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Chronic Pain

<Chronic pain can affect anyone regardless of age, race or occupation. More people are disabled by this condition than cancer and heart disease. Despite being a major health problem it has continued to receive less funding and attention from researchers until recently.

Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain

Acute pain is usually triggered by the nervous system as a warning to take precaution or avoid possible injury. Sever pain comes in a different mode. It persists for over six months or an uncertain duration. Pain signals remain targeted at the nervous system for many weeks that could run into months or even years.

This pain condition is a little understood disease that comes with little sympathy for the sufferers. Because it is not obviously spotted like a cast on a broken leg, it may lead to a drug seeking stigma. One can be thought of as a painkiller addict or Mr. lazy bones due to public misconception.

A serious infection, sprain, arthritis or cancer may be the root cause of the initial pain. Though the pain may have an initial root, some individuals may experience intense without any injury or bodily damage. This condition is more prevalent in older adults.

Two or more chronic pain conditions may be experienced by the same individual. These conditions may include endometriosis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, inflammatory bowel syndrome, interstitial cystitis and joint pain. Whether a similar factor is responsible for these disorders is unknown.

Chronic Pain Symptoms and Diagnosis

It is empirical that you consult your doctor if you suspect that you have  such pain. Certain tests and scans will need to be performed and medications prescribed. If necessary, you will possibly need to have physical therapy treatment.

Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain diagnosis is usually time consuming. This is because persistent pain causes are not obvious. Persistent generalized pain can be as result of other diseases such as multiple sclerosis and lupus. Your doctor will have to rule these out using tests like X-rays blood work and neurological examinations.

Mild or severe pain that keeps recurring even after six months. Pain that falls into the description of shooting, aching, burning or electrical. And sensations of stiffness, soreness, tightness, or discomfort. All these fit the chronic pain  definition.

Having the symptoms of chronic pain should impel you to keep track of your condition. Keeping a pain journal can give you and your doctor a better understanding of your pain. How you feel during the day in different situations and durations should be noted. Note down such times as after taking medication, during stressful situations, after therapy, after taking your meals. Your moods should also be included.

Understanding all the causes of pain is important for every patient. There are many steps involved in undoing the effects caused by these conditions. In future scientists will be able to develop better treatments with improved neuroscience capabilities.

Clinical testing done on patients has revealed endorphin levels below normal in the spinal fluid. Electro-acupuncture is believed to activate the endorphin systems. This involves wiring of the needles to electrically stimulate the nerve endings. Some experiments reveal a higher endorphin levels present in the cerebrospinal fluid after acupuncture.

The effect of stress in relation to chronic pain  has been a subject of study. In the process of  synthesizing new analgesics, chemists have unearthed painkilling virtues in certain drugs. Most of these drugs have always been prescribed for conditions other than painkilling.

  Types of Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can be excruciating or mild and can occur continuously or episodically. This may pose an occasional inconvenience or become totally incapacitating. It has both an emotional and physical impact on an individual.

Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain

Some kinds of such pain include sinus pain, tendinitis, whiplash pain, fibrosis, fibromyalgia and  carpel tunnel syndrome. Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD), sciatica, Temporo-Mandibular Joint disorder (TM J) pelvic pain and phantom limb pain are also other types of pain. Pain can target certain areas of the body including the neck, shoulders and pelvis. Generalized nerve or muscle pain could also evolve into severe pain.

Low back pain, headache, cancer pain, arthritis pain, neurogenic pain or psychogenic pain comprise some common chronic pain  complaints. Psychogenic pain does not originate from injury, disease or any visible damage within or outside the nervous system. Neurogenic pain is triggered by peripheral nerve damage or central nervous system infringement.

Illnesses and certain conditions can also be responsible for chronic pain. These include osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus SLE, scleroderma, scoliosis and endometriosis. In several instances the precise cause of pain goes undetected.

The emotional aspect of intense pain can have a magnifying effect. Stress, fatigue, anxiety anger and depression can all have complex interactions with pain in the body. These factors may wean off the body’s natural production of painkillers.

Negative emotions may augment the substance level responsible for amplifying the feeling of pain. The individuals ends up with a vicious cycle of pain. The outcome can be a compromise of the body’s most fundamental defense systems.

Evidences suggests that the immune system can get suppressed by unrelenting pain. Chronic pain is usually associated to links between the mind and body. This means that for its treatment to be effective it has to address both the physical as well as the psychology aspects involved.

Normally, acute pain is a natural response to injury or infringement.  Chronic pain in some instances involves injuries that do not heal. In other cases, the pain may persist long after the injury has healed.

Chronic Pain Management and Treatment

  • Pain is a symptom that does not occur alone. Some conditions associated with pain may include, sleeplessness, fatigue, proneness to inactivity and heightened need for relaxation.
  • Chronic pain can disrupt your normal set of activities. It denies you even the ability to work and play. It has a serious impact on your relationships, emotional well being and self esteem. Apart from the patient, friends, employers, spouses, offspring and parents are also affected.

    Chronic Pain

    Chronic Pain

  • A compromised immune system and mood swings including fear, hopelessness, irritability. depression, anxiety despair, stress, disability and isolation. It may be difficult to get support.
  • Physical therapy and medications are usually prescribed by doctors as chronic pain treatment. The subjective aspect of pain means that the same treatment cannot work for all and sundry. This fact has given rise to the multiple pain relief medications in the market. Finding the right medication can provide you with adequate relief without other interventions.
  • Recent surveys indicate that most patients overcome their pain after about six months. The key to chronic pain  management involves finding a workable strategy that suits you.
  • Find out as much information on your condition as possible. Apart from your doctor, other patients with similar conditions and online forums are invaluable. Technical sources like medical journals are also helpful.
  • Try out other chronic pain sufferers successful treatment options in consultation with your doctor. A proactive attitude will be beneficial in overcoming your pain.
  • Pain forums may help you regain control over your life. Despite the pain, you will get encouragement from a supportive group.
  • Acupuncture, local electrical stimulation, brain stimulation, medications and even surgery comprise pain treatments. Placebos used by certain physicians, have in some instances reduced or solved the severe pain problems altogether.
  • Biofeedback, psychotherapy, relaxation, behaviour modification and medication therapies are other  chronic pain  treatment options
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