Chronic pain is made up of two words: Chronic means something which persists for a long period (say more than 3-4 months) and pain means a feeling of discomfort. So chronic pain refers to persistent pain that lasts for a long period. Unlike the pain caused due to an injury, chronic pain becomes more severe with time and starts interfering with your daily routine.
You can experience chronic pain in different body parts in the form of persistent back pain, neck pain, headache, muscle pain, etc. So in this article, we will look at some of the most effective ways through which chronic pain can be controlled.
Causes of Chronic Pain:
Before delving into the treatments, it is crucial to understand what are the causes of this chronic pain. By knowing the causes of the problem you can understand what needs to be done next. Some of the most common causes of Chronic Pain are:
- A long illness: Longtime illness is cited as one of the most common reasons for chronic pain in our body. If you have recovered from some very serious illness, you might continue feeling the chronic pain in that body part which is affected the most.
Example, A broken bone might continue to ache even after recovery.
- Psychological reasons: Other common reasons that might lead to chronic pain in our body are psychological. Psychological Factors like excessive stress, not taking proper sleep, depression, etc. which interfere with the endorphin levels (a hormone responsible for our positive feelings), create a deep impact on our body which can lead to severe long lasting pain in different body parts.
Example: Problems like migraine caused due to stress can lead to chronic pain in the head.
- Certain lifestyle problems: Besides these factors, chronic pain might be caused due to our eating habits, lack of physical exercise, and other lifestyle lacunas. For instance, eating junk food daily can lead to persistent pain in our stomach and also impacts our muscles.
- Genetics and age: Genetics and age are also responsible for chronic pain. Some diseases are inherited from parents like survical (neck pain), migraine, etc from their parents.
Similarly, some chronic pain is caused due to age. The old generation is more prone to chronic pain and health problems because of weak muscles and weak immunity.
Strategies that you can use to control chronic pain:
- Try to identify the cause: When you feel that the pain you are experiencing is happening for a significant period, you have to identify the cause of your problem, which will help you determine the next course. If it’s due to a long illness, you have to take medications. But if it is caused due to stress and Psychological Factors or lifestyle changes, you should try to improve them. For example, habits like alcohol drinking and smoking should be avoided to prevent chronic pain.
- Stress management: Stress, being a major cause of chronic pain needs to be managed for preventing chronic pain. You can use techniques like meditation and yoga, deep breathing, morning walks, following your hobby, or something else that gives you a sense of joy and relaxes your mind.
- Daily exercise: Since inactivity and lack of physical exercise are known for worsening chronic pain, you should try to do light exercises daily. By exercising daily, body muscles become active, we overcome depression and the body becomes energetic. So you can see improvement in headache, back pain, muscle pain, etc. You should not do heavy exercises in the beginning as this can impact your body negatively.
- A healthy diet and proper sleep: What we eat is directly related to what we experience in our bodies. Therefore, if you want to prevent Chronic pain you should take a balanced diet and avoid junk food and unhealthy food items that exaggerate the pain.
Similarly a good quality sleep for a healthy body. Sleep gives an appropriate relaxing time to the body. Therefore it can help in preventing chronic pain in muscles, head, nerves, neck, etc.
- Need for mental health care: In case Chronic pain is caused due to anxiety or depression, you can also consult a mental health expert who can suggest appropriate remedies for overcoming depression.
- Certain medications that are prescribed for controlling chronic pain are Anticonvulsants (in case of nerve pain), antidepressants, muscle relaxers, etc. But these should not be taken without Doctor’s approval.
Chronic pain, a pain persisting for a long time, can be a major obstruction in the peaceful enjoyment of life. It often symbolizes that the body is suffering from some other disease also or is facing the threat of a major illness. Therefore effective cures for chronic pain are important. It’s good it cures naturally by making some simple lifestyle and dietary changes but if it doesn’t go away, you should not take the matter lightly and consult the doctor.
PainPathways is the first, only and ultimate pain magazine. First published in spring 2008, PainPathways is the culmination of the vision of Richard L. Rauck, MD, to provide a shared resource for people living with and caring for others in pain. This quarterly resource not only provides in-depth information on current treatments, therapies and research studies but also connects people who live with pain, both personally and professionally.
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