Usually, the pain that lasts at least for 12 weeks is defined as chronic pain. It can be intermittent or steady. It can come and go without any apparent reason. It can be felt dull or sharp, causing an aching or burning sensation in the affected areas. Also, the pain can be felt differently in the affected areas.
Lack of proper chronic pain management can reduce your strength, endurance, flexibility along with limiting your mobility. This definitely makes your daily life more challenging as it becomes difficult to get through various daily activities and tasks.
According to various medical study reports, almost 1.5 billion people worldwide suffer from this chronic pain. In the country alone, almost 100 million people are affected by this pain. Here is a list of some of the common types of chronic pain:
- Postsurgical pain
- Arthritis pain
- Post-trauma pain
- Neurogenic pain that is caused by any damage in the nerve
- Lower back pain
- Psychogenic pain that is not caused by an injury, nerve damage, or any disease
- Cancer pain
Causes of Chronic Pain
Without realizing the underlying causes of the pain, treating it or getting the right chronic pain management plan will be tough. Here is a list of some of the most common causes of it:
- Sometimes, normal aging can affect the joints and bones, causing chronic pain.
- Nerve damage or nerve injuries that have not been healed properly are another cause of this pain.
- Some types of chronic pain can have more than one influencing factor. For instance, back pain can be caused by either a single factor or can be caused by any combination of the following factors:
- Poor posture for years
- Being overweight that puts extra strain on the knees and back
- Carrying heavy objects or improper lifting of heavy objects
- Traumatic injury
- Degenerative changes in the spine due to normal aging
- Wearing high heels
- Any congenital condition like spine curvature
- Sleeping on the poor mattress
- Diseases like osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis can cause chronic pain. Also, ailments such as cancer, AIDS, stomach ulcers, gallbladder disease, and multiple sclerosis can cause persistent pain.
How to Manage Chronic Pain?
Usually, chronic pain interferes with the daily life activities of the affected persons keeping them from doing many things that they need to do or want to do. Thus, it can leave an impact on the psychological dimension resulting in low self-esteem, making the affected person depressed, angry, frustrated, and anxious. Hence, the chronic pain management plan can involve different types of curative steps having main objectives of reducing pain along with boosting mobility.
The frequency and severity of this pain can be different for individuals. Hence, the medical experts need to create specific chronic pain management plans for individuals depending on the underlying health conditions and the symptoms.
Lifestyle Changes to Deal with Chronic Pain
Along with the necessary medications, the following lifestyle remedies can help you in dealing with chronic pain.
- Physical therapy
- Music and art therapy
- Pet therapy
Also, doing regular exercise is another vital part of the chronic pain management plan. According to many health care professionals, regular exercise can help with the following aspects:
- Strengthening of muscles
- Release of endorphins
- Increase in joint mobility
- Reducing overall pain
- Improving sleep
Medical Marijuana or Cannabis
Even though controversies are associated with the use of cannabis in managing symptoms of many serious illnesses such as multiple sclerosis and cancer, many recent medical research reports have reflected facts on this plant’s medicinal properties and positive impacts on managing the chronic pain. Cannabis is now legal in many states in the country for medical use. However, consulting the doctor before taking it is necessary.
Another great way to manage chronic pain is biofeedback that involves measurement information on various physical characteristics like brain activity, heart rate, muscle tension, and skin temperature. To enhance the awareness of an individual on the changes associated with the pain or stress, biofeedback is used. This awareness can help the affected person in managing the emotional and physical pain.
Acupressure and Acupuncture
These two are types of traditional Chinese medicine. These techniques involve managing chronic pain by manipulating the different key points of the body. Such techniques help in releasing the endorphins that block the feeling of pain.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
This chronic pain management process involves applying a small electric current to the specific nerves of the body. This current triggers the endorphin release and interrupts the signals for pain.
If you are suffering from chronic pain, to get the right treatment, consulting a health care professional as soon as possible is of utmost importance in this case.