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What Is Chronic Pain Management?

Cartoon with headache laying on a couch.

What Is Chronic Pain Management?

You hurt your back but thought it healed. Now, a once-dull throbbing has turned into a burning sensation, and you don’t know why. You may have gotten injured at work years ago but aren’t sure. Unfortunately, you may be suffering from chronic pain.

WHAT IS CHRONIC PAIN

Chronic pain lasts months or years and happens throughout the body. It restricts daily life and can lead to depression and anxiety.

The first step in treatment is to find and treat the cause. When that isn’t possible, the most effective approach is a combination of medications, therapies, and lifestyle changes.

It’s one of the most costly issues in America, resulting in significant medical expenses, lost wages and productivity, higher compensation payments, and legal charges.

CHRONIC PAIN SYMPTOMS

Chronic pain can happen anywhere in your body. People experiencing chronic pain can have symptoms that include:

  • Headaches
  • Back pain
  • Cancer soreness
  • Arthritic pain
  • Pain occurring from nerve damage

Some people describe the pain as:

  • A tedious ache
  • Burning
  • Shooting
  • Soreness
  • Stiffness
  • Stinging
  • Squeezing
  • Throbbing

Thankfully, chronic pain management is within the realm of possibility for many people who experience it, thanks to different forms of therapy and ketamine treatment.

WHAT CAUSES CHRONIC PAIN?

Most pain eventually subsides. You quickly recuperate from surgery. An earache gets treated. A sprained wrist heals. The occasional headache reacts to aspirin. These are examples of temporary or acute pain. Chronic pain is discomfort that won’t back off, persisting for three months or more. Examples include arthritis in the back, knees, or neck that aches most days; regular migraine headaches; surgical pain which isn’t treated correctly and lingers; and discomfort from muscle injuries that fail to heal correctly.

Other common causes of chronic pain are:

  • Back and neck injuries
  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Phantom limb pain (experienced by those who’ve experienced limb amputated)
  • Shingles

WHO DOES IT AFFECT?

An estimated 20.4 percent (50.0 million) of U.S. adults had chronic pain, and 8.0 percent of U.S. adults (19.6 million) had high-impact chronic pain, with a higher prevalence of both chronic pain and high-impact chronic pain reported among women, older adults, previously but not currently employed adults, adults living in poverty, adults with public health insurance, and rural residents.

These findings are indicative of a chronic pain crisis affecting millions of people in the I.S. alone. Current treatments for chronic pain, such as opioid and opiate medications, come with a suite of issues. These problems include addiction, abuse, and the risk of overdose. Luckily a new treatment is available in the form of IV and intramuscular Ketamine for chronic pain.

HOW TO DIAGNOSE CHRONIC PAIN?

Pain is subjective, meaning it and its treatment is different for everyone. However, only a trained medical professional can offer an accurate diagnosis, and may want to know the following:

  • Location of the pain
  • Intensity, from 0 to 10
  • How often it happens
  • Effect on your life and work
  • What makes it harsher or better
  • The level of stress or anxiety in your life.
  • Whether you’ve experienced any surgeries or illnesses

You can expect your healthcare provider to examine your body and order tests like these to discover the cause of the pain:

  • Blood tests
  • Electromyography for muscle activity
  • Imaging tests, like X-rays and MRI
  • Nerve conduction tests to determine if your nerves react properly
  • Balance and Reflex tests
  • Spinal fluid tests
  • Urine tests

WHAT IS CHRONIC PAIN MANAGEMENT?

Chronic pain management is a mix of therapies suited to an individual based on overall health, allergies, age, gender, and success or failure with other treatments. The objective is to give you the best quality of life and function possible. One form of treatment gaining popularity is ketamine, but you and your healthcare provider should review options before making a final decision. There are many ways to manage chronic pain.

  • Stretching exercises, practicing good posture, and gentle movements daily.
  • A doctor or therapist-recommended recommend an exercise routine to bolster muscles, distract from the pain, and enhance mood.
  • Reduce practice and stress relaxation methods, like relaxed breathing, passive or progressive muscle relaxation, or mindfulness.
  • Pace yourself with daily planning of balanced tasks, recreation, and other duties to help with routine and structure, but take breaks before the pain gets too intense and increases stress levels.
  • Care for other conditions which may worsen pain, like anxiety and depression. Reducing both may lower pain and improve your quality of life.
  • Stay positive by doing things you find enjoyable. Chronic pain management often boils down to creating opportunities for positivity.
  • Stay connected with friends and family.
  • Get a good night’s sleep.

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you experience any kind of pain which lasts most of the day and persists for months or years, you may be suffering from something called long-term or chronic pain. Different types of chronic pain management techniques exist, like ketamine. Contact us today to learn more!

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