How Chronic Pain Affects Your Immune System


With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the masses worldwide, obesity, alcohol consumption, severe co-existing health conditions, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes, and chronic lung difficulties seem to exacerbate the intensity of the sickness. According to the medical consensus, people with impaired immune systems are more prone to severe coronavirus attacks and increased mortality. This takes us to the subject of chronic pain and also its influence on the immune system.

How Chronic Pain Affects Your Immune System

Chronic and Other Types Of Pain

Acute pain varies from chronic pain in many ways. Whenever you suffer an injury, no matter a scratch or a fractured bone, you will feel acute agony. Once your body recovers from whatever triggered the discomfort, you will no longer experience it. On the other hand, chronic pain persists years after an injury or sickness has healed. It may happen for no apparent cause at all.

What Are Some Of The Conditions Of Chronic Pain?

Chronic stress and discomfort may affect the immune system negatively. The immune system’s particular genes are reprogrammed by chronic pain. T-cells, which are immune system cells with specific functions such as fighting infection, have their DNA labeled differently due to chronic pain. The exact mechanism of the alteration in T-cell function is yet to be studied, though, that it occurs is well established. These are some of the conditions of chronic pain.

  • Immunosuppressive medications treat severe autoimmune illnesses, including inflammatory arthritis and lupus. Individuals who struggle with immune system diseases are more likely to get an infection, because, these drugs reduce the body’s ability to fight infection. Chronic pain weakens the immune system and increases the chance of contracting Covid-19. 
  • Osteoarthritis of the knee is a common condition affecting the older population. The most usually afflicted areas are tendons in the hands, ankle, neck, pelvis, and lower spine sacroiliac ligaments. Synovial irritation and tissue degradation are hallmarks of OA. Macrophages invade the synovial surface due to the availability of T and B cells. There is a relationship between innate immunity and OA because the immunological system produces T cells and B cells.
  • Chronic knee disorders from Fibromyalgia are the most prevalent cause of nonspecific discomfort in females of middle age or older. Many physicians and academics feel that individuals with this kind of chronic pain have difficulty alleviating the pain. Pro-inflammatory cytokines are elevated in people with Fibromyalgia, which indicates a clear link between the condition and the immune response.

How Can You Increase Your Immunity?

Chronic pain may be alleviated by addressing four primary lifestyle variables

  • Low-intensity activity, including walking or gentle swimming, for 30 mins a day may alleviate your discomfort. Specific individuals find that physical activity helps them cope with stress, which is critical for dealing with chronic pain.
  • The more you can lower your anxiety, the better your chances of managing chronic pain become. Relaxation, contemplation, and breathing deeply are just a few examples of stress-relieving strategies. Explore your choices until you find out the activity which suits you the best.
  • Getting adequate sleep is critical to your general well-being. Chronic discomfort may be exacerbated by sleep deprivation, leading to weight gain. Additionally, stress reduction is aided by a good night’s rest.
  • To improve your general health, you must consume a nutritious diet. Your doctor may advise you to attempt an anti-inflammatory regimen, which involves cutting out food that may cause inflammation, like red meat and processed carbs.

If you suffer from any form of chronic pain, talk to your doctor about whether or not these four lifestyle modifications apply to you and, if so, what adjustments you may make in your day-to-day schedule.

What Are The Options For Treating Persistent Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain may be alleviated by various methods.

  • An acupuncture technique that relies on the placement of needles in the body.
  • Using fragrant herbs and essential oils; this treatment is known as “aromatherapy”.
  • With the use of neurofeedback, you may train your body’s systems to perform more efficiently, such as your heart rate, respiration, muscular tension, etc.
  • You may learn how to relax your mind via meditation. Entertainment, painting, animal therapy, etc., may help in relaxation and stress reduction.
  • With the help of a Reiki or Therapeutic Touch expert, you may transform your body’s natural systems without actual contact.
  • Directed visualization and meditation are examples of relaxation methods.

What Precautions Should Be Taken To Avoid COVID-19?

The first step is to reduce the immune system’s overresponse to pain and inflammation. Relaxation, breathing techniques, and moderate yoga are critical steps to calm an overly anxious nervous system. Viewing hilarious programs, going outside for fresh air, and following an exercise schedule are other great ways to de-stress yourself. To prevent the virus from infecting you, the following precautions are recommended.

  • Socially distance yourself from others as much as possible. Avoid all gatherings and public areas at all costs.
  • Throughout the day, clean your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap.
  • Whenever possible, try to keep your hands away from your face, especially your eyes, mouth, and nose.
  • One must sanitize surfaces that are used frequently, such as plug points in your house and vehicle.

Remain at home, eat properly, be active, and get enough rest. Follow these steps to keep yourself safe from the coronavirus and the outbreak it has sparked.

Final Say

The role of innate immunity in chronic pain syndromes has been studied extensively in both pre-clinical and clinical settings. Scientific investigations should concentrate on immunological signalling and the creation of new medicines that precisely address immune cells or receptors to manage the pain. Furthermore, present and future research must incorporate both genders to comprehend and manage chronic pain disorders associated with the body’s immune function and response.

PainPathways Magazine

PainPathways Magazine

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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