Living with Constant Chronic Pain
All of us have probably experienced some aches and pains at various times. Did you know that pain is an important reaction of our nervous system that alerts us about potential injury. So, when we get injured, pain signals travel from the site of injury through the spinal cord and then to our brain.
In case you’re looking for treatment for pain in Dwarka, you can get in touch with us and set up an appointment with some of the best doctors for pain in Dwarka, pain specialists with years of experience and successful track records. Read on to learn more about chronic pain.
Pain become less painful and we get better at managing it as our bruises heal. Chronic pain on the other hand is quite is different. With constant chronic pain, our bodies keep sending pain signals to our brain, even after injuries heal. This situation may last for several weeks to several years. Chronic pain limits movement and reduces flexibility, strength, and endurance. Living with this constant pain can make it difficult to get by with daily tasks.
You’ll be surprised with the number of people who come in to our hospital for constant pain in Dwarka complaining about having pain for years, and they never cared to have it looked at.
So, make sure you remember that “Chronic” pain is pain that stays for at least 12 weeks. The pain could be sharp or dull, with burning and aching in the related areas. It could be steady or intermittent, it could come and go without any pattern, occurring randomly in any part of the body. The pain can vary from affected area to area feel.
The most common manifestations of chronic pain are headaches, pain after surgery or trauma, lower backaches, arthritis or cancer pain, pain caused by nerve damage, and psychogenic pain- which doesn’t have any apparent cause.
According to some studies, more than 1.5 billion people across the world live with chronic pain, that’s 1 in 5 people. It’s perhaps the most common cause of long-term disability in India too, and the official figures are much lesser than the real figures.
What could cause chronic pain?
Chronic pain in most cases, is caused by an injury at first, like a back sprain or pulled muscle. The theory is chronic pain develops after nerve damage, that makes pain intense and long lasting. In such cases, treating the underlying injury or if the injury heals, might not be enough to resolve the chronic pain.
We’ve also seen people have chronic pain without any injury. The exact causes of chronic pain without injury are still a mystery to the medical fraternity and we are trying to better understand them. The pain sometimes stems from underlying health conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, inflammatory bowel disease, interstitial cystitis, and a few others.
Who is at most risk of chronic pain?
Chronic pain affects people of all ages; however, it is most common in older adults. Apart from age, other factors that may increase a person’s risk of developing chronic pain include getting injured, going through a surgery, it’s found more in women, poor lifestyle and being overweight or obese and those who are depressed.
Treating Chronic Pain
The main aim of treatment is reducing the pain and improving mobility and movement, in order to help people, return to their daily lives without constant discomfort.
The severity and frequency of chronic pain varies person to person, so our doctors formulate individual pain management plans for each person. Your pain management plan depends on the symptoms and if you have any underlying health conditions. Medical treatment, lifestyle changes, or a combination of these methods can treat your chronic pain.
Several medications are available to help deal with and treat chronic pain. Here are some examples:
- Over-the-Counter pain relief medicine, including acetaminophen (Tylenol) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin (Bufferin) and ibuprofen (Advil).
- Opioids like morphine (MS Contin), codeine, and hydrocodone (Tussigon)
- Adjuvant analgesics, like antidepressants and anticonvulsants
Medical procedures for treating chronic pain
Some medical procedures can also provide people relief from chronic pain. Some of them are:
- Electrical stimulation, that will reduce pain by sending mild electric shocks into the muscles
- Nerve block, which is an injection that will prevent nerves from sending pain signals to the brain
- Acupuncture, where your skin is lightly pricked with needles to give pain relief
- Surgery, which will correct the injuries that might have healed improperly, which could be adding to the pain
Lifestyle changes for chronic pain
There are various lifestyle changes people can make are to ease chronic pain. Some of these include physical therapy, yoga, art and music therapy, pet therapy, psychotherapy, massage therapy, and meditation
At times a combination of treatment and lifestyle changes can do the trick. Get in touch with us if you have any more questions or if you have some form of chronic pain that requires treatment.
Dr. Gurpreet Popli
Director and HOD