensation.
Furthermore, you may also feel sensations like stinging, soreness, and stifness.
In some cases, pain is just one of the many symptoms.
This can also include the following:
Feeling very tired or wiped out, loss of appetite, trouble sleeping, and mood changes.
It can also come along with weakness and lack of energy.
Risk of Developing Chronic Pain
It is important to note that chronic pain can affect anyone at any age.
However, it is most common in older adults.
Other than age, some of the other factors can also increase your risk of developing chronic pain.
- being female
- being obese or overweight
- having an injury
- undergoing a surgery
Getting a Diagnosis
In case of chronic pain that cause disturbance in your daily life routine, you will need to visit your docotr.
During your visit, your doctor ill ask aboutany illness or injury that might have started the pin.
Moreover, they will also ask other question that will help them to learn about the type of pain you are feeling and how long you have had it.
These questions might include:
When did the pain begin, where does it hurt, what does it feel like, severity of the pain, and triggers.
Make sure to inform your doctor about any pain relief medications you might have taken to releive it.
Furthermore, imaging tests can also help you doctor to determine whether there is joint damage or other problem that my be contributing to it.
These tests includes CT scan that shows a detailed images inside your body.
MRI that uses magnets and radio waves to make pictures of organs and structures inside your body.
X-ray that uses tradition in low doses to make images of structures in your body.
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The main goal of the treatment for chronic pain is to reduce pain and boost mobility.
This helps you to return to your daily routine activities without any discomfort or pain.
Moreover, the severity and frequency of chronic pain can vary or differ among different individuals.
Thus, doctors often create pain management plans that are specific to each individual.
Your pain management will depend on the symptoms you experience and any underlying medical condition.
With the help of medical treatments, lifestyle remedies, or a combination of these methods, your doctor can help to treat your chronic pain.
Medications for Chronic Pain
Different types of medications are available that can help you to treat chronic pain.
The following are a few examples of such medications:
Over-the-counter pain relievers: These include acetaminophen, or Tylenol, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, NSAIDs like aspirin, (Bufferin), or ibuprofen (Advil).
Opioid Pain Relievers: Includes morphine, MS Contin, codeine, and hydrocodone, Tussigon
Adjuvant analgesics: like antidepressants and anticonvulsants.
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Medical Procedures for Chronic Pain
Your doctor may recommend certain medical procedures that can also provide relief from chronic pain.
Some of the examples your doctor may recommend are:
Electrical Stimulation: It helps to reduce pain by sending mild electric shocks into your muscles.
Nerve Block: This is an injection that prevents nerves from sending pain signals to your brain.
Acupuncture: This technique involves lightly pricking your skin with needles that help to alleviate pain.
Surgery: Surgery helps to correct injuries that may have healed improperly and that may be contributing to the pain in your body.
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With the help of different lifestyle remedies that are available, you can ease chronic pain.
These examples are:
- physical pain
- tai chi
- art and music therapy
- pet therapy
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Difference between Acute and Chronic Pain
Acute pain often comes on suddenly and is due to something specific.
Moreover, it is sharp in quality and does not last longer than 6 months.
It goes away when there is no longer an underlying cause for the pain in your body.
Some of the causes of acute pain are as follows:
Surgery, broken bones, dental work, burns or cuts, labor, and childbirth.
Mot often when acute pain goes away, you can go on with life as usual.
On the other hand, chronic pain is ongoing and lasts longer than 6 months.
This type of pain can often continue even after the injury or illness heals or goes away.
Pain signals remain active in your nervous system for weeks, months, or even years.
In some cases, if you have chronic pain, there may be no past injury or apparent body damage causing it.
Chronic pain is linked to certain conditions. These are:
Headaches, arthritis, nerve pain, back pain, cancer, etc.
Moreover, if you have chronic pain, then the stress will also affect the body and thus produces physical conditions.
- tense muscles
- limited ability to move
- lack of injury
- changes in appetite
It is important to note that chronic pain can also cause emotional effects.
These include depression, anger, anxiety, and fear of re-injury.
Additionally, fear of re-injury can limit your ability to return to work or leisure activities.
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Dealing with Chronic Pain
It is important to note that there is no cure for chronic pain.
However, the condition that causes it can be managed successfully.
Thus, it is important to stick to the pain management plan in order to help relieve your symptoms.
Moreover, it is important to note that physical pain is related to emotional pain.
Building emotional skills can help you to cope with any stress that comes with your conditions.
Some of the steps that you can take to reduce stress are as follows:
Take Good Care of your Body
Eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising daily can help you to keep your body healthy and even reduce feelings of stress.
Taking part in Daily Activities
You can take steps to boost your mood and decrease stress by participating in certain activities you enjoy.
Moreover, socializing with your friends can also help.
It can often make it challenging to perform certain daily routine tasks.
However, isolating yourself can give you a more negative outlook on your condition and even increase your sensitivity to pain.
Your family, friends, and support groups can help you and offer comfort during difficult times.
Whether you are having trouble with daily tasks or you are simply in need of an emotional boost, a close friend o a loved one can help you and provide the support you need.