What is Chronic Pain?
Many people all over the world suffer from chronic pain. Chronic pain may occur in episodes or it may be continuous in nature. It may be mild and simply cause discomfort, or it may be severe and cause incapacitation. In order to find effective treatments for chronic pain, it is essential to first understand the nature of chronic pain.
The sensation of pain is experienced due to nerve signals sent to and from the brain. In the case of chronic pain, these signals keep firing for extended periods of time. So, people may experience recurring or continuous pain for several months or even years.
What are the Symptoms?
There are various symptoms of chronic pain. The pain can range from mild to severe and it persists for a long period of time. Individuals experiences different types of pain, such as:
- Shooting pain
- Electrical pain
- Burning pain
- Aching in nature
In most cases, the pain is coupled with other symptoms which may include fatigue and sleepiness. People may have difficulty in working because they constantly feel the need to rest. The immune system may also be weakened. The individual may also experience mood changes that can be caused by several factors such as:
- Feeling of hopelessness
What Techniques are Effective for Managing Your Chronic Pain?
The management of chronic pain is an ongoing process. Living with chronic pain is difficult, and many people find that they are unable to lead a productive life. The focus should be on managing the pain to reduce the amount of psychological stress. Patients should be aware of techniques they can use everyday to manage their pain.
The best techniques involve a combination of medication and treatments to reduce inflammation. Patients suffering from depression may seek the help of a licensed therapist. If your chronic pain does not abate, then some professionals recommend electrical stimulation therapies that have been known to reduce pain. Injection therapy can also reduce pain caused by misfiring nerves. Patients need to try different methods in order to find what works best for them.
Effective Treatments for Chronic Pain
The treatments for chronic pain depend on the root cause of the pain. The basic aim of treatment is to help patients return to a normal way of life. This may include improving sleep patterns and learning skills to cope with the stress of constant pain. The severity of the pain will also determine the method of treatment that is used.
Doctors recommend chronic pain sufferers to regularly engage in some form of mild physical activity such as walking or swimming. A well-balanced diet, which includes food rich in vitamins B and D, is an important part of treatment. A dietician can prescribe an appropriate diet.
People suffering from chronic pain must ensure that they get enough sleep. Pain medications prescribed may include anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin. However, such medication cannot be used as long-term treatment for chronic pain. Some doctors recommend complementary treatment methods such as meditation and acupuncture.
Experts today believe that chronic pain may stem from various sources. Chronic pain may also be caused by:
- Aggravates joint pain
- Back Pain
- Sinus pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Pain in certain parts of our body, such as the neck, pelvis, and shoulders also have a tendency to lead to severe chronic pain
While chronic pain may result from some form of injury or trauma, there are instances where a person suffering from chronic pain does not exhibit any outward signs of damage to the body. So, many causes of chronic pain are unknown.
The US Health Institute is currently carrying out research to find better treatment methods for managing chronic pain. The emotional stress caused by such pain may cause severe psychological distress. Proper management of pain is essential for leading a quality life.