Have you been suffering from years of chronic pain? Wondering if you have to suffer for the rest of your life or live on pain killers?
WHAT IS CHRONIC PAIN
Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts for three months or more. If you have suffered from weeks, months, even years of chronic pain you know that this is a condition or disorder in itself, no matter what the original cause. In fact, pain is complex mixture of signals from the body that are interpreted by the brain. Pain reflief is difficult sometimes as it's hard to get an objective measure of pain and it cannot be seen. It is know widely believed that even if the original cause of your pain has been cured, your brain may still be getting pain signals.
There's a condition that's even been given a label - it's called NSLBP - non-specific low-back pain which refers to backache without any identifiable causes. It's often called 'soft-tissue' or 'mechanical' back pain. Millions of people every day are signed off sick with back pain even though doctors cannot find any causes. The general recommendation is to treat this condition 'as you would normally' which may include pain killers, anti-inflammatories, physical therapy but the study of NSLBP has caused controversy since many people claim disability benefits as a result of NSLBP.
HOW CHRONIC PAIN CAN LEAD TO DEPRESSION AND OTHER PROBLEMS
The effects of chronic pain may be terrible for long term sufferers and go beyond the physical. Patients with chronic pain:
- may suffer mental anguish
- may be afraid to exercise or live life to the fullest, in case it worsens the pain, thereby reducing their overall quality of life, health and wellbeing
- may not be able to sleep well
- may have lowered levels of concentration and therefore may not be able to perform as well at work
- may find their relationships suffer
- may have a disturbed sex life due to fears of increasing pain and experiencing pain so bad they cannot think of anything else
- may enter into a vicious spiral downards into depression and anxiety
WHY YOU SHOULD SEEK A HOLISTIC ACCESSMENT WITH A PAIN MANAGEMENT EXPERT
There are doctors available who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain. They will give you a thorough holistic assessment - which means they will look at all aspects of your pain, lifestyle, medical history and overall wellbeing. Pain specialists will take the time to listen to your story, your medical history, your current lifestyle, problems and history of treatment and results. They will conduct a thorough physical examination to see if there are any causes of your pain that might have been overlooked. If necessary, they will make other tests or bring in further medical specialists in order to devise an overall pain management treatment plan for you.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO LIVE A LIFE FULL OF PAIN
Chronic pain is rarely a quick, easy fix. Pain is a complicated issue and each person experiences pain in different ways. However, pain treatment can be highly effective if you are patient and don't expect instant results from your pain management doctor. The more you personally contribute to your own pain management as part of a pain management team, the better the results.
Read this related article on chronic headaches and headache remedies.