Pain from a medical condition or injury that persists for six months or longer is considered chronic. Pain during an injury or illness is normal; however, if the pain lasts for months or years after the injury has healed or illness has subsided, it’s best to seek medical attention. Chronic pain can interfere with daily activities such as work, household chores and even family interaction.
Symptoms of Chronic Pain
Although chronic pain can be the result of a previous injury or illness, in some cases there is no clear cause. Someone experiencing chronic pain can feel sharp pain, burning sensations, tenderness, or muscle ache, and these types of pains can intensify throughout the day due to movement. Dealing with an ongoing pain for an extended period of time can significantly impact one’s way of life, affecting your focus at work, distancing you from family, and impeding recreational activities. All of these changes to you and your lifestyle can cause the following symptoms to arise:
- Decreased appetite
- Mood changes
- Decreased strength and stamina
Chronic Pain Relief
When dealing with chronic pain, your first visit should be with your primary care physician if you’re on an HMO plan, or with an applicable specialist if you’re on a PPO plan. Pain-killers are not a permanent solution, and can result in an increased tolerance or addiction to the drug. According to the CDC, 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. It’s better to explore natural options in cases where medication is avoidable.
Chiropractic treatment, massages and acupuncture can reduce chronic pain, but it is often only a temporary relief. In some cases, these treatments can permanently end the pain, but they mostly provide comfort and increase quality of life for the patient.
Physical therapy can help patients reduce pain and uncover the source by gradually increasing the intensity of the exercises in each session. Physical therapists are also charged with the important task of encouraging their patients to stay motivated throughout the exhausting trials of recovery. Physical Therapist John Garzione of the American Physical Therapy Association explains, “We encourage our patients to never give up, that this does not have to be a way of life.”
Certain nutrients can act as natural pain relievers that help combat chronic pain.
- Turmeric and Ginger are anti-inflammatories known to modulate the immune system and significantly reduce pain, swelling and inflammation, protecting the damaged or vulnerable regions of your body.
- Magnesium relaxes your muscles and maximizes blood flow so nutrients have clear access to your cells. People lacking magnesium may experience cramping, muscles spasms and poor blood circulation, which can cause pain. Avocados, spinach, swiss chard and bananas are just a few magnesium-rich foods that can ease pain.
- Proteolytic Enzymes reduce inflammation, arterial plaques, blood clots, scar tissue and pain. They also help your immune system destroy tumorous growths.
If you are experiencing chronic pain, there are many resources at your disposal. Take the first step toward pain relief by scheduling a visit with your primary doctor or specialist.
Looking for more health information? Visit our blog page.