Chronic Pain is pain that persists for 3 months or more with conditions such as arthritis, nerve pain, back pain, fibromyalgia, headache, and cancer. Learn more about chronic pain management and the natural methods to relieve chronic pain.
Almost everyone experiences pain from time to time. When you cut a finger or pull a muscle, pain is your body's natural reaction to an accident or illness, and it serves as a warning that something is wrong. The pain normally subsides when your body heals from an injury or a disease. However, pain can persist long after the symptoms of an injury or illness have gone and become chronic for some people.
What is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts for three to six months or more. When you're in pain every day, it can have a negative impact on your mental and physical health. About a quarter of all people who suffer from chronic pain eventually develop chronic pain syndrome (CPS). This occurs when patients have symptoms other than pain, such as depression and anxiety.
Chronic Pain Syndrome has both physical and mental causes. Some doctors believe that patients with the illness have a problem with the body's stress-handling system of neurons and glands, and they experience pain in a different way because of this. According to some experts, it may also be a taught response that occurs when you repeat certain harmful behaviors while you’re in pain, even after the pain is gone or reduced.
The sensation of pain comes from a series of messages that zip through your nervous system. If you get injured, your body sends an electrical signal that travels from nerve to nerve until it reaches your brain, and the brain processes the signal and sends you the message that you're injured. The signal stops once the cause is resolved, and the body repairs the wound or injury. But with chronic pain, nerves continue to transmit signals even after the body repairs itself.
Chronic pain affects people of all ages and genders; however, it is more prevalent among women and can cause people to suffer from significant depression or other mental illnesses.
Acute Pain vs. Chronic Pain
Acute pain is sharp, sudden pain that generally does not last more than 3 - 6 months. It usually occurs suddenly and is triggered by a specific cause such as personal injuries, accidents, burns and cuts, and fractures. When the underlying cause for the discomfort is gone, the pain goes away immediately, and you can get back to your daily routine.
Chronic pain, on the other hand, is pain that persists for more than six months. It is usually ongoing even after the symptoms of a disease or injury are long gone. Even if there has been no prior accident or visible body damage, some people experience persistent pain. These conditions can include arthritis: neck pain, back pain, fibromyalgia, headaches, pinched nerves, and cancer.
Chronic pain syndrome is difficult to treat but not impossible. Counseling, physical therapy, and relaxation techniques are some of the therapies that can help relieve your pain and the other symptoms that come with it.
Chronic Pain Management
There are many ways to deal with pain, and not all involve taking medication. Chiropractors, physical therapists, and other pain specialists are experts in the use of various therapy techniques and modalities that address pain symptoms to help relieve pain in patients.
The best treatment for chronic pain is a multimodal treatment plan that includes interventions by physical therapist, chiropractor, and complementary and alternative medicine. The best results are achieved when the treatment of chronic pain treats concurrent mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety, and includes appropriate non-pharmacological and complementary therapies for pain management. These therapies that help manage chronic pain include:
Physical Therapy and Exercise
Acupuncture and Acupressure
Cold and Hot Therapy
Counseling and CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy)
Psychological Counseling, Talk therapy, and Cognitive- behavioral therapy can help manage pain, particularly psychogenic pain. These are therapies teach you how to manage suffering by changing the way you think about it. Other treatments like acupuncture and manual therapy help reduce stress that can trigger the pain. They manipulate specific spots on the body to relieve pain. Acupuncture causes the body to release endorphins, which can prevent pain signals from reaching the brain. These relaxation techniques help you control your body's functions, such as heart rate, breathing, and muscle tension, to reduce stress that trigger pain. Various physical therapy techniques can also help relieve pain. Physical therapists help you carry out your daily activities normally and teach you how to perform ordinary tasks in a new way to reduce discomfort and prevent harm. They will also introduce exercises that stretch and strengthen your body to help reduce pain and discomfort, and avoid injuries. Any pain management regimen should include regular exercise and physical therapy. Exercise is essential for pain alleviation. Tight muscles are the source of a lot of pain. Overuse, inflammation, and other diseases might cause these symptoms. Regular exercise is beneficial in the treatment of chronic pain because it strengthens muscles and improves joint mobility. You sleep better, endorphins are released, and overall pain is reduced. Since inflammation usually occurs because of chronic pain, cold or hot therapy can also help. Applying an ice pack on the affected area helps reduce blood flow by constricting blood vessels and slowing circulation in the area, which reduces inflammation that can cause pain.
The first step toward treatment is recognizing that chronic pain is a problem. Begin by discussing your persistent pain issues with your doctor. Together, you can pinpoint the source of your discomfort and devise a treatment strategy that takes into account your overall health and lifestyle.
Chronic pain can be treated in a variety of ways. Pain is commonly treated with over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drugs. Many patients, however, benefit from a mix of therapy.The treatment plan is determined by the type of pain, the cause (if known), and other factors that differ from person to person. Medication, lifestyle changes, and treatments are all used in the best treatment approaches.
When to See a Chiropractor or a Pain Specialist
Some discomfort is to be expected, especially if you've recently experienced an injury, illness, or surgery. If the pain is severe, doesn't go away, or prevents you from conducting your daily activities normally, see your doctor.
Chiropractors identify and treat the cause of chronic pain before attempting to alleviate it. However, there are situations when they are unable to locate the source. If that's the case, they'll focus on treating or controlling the discomfort.
Natural Care Chiropractic is committed to helping our chronic pain patients to alleviate their discomfort, regain their mobility and live a full, active, and pain-free life. Our board-certified pain specialists and trained experts work closely with patients using state-of-the-art techniques, equipment, and facilities to treat chronic pain and its underlying causes and plan the best treatment method for each individual.