Some of the most common types of chronic pain include:
- postsurgical pain
- post-trauma pain
- lower back pain
- cancer pain
- arthritis pain
- pain caused by nerve damage
- pain that isn’t caused by disease, injury, or nerve damage
More than 1.5 billion people around the world have chronic pain. It’s the most common cause of long-term disability in the United States, affecting about 100 million Americans.
What causes chronic pain?
Chronic pain is usually caused by an initial injury, such as a back sprain or pulled muscle. It’s believed that chronic pain develops after nerves become damaged. The nerve damage makes pain more intense and long lasting. In these cases, treating the underlying injury may not resolve the chronic pain.
In some cases, however, people experience chronic pain without any prior injury. The exact causes of chronic pain without injury aren’t well understood. The pain may sometimes result from an underlying health condition.
Who is at risk for chronic pain?
Chronic pain can affect people of all ages, but it’s most common in older adults. Besides age, other factors that can increase your risk of developing chronic pain include:
- having an injury
- having surgery
- being female
- being overweight or obese
How is chronic pain treated?
The main goal of treatment is to reduce pain and boost mobility. This helps you return to your daily activities without discomfort.
The severity and frequency of chronic pain can differ among individuals. So doctors create pain management plans that are specific to each person. Your pain management plan will depend on your symptoms and any underlying health conditions. Medical treatments, lifestyle remedies, or a combination of these methods may be used to treat your chronic pain.
Medical procedures for chronic pain
Certain medical procedures can also provide relief from chronic pain. An example of a few are:
- electrical stimulation, which reduces pain by sending mild electric shocks into your muscles
- Steroid Injections
- nerve block, which is an injection that prevents nerves from sending pain signals to your brain
- acupuncture, which involves lightly pricking your skin with needles to alleviate pain
- Lifestyle remedies for chronic pain
Dealing with chronic pain
There isn’t a cure for chronic pain, but the condition can be managed successfully. It’s important to stick to your pain management plan to help relieve symptoms.
Physical pain is related to emotional pain, so chronic pain can increase your stress levels. Building emotional skills can help you cope with any stress related to your condition. Here are some steps you can take to reduce stress:
Take good care of your body: Eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly can keep your body healthy and reduce feelings of stress.
Continue taking part in your daily activities: You can boost your mood and decrease stress by participating in activities you enjoy and socializing with friends. Chronic pain may make it challenging to perform certain tasks. But isolating yourself can give you a more negative outlook on your condition and increase your sensitivity to pain.
Seek support: Friends, family, and support groups can lend you a helping hand and offer comfort during difficult times. Whether you’re having trouble with daily tasks or you’re simply in need of an emotional boost, a close friend or loved one can provide the support you need.
For more information contact Comprehensive Pain Management in South Kingstown, RI.