It is inevitable that at some time in our lives, we are going to experience some kind of pain, be it physical and/or emotional. The cause of this discomfort can be an illness or an injury, or even an upsetting event, and it may last for a very long time. Still, most of us would do everything in our power to avoid it and lessen it. If the pain you experience lasts anywhere between three and six months, it’s called acute, but it can also last longer, in which case it’s called chronic pain, and it can negatively affect a person’s health.
Chronic pain affects your everyday life
Chronic pain can affect your everyday life in several ways. First of all, it can impair your ability to work and function at home. You might find yourself unable to pursue your hobbies or participate in social activities with your friends.
This can result in the loss of self-esteem and can make you feel like it’s better to stay at home doing nothing. People who experience chronic pain can also have trouble sleeping and are usually exhausted and fatigued throughout the day. Loss of strength and the lack of sleep will leave you unable to concentrate even on the most mundane tasks, and you will also start having mood swings. Decreased appetite is also common, and sooner or later, people start feeling like their whole life is taken from them. As a result of all this, people who experience chronic pain also often suffer from depression as well as anxiety.
Conditions with chronic pain
Arthritis is one of the most common health conditions that result in a person experiencing chronic pain: it’s an inflammation of one or more joints and it can cause pain that’s disabling.Fibromyalgia is a disease where a simple touch or a movement can feel painful, and what other people might find mildly painful can be nearly excruciating to you. Multiple sclerosis is a disease that disables the central nervous system and causes nerve damage, which further disrupts the connection between your brain and body. Even the simple back/neck pain can become chronic and last for months at a time. It is also possible that back and neck pain could be a sign of another serious medical issue (meningitis or even cancer).
Possible treatments and therapies
Chronic pain and mental conditions that sometimes happen because of it are often treated at the same time but in different ways. You might choose to get a spinal surgery from a specialist such as Dr Timothy Steel and visit a therapist to talk about the difficulties of living with chronic pain while you’re recovering.
Sometimes, taking antidepressant medications will result in better overall health because these may relieve both pain as well as depression since these share chemical messengers in the brain. Psychotherapy is recommended if you’re undergoing a difficult treatment, waiting for a big surgery, or are recovering from one. A therapist may also suggest meditation, writing in a journal, or gentle exercise to help you feel more in control of your life and cope with the pain and the stress.
Diagnosing chronic pain
It’s very difficult to go see a doctor and explain to them you’re feeling pain all over all the time, and doctors find it challenging to diagnose chronic pain in patients too.
We shouldn’t forget that pain is a purely subjective experience which means that there isn’t a test out there that will allow the doctor to measure and locate it with precision. Most of the time, chronic pain is treated with medications such as pills or creams and patches, possibly even injections. If you’re taking painkillers (opioids), be careful because they are incredibly addictive. You should plan for safe use and discuss it thoroughly with your doctor.
Even though pain serves the purpose of telling us to stop doing the thing that brings us discomfort, a pain that lasts a long time can make our life more difficult. People who experience chronic pain can also suffer from other serious health conditions such as depression or perhaps anxiety. If you’re experiencing chronic pain, you should consult your doctor and see what can be done to keep the quality of your life.