08/18/2022 Daniella Johnson
Treatment options for Chronic Pain
Pain can be anything from a somewhat irksome, like a mild headache, to something unbearable and developing, such as the chest pain that goes with a coronary failure, or pain of kidney stones. Pain can be acute, meaning new, subacute, going on for half a month or months, and chronic, when it goes on for over 90 days. The body's usual response to any injury or sickness, a warning regarding any problem is pain. If the pain goes on for 3 to a half years or more it is alluded to as chronic pain or chronic pain syndrome (CPS).
Chronic pain for the most part is close steady, there might be flares of extreme pain which is caused because of expansion in stress or activity. People can experience symptoms past pain like sleeping disorders, anxiety, and depression impacting their day-to-day activities.
What results in chronic pain?
The reasons for chronic pain are both physical and mental. Chronic pain would even proceed long after the recovery from your injury. Chronic pain can be brought about by injury, dependable sickness or some of the time with next to no hidden explanation. Pain that isn't associated with any disease or injury is known as psychogenic pain or psychosomatic pain that is brought about by mental elements like stress, depression, or anxiety. Psychological factors trigger the emission of endorphins; the low level of endorphins in blood could set off the pain.
How can you Identify Chronic Pain?
The most important symptom of chronic pain is persistent pain that lasts for 3-6 months or more. Chronic pain feels like aching, burning, shooting, squeezing, stiffness, stinging, and throbbing sensation. This pain is prompted due to injury, disease, infection, or sometimes no underlying cause. Chronic pain can lead to other symptoms like:
- Loss of weight
- Mood swings
- Anxiety, depression, or irritation
- Insomnia or loss of sleep
- Fatigue or feeling tired
- Loss of sexual interest
- Might also lead to suicidal thoughts
- Dependent on painkillers
- Limited ability to move around
- Changes in appetite
Treatment of chronic pain
To relieve chronic pain, it is important to identify the reason for the chronic pain. If the pain is idiopathic pain management is the only alternative. The treatment program would incorporate drugs, treatments, and changes in ways of life. Emotional stress aggravates the pain. It tends to be challenging to work with constant endless pain management makes it less hard for you to work and continue daily activities.
- Medication – Drugs prescribed by the physician are a mix of painkillers, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants. Sedatives are utilized for individuals who are encountering insomnia, anxiety, or depression because of chronic pain
- Over-the-counter medicine – These meds can be bought from a chemist without a prescription. Most normal medications are acetaminophen (Tylenol) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) like headache medicine, ibuprofen, and naproxen. These give help with mild pain and lessen swelling and inflammation. These blocks the production of chemicals that cause inflammation.
- Anticonvulsants – These prevent seizures and diminish the pain that is brought about by damaged nerves. The doctor would commonly prescribe anticonvulsants gabapentin and pregabalin.
- Antidepressants – These are beneficial in providing relief in long-term pain by affecting the neurotransmitters in your spine which send pain signals to the brain. They also help in treating other symptoms linked to pain such as depression and anxiety.
- Corticosteroids – They help in lessening the aggravation and control specific kinds of pain by changing the immune system, diminishing inflammation that causes pain as well as restricting movement. These behave like normally happening steroids in the body.
- Muscle relaxers – They help in lessening the aggravation and control specific kinds of pain by changing the immune system, diminishing inflammation that causes pain as well as restricting movement. These behave like normally happening steroids in the body.
- Opioids – These are narcotics-based painkillers, which bind to receptors in the brain to reduce the intensity of pain signals reaching the brain.
- Tropical ointments or gels that are applied to the affected area help in reducing pain and provide a soothing effect (heat or cold).
- Therapies – Certain therapies help in reducing the pain as well as the need for medication.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) – It helps in pain management by changing the way you think about pain. This therapy is helpful when the pain is caused by emotional distress rather than physical distress. CBT includes practicing yoga, muscle relaxation, and guided imagery.
- Physical Therapy – This is helpful in case of long-term pain or pain caused by injury or illness. With physical therapy, you strengthen your muscles as well as move & carry on daily activities with ease. The therapy consists of low-impact aerobic exercise, strengthening exercise, pain relief exercise, and stretching exercise. The application of heat or ice packs also helps in alleviating pain by reducing inflammation and improving movement.
- Trans-cutaneous Electric Nerve Simulation (TENS) – These send a small number of electric signals to the affected area of the body. The electric signal interrupts the pain signals thereby triggering the release of endorphins (the body’s natural painkiller).
- Biofeedback – This therapy helps in relaxation of the muscles or reducing the stress that causes pain. Biofeedback helps lower pain in conditions like abdominal pain, back pain, headaches, temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ), and fibromyalgia. It also helps in symptoms related to pain like anxiety, urinary incontinence, etc. Electrodes are attached to your skin during a biofeedback session. The electrodes or sensors would send signals to the attached monitor. This would display a sound, flash of light, or image which represents your heart and breathing rate, blood pressure, skin temperature, sweating, or muscle activity. These help in relaxing the muscles and reducing anxiety.
- Lifestyle changes – Some chronic pain last for a very long time and you might have to learn to live with the pain. Pain management helps in carrying out daily activities without difficulty.
- Exercise – Regular exercise helps in reducing the pain by releasing the naturally occurring pain killers called endorphins in the body. A physiotherapist would recommend some exercise that would help in increasing the range of motion, decrease inflammation, and improve your mental and emotional well-being. This also reduces the dependency on medicine and the body heals faster and the pain is alleviated more effectively.
- Acupuncture and acupressure – These are traditional Chinese therapies that relieves the pain by manipulating the acupoints of your body. Endorphins have been released that block the pain message to be delivered to the brain.
- Relaxation – Meditation, yoga, and massage also help in reducing stress and decreasing muscle tension. They also help in strengthening the muscles and improving the flexibility of the body.
It is challenging to live with chronic pain. Chronic pain doesn't disappear soon, yet you can oversee it with a blend of medications, treatments, and way of life changes. Headway in neuroscience as well as a better comprehension of the human body prompts more compelling therapies and treating chronic pain effortlessly.
There is no solution for chronic pain except for the hidden reason that can be treated with drugs, treatments, and way of life changes.
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