Alternative Methods for Coping With Chronic Pain

Alternative Methods for Coping With Chronic PainShape

There is hope regarding chronic pain, as it can be successfully treated with proper medication and guidance. Reach out today to learn more.

Pain indicates that something has happened which is not right in our body. When there is no cause for acute pain, it goes immediately, but chronic pain lasts longer than six months and can persist even after the injury or sickness has been treated. 

When something hurts, it causes an uncomfortable or unpleasant sensation. When there is pain, it is usually a sign that something is amiss. You know this, as you are the best judge of your suffering. 

According to CDC research, 1 in 5 individuals living in the United States experienced chronic pain in 2016, with 8% having high–impact chronic pain. This type of pain limits living or job activities on most days or each day in the last six months. 

According to a 2011 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, chronic pain is a rising public health concern in the United States, costing an estimated $560 billion per year in medical care, lost productivity, and disability services.

Chronic pain is defined as discomfort that generally persists for more than six months even after the injury or sickness that caused it has healed or gone away. It obstructs daily activities and might lead to despair and anxiety. Finding and treating the cause is the first stage in treatment. When that isn't possible, a mix of drugs, therapy, and lifestyle changes is the most successful strategy. 

Arthritis, back pain, neck pain, headaches, migraines, cancer pain near a tumor, muscle pain like fibromyalgia, and testicular pains are some examples of chronic pain.

Chronic pain causes stress in the body, resulting in physical conditions such as: 

  • Muscle tension. 

  • Restricted body movement. 

  • Lack of vitality. 

  • Appetite fluctuations. 

Chronic pain also has a variety of emotional consequences, including: 

  • Depression.

  • Anger. 

  • Anxiety 

  • Fear of re-injuring oneself.

  • Inability to return to work or leisure activities due to fear. 

How Can You Know if You Have Chronic Pain? 

Pain is frequently a symptom, and your healthcare professional should try to figure out what's causing it if at all possible. Because pain is subjective (only the person experiencing it can recognize and explain it), determining the reason can be challenging. 

An individual should consult their doctor if they're experiencing persistent pain. They should also consider communicating the following to the health professional:

  • Whether they are under a lot of stress or anxiety.

  • Whether or not they have ever been sick or undergone surgery.

Pain treatment is one of the most common reasons individuals visit the doctor. Pain can be relieved using a variety of medications. An opioid medication will be prescribed to approximately 20% of the population. Your doctor may also refer to it as an opiate or narcotic. 

Opium, which derives from the poppy plant, is used to make these pain medicines. The two products of opium are morphine and codeine.

What Is the Treatment for Chronic Pain?

Healthcare providers endeavor to identify and treat the cause of chronic pain before attempting to alleviate it. However, there are situations when they are unable to locate the source. If that's the case, they'll concentrate on lessening or controlling the pain.

Chronic pain is treated in a variety of ways by healthcare providers. Many elements influence the strategy, including: 

  • The type of discomfort you're experiencing. 

  • Reason for the suffering.

  • Your age as well as your overall health. 

  • Medication, lifestyle changes, and treatments are all used in the most effective treatment approaches.

Other Factors That Affect Chronic Pain:

Four important lifestyle factors can impact your chronic pain and can even help you manage it. They are sometimes referred to as the "four pillars" of chronic pain by doctors. They are stress, exercise, diet, and sleep. If you can manage these four pillars of your life, then there are high probabilities that you'll live a disease-free life.

Therapies for Chronic Pain

The following therapies may aid in the management of chronic pain:

  • CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy) is a type of counseling that teaches you how to manage suffering by changing how you think about it.

  • Counseling or talk therapy, particularly regarding psychogenic pain, can help you manage chronic pain.

  • Occupational therapy teaches you how to perform routine tasks in a new way to reduce discomfort or avoid harm.

  • Physical therapy is a treatment that incorporates stretching and strengthening exercises that might help you feel better.

Animal-Assisted Therapy 

Animal therapy often termed pet therapy, is when animals help individuals cope with and heal from mental and physical disorders. Therapy dogs are frequently utilized for this reason. Therapy dogs can also help with pain relief by lowering your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, reducing stress chemicals such as adrenaline, norepinephrine, and cortisol, and increasing endorphins (the body's natural painkillers). Such therapies also increase your sense of self-worth, and confidence benefits your immune system as a whole. 

Other techniques that can help an individual overcome chronic pain include acupuncture, aromatherapy, biofeedback, hypnosis, mindfulness training, and pet therapy. Each of these techniques proposes a unique way of solving chronic pain.

You can overcome almost every addiction, any problem, or any suffering in life when you reach the point that you want to get out of it. Though it is a painful situation, there are solutions just like any other problem in the world when it comes to chronic pain.

We need to learn to be prudent when it comes to our health to avoid such discomforts, as if untreated, they can turn into a significant health problem or disease. An individual can opt for any of the therapies listed in the article above after consulting with their doctors.

If you or your loved ones are suffering from any chronic pain, our team of experts is here to happily assist you with the entire process of healing. Feel free to reach out to The Forge recovery team today.

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Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

May 3, 2022