Chronic Pain

An Emotional Toll

chronic painDealing with chronic pain can affect your quality of life. Nearly 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. If you suddenly feel a painful sensation, then you are considered to have acute pain. Most of the time acute pain is treated immediately. Chronic pain is an ongoing pain anywhere in the body. It can occur in the back, head, and even sinuses. It may be the result of a terminal illness or injury. Chronic pain is not descriptive of the severity but the length. Pain is considered chronic when it last over six months. The pain may range from mild to excruciating. All pain comes from signals that are made by the nervous system. When these signals are constantly triggered, chronic pain results.

Chronic pain can control your whole life. It can have a negative effect on you both physically and mentally. In most cases chronic pain cannot be cured, it may only be treated. When a terminal illness is a cause, chronic pain can only be managed with medication. Most of the time pain is a result of an injury or illness. Inflammatory diseases like arthritis also cause chronic pain. Infection is also a result of chronic pain. Chronic pain is not always a result of new issues but may also be a result of a previous or unresolved injuries.

Chronic pain takes an emotional toll on you as well. It can lead to anxiety and depression. It may also make you very fatigued. Anger is a common emotion. Ongoing pain can make anyone angry, especially if doctors cannot find a source. Most people will take painkillers, but the more painkillers you take, the less effective they become. Your body begins to adjust to them and make it to where over the counter medications are no longer useful. Those on stronger medications may become addicted. These stronger medications have side effects that are harmful to your system. In most cases, your immune system boosts when the body undergoes an attack. In the case of chronic pain, the immune system may become suppressed. It is surprising that the mind and the body have such a strong connection but dealing with those angry and depressive feelings may also result in a suppression of the immune system.

Symptoms of chronic pain involve pain that may start out as mild and grow to become severe. The pain may also feel like tingling or burning. Achiness is a common sensation as well. You typically feel very uncomfortable. This type of pain  can result in soreness or stiffness. All these symptoms may be a result of acute pain, but when these symptoms go beyond six months, it is considered chronic. Many of those with chronic pain become disabled. They are unable to work or do any activity at all. The constant feeling of pain makes daily task extremely difficult. You may go from being very active to bed ridden. Although a cure is not always found treatment is available.

Treatment for chronic pain does not always involve medication or surgery. Therapy is another form of treatment. In cases that involve back pain or headaches, medicine is the typical form of treatment. Medicine helps block the signals that are creating the pain sensation. For some people, chronic pain can be a result of injuries that need to be solved through surgery. Some unconventional methods include acupuncture and electrical stimulation. These methods may not feel great at the moment, but it can be helpful in relieving chronic pain.

Chronic pain may also be treated psychologically. Doctors attempt to get the mind off of the pain it is feeling as a way to help. There are those who have unexplainable chronic pain. Doctors cannot even find a source of the pain. In those cases, psychotherapy may be helpful. It is a process of mind over matter. Relaxation or meditation are also commonly used methods. Almost every problem in the body has a source. With chronic pain, it can be hit or miss. Unfortunately, chronic pain can be a mental issue.  
Chronic pain has the potential to be a severe pain that controls your life. Not everyone with chronic pain experiences the same symptoms or feel pain in the same place. Common places are typically in the back, head, or related to terminal illness. Whenever a source of chronic pain is unable to be found, it is usually related to the mind. This goes to show how the mind and body are related. Chronic pain is difficult to cure. Acute pain is curable but when acute pain becomes chronic a cure is harder to find. No one likes pain, and no one desires to live in pain for the rest of their life. If you are suffering from chronic pain, talk with a physician. If a doctor cannot find a source, speaking to a therapist may be your best option. As frustrating as it may seem, do not give up hope. Try different treatments until you find what works best to relieve your pain.


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