Chronic pain is a type of pain that persists for at least 12 weeks. It is possible that chronic pain arises from an initial acute pain caused by an injury. Chronic pain could also be caused by an ongoing cause such as a particular illness. Chronic pain is also commonly accompanied by other health problems such as the following:
- Sleep disturbances.
- Decreased appetite.
- Mood changes.
Chronic pain is also the reason for reduced flexibility, stamina and strength. This can interfere with normal daily activities as well as job tasks. Because of this, chronic pain can be the cause of inability to work and earn an income.
Chronic pain is possible to begin without any particular reason. However, the majority of people associate it with an injury or an illness such as the following:
- Past surgeries.
- Migraines and other types of headaches.
- Nerve damage.
- Back problems.
- Lack of energy.
However, there are certain causes that can be referred to as “hidden” because many doctors don’t know about them. We consider these six hidden areas to also be among the causes of chronic pain and its difficulty in permanent treatment:
- Acid-base body balance. If this balance is broken then it is possible to experience massive pain in different areas of your body such as the knee, neck, shoulders, back, and so on. These are often described as fibromyalgia, myalgia, arthritis, and so on.
- Brain management. The brain is what actually makes us feel the pain and if pain has been present for a very long time, then the brain has sensitized to this feeling. It needs to be changed and updated in order to feel relief.
- Dysfunction of the liver. All of the processes that liver cells take care of are very important in producing and managing large amount of substances in the body. Many of these substances can be harmful to other cells and be the reason for chronic pain. There are many reasons why the liver could be dysfunctional.
- Imbalance in essential fatty acids. Most of the chronic pain patients have a very large amount of bad fatty acids compared to the good ones. However, simple intake of omega 3 supplements is not going to help on its own either.
- Sugar imbalances. Diabetes, insulin resistance and hypoglycemia are also associated with chronic pain. These conditions are life-long, which means that if not properly managed you could feel chronic pain for the rest of your life.
Symptoms of chronic pain can vary from mild to very severe. It is also possible to experience it every single day or only some days each week. The pain can have the following sensations:
- A dull ache.
Chronic pain can also affect your mental health. Chronic pain can severely interfere with daily activities and this is associated with depression and loss of motivation. There is no doubt that many doctors prescribe antidepressants to patients with chronic pain because of the link between these two conditions. Stress levels are also raised by chronic pain which increases risks of cardiovascular incidents such as heart attacks, thrombosis, strokes. The sleep disturbances also add to the increased stress levels, making the chronic pain and depression even more severe.
Treatment of chronic pain is not an easy task. Many doctors will tell you that chronic pain can never be completely cured, but this is not the case with most patients. All of the underlying causes need to be addressed in order to find the right treatment for your chronic pain. Therefore, if even after treatment you continue to feel your pain, then you certainly need a new doctor. We can consult you in finding the root problems for your chronic pain as well as simultaneously using different treatment methods prescribed by your doctor in order to completely cure the chronic pain you have. Treatment options include the following:
- Pain-relieving medications.
- Acupuncture and meditation.
- Electrical stimulation and nerve blocks.
- Massage therapies.
- Tai chi.
- Alternative medicine.
All of these methods could be effective if they are particularly chosen for the causes of your chronic pain. Most commonly more than one treatment method is used. The self-management method is also quite common for managing chronic pain. These programs turn the patient into the active participant who is seeking the pain treatment by actively engaging in pacing, problem-solving, decision-making and taking actions against the pain. These programs rely on the fact that the patient needs to learn how to live normally even if the pain persists. This helps train the brain to accept the pain and by doing so to “update” itself in order to be more prone to the rest of the treatment methods.
It is very important to remember not to rely only on drugs. In fact, you may feel like a zombie at some point in your life due to all of the drugs you take for the management of your chronic pain. Chronic pain can really drain all of your energy and life. It is also very important to remember that chronic pain is never simply associated with a problem in the specific body area where you feel the pain. The cause is most of the times not presented locally in the neck, back, shoulders, knees, and so on. The root functional causes are different and usually affect the body as a whole. The right doctor should be able to find all of the root causes and the solutions to treating them which is never as simple as taking a single drug. If you only rely on drugs to manage your chronic pain then you are risking your health, your life and your job. Drugs can also be quite addicting if used improperly. We can help you find the causes for your chronic pain and determine what the right path of solving them is. This can happen by using several methods that are different for each patient and his or her needs.