Learning To Live With Chronic Pain

Some people may have been nursing a broken spine for a long period of time and not even know about it. That back pain may have been due to a fall during any sports activity such as basketball, skiing, horse-back riding or a football game wherein you’ve been misdiagnosed with only a broken right arm. However, after the injured arm heals, there seems to have developed an intense back pain that made regular activities such as sleeping and moving around too difficult to do. The pain goes on and would never seem to leave you. Aside from the stress and agony it brings, chronic pain can lead to other serious medical conditions.
Acute pain is experienced as a direct response to injury or trauma which comes on suddenly and lasts for a limited period of time. The pain is expected to disappear as soon the injury or disease has been treated. Chronic pain, on the other hand, is pain that persists and last for several moths or even years.
The most common types of chronic pain include back pain, headaches, arthritis, cancer pain, and neuropathic pain, all of are related to nerve injury. Health care professionals always see the identification of the source of pain as the first step to treating chronic pain. It shouldn’t be ignored as it could be a symptom of an injury or unknown disease like Fibromyalgia. It is characterized by fatigue and widespread pain in muscles and joints. This condition may be connected to injury, changes in muscle metabolism, or viruses, though the exact cause is unclear.
Physical and emotional effects can be devastating regardless of the type of chronic pain. A patient’s career, family and future may suffer and get ruined. Some people would even commit suicide in order to put an end to chronic pain.
Chronic pain may goes on for weeks, months, or years and may not always respond to treatment. Without relief, or the hope for relief, it can be debilitating and may become the defining factor in patients’ lives. They lose the ability to eat, sleep, work, and function normally.
Pain varies from person to person, thus, treatment is individualized. Providing as much pain relief as possible and improving function is the goal of pain management. People with arthritis may do well with occasional use of an over-the-counter pain reliever, whereas someone else with arthritis may need a prescription pain reliever and regular aerobic exercise to feel good.
There is more to treatment for chronic pain than medication. It can also involve stress relief and relaxation, physical therapy, improved sleep and nutrition habits.
When chronic pain starts to interfere with the quality of one’s life, it is time to seek professional help. Another reason to seek advice from a specialist is if one is experiencing intolerable side effects from medications.
The fear of becoming addicted to pain medications is always the concern of both patients and their doctors. “Most forms of chronic pain respond to non-opioid drug treatments such as pain relievers, which don’t have addiction potential, aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. A combination of different types of analgesic medications at lower doses is often more effective than a single high-dose medication.
But in some cases, opioids are prescribed for pain. Opioids are controlled substances that are potentially addictive. But taking doses of opioids to relieve pain as prescribed is not considered as drug addiction. Addiction is the craving for and compulsive use of drugs. On the other hand, physical dependence occurs when a person’s body adapts to the drug. A person who has become physically dependent on a drug must not suddenly stop taking it to avoid withdrawal syndrome. Symptoms can include muscle aches, watery nose and eyes, irritability, sweating, and diarrhea. Physical dependence is considered a normal response to repeated use of opioids and is distinct from psychological addiction.
People suffering from chronic pain need support groups in order to deal with all of the issues regarding chronic pain such as lack of concern, frustration, how to communicate pain to your doctor, and how to maintain relations with your family. Pain may be inevitable, but suffering can be “optional.”

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