Everyone experiences pain every now and again, especially as we age. However, there is a difference between routine aches and pains, and living with chronic pain. Chronic pain is a leading cause of disability for adults here in the US. For Pain Awareness Month this September, our healthcare providers wanted to discuss chronic pain and what people who experience this condition can do to treat and manage their symptoms.
Pain is considered chronic when it lasts for an unusually long amount of time. In some cases, it could be years. It can occur anywhere in the body but is most common in the back and joints. For some people, this pain can be a constant source of discomfort. For others, the pain can come and go. Chronic pain can persist and interfere with a person’s daily activities including work, exercise, household responsibilities, and more. If left untreated over time, chronic pain can also lead to sleep issues and mental health concerns including depression and anxiety. This is why it’s so important to treat chronic pain before it becomes overwhelming.
In order to effectively treat chronic pain symptoms, the first step must be to identify the specific cause of this pain. In cases where this proves difficult, there is much that can be done to help manage and minimize these symptoms. This includes physical therapy, light exercise like walking, stretching, massage therapy, and stress reduction techniques including meditation and yoga. Other pain management techniques such as injections and medications (over-the-counter and prescription) may be able to assist if needed.
In more severe cases where the previously mentioned pain management techniques are not able to help, one of our healthcare providers may recommend surgery to treat chronic pain. Although this treatment method is somewhat rare, surgical implants to deliver medication directly to the spine or stimulate the spine with low-level electrical signals may be able to provide relief for some patients.
We understand that living with chronic pain can be incredibly difficult and discouraging. However, there is immense value in trying to remain positive and optimistic while seeking treatment. For more information or to schedule an appointment today, please contact Family Practice Center. We also offer morning walk-in and telemed appointments to better serve our patients. You can also follow along with us on Facebook for additional health tips, news, practice updates, and more.