The National Center for Complementary and Integrated Health defines chronic pain as a condition that lasts for a minimum of 3-6 months. It can occur due to underlying conditions, inflammation, certain treatments like surgery, and problems with the central nervous system. Sometimes, the cause for chronic pain can be unknown.
There are many ways to deal with chronic pain, depending on the cause and symptoms. However, before moving to treatment, you need to know all about the condition.
Chronic Pain Syndrome Vs Chronic Pain
It is estimated that 25% of individuals who suffer from chronic pain can develop chronic pain syndrome. The difference between the two lies in the fact that depression and anxiety often accompany the latter, while the former is just about pain.
Causes of Chronic Pain
A host of diseases and disorders can contribute to the development of chronic pain, such as:
- Acid Reflux
- Endometriosis (a condition in which the uterine lining grows outside the uterus)
- Fibromyalgia (a condition that leads to muscle pain throughout the body)
- Nerve disease
- Muscle strains or sprains
- Stress injuries
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Back pain
Symptoms of Chronic Pain
Dealing with this condition requires a multipronged approach as its symptoms are often varied and can contribute to mental health concerns as well as physical ones. These symptoms include:
- Constant pain in the whole body
- The inability to sleep well
- Suicidal thoughts
- Substance abuse
Chronic Pain Treatment
Whether you are considering allopathy or a natural treatment for chronic pain, it is vital to understand that the treatment depends on the underlying causes.
For instance, if a doctor diagnoses you with fibromyalgia, your treatment will naturally be focussed on curing this condition. Your doctor may prescribe vitamins for fibromyalgia or guide you as you explore alternate treatments for fibromyalgia. Some of these may include acupuncture, yoga, herbal medications, and therapy.
Similarly, chronic joint pain treatment may include medications that reduce inflammation in the joints (such as arthritis medications). You can also use certain essential oils (like clove essential oil, peppermint essential oil, and so on) that have anti-inflammatory properties.
The best treatment for chronic back pain often includes physiotherapy. By stretching and relaxing your muscles, a physio can help minimize some of the pain. OTC painkillers and opioid painkillers are also great options. However, it is essential to consult a doctor first on MediBuddy as opioid painkillers can often lead to dependency and addiction.
Natural chronic pain relief
Certain non-medical treatments can help people dealing with this condition. These include:
- Exercise: Exercise may sound counter-intuitive to a person with constant pain, but it is a very important aspect of treating chronic pain. Different exercise techniques that strengthen muscles, release endorphins, improve sleep, increase joint mobility, and reduce pain can help greatly.
- Relaxation: Meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises are popular relief methods for this condition. These methods aim to bring balance in the body and the mind so that the body’s natural healing mechanism is activated.
- Acupuncture: many people consider acupuncture to be the best pain reliever as it manipulates key areas in the body that provide pain relief by releasing endorphins.
- TENS: Transcutaneous Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is a treatment that generates small electric shocks that interrupt pain signals and helps release endorphins.
Risk factors for developing Chronic Pain
Depending on certain lifestyle choices and medical history, some people are far more susceptible to developing this condition than others. This includes people:
- With arthritis
- Who are obese or overweight
- Who are depressed (as depression affects the way the brain interprets pain)
- Who smoke
- Over 65 years of age
- Who are Women
Ways to deal with chronic pain
According to the American Psychological Association, the following can help you cope with this condition:
- Focus on the positivity in your life
- Participate in support groups
- Be engaged in your social life – isolation fosters more depression and pain
- Seek help from doctors and therapists
Chronic pain can affect that way individuals live their lives. Seeking treatment for the same is the best way to deal with this condition. Doctors will begin by diagnosing the condition and then determining the course of action on the basis of the underlying condition.
Seeking natural pain relief can help prevent people from developing dependencies on drugs. In cases where the cause of chronic pain is unknown, natural pain relief methods can often be more effective than conventional medicine. If you want to know more, schedule a consultation with MediBuddy’s experts and find out what route of treatment is the best one for you!