Doctors explained what chronic pain is and how to get rid of it
Pain is a sensation that occurs in humans as a result of severe irritation of the nervous system for many reasons. It can occur in the event of injury or damage, and it can also signal problems in the body. Each of us has repeatedly experienced different types of pain in our lives and tried to get rid of it. As a rule, this is possible by eliminating the main cause of its occurrence.
However, sometimes pain is not amenable to medication and lasts for a long time. In this case, we are talking about chronic pain. Healthline has identified the causes of this condition and advised how to deal with it.
Usually, after the injured area has healed or the inflammation has subsided, the pain gradually subsides and eventually ceases to bother you at all. However, with chronic pain, your body continues to send signals to your brain even after you have fully recovered. This condition can last from a few weeks to several years and reduce your endurance, flexibility and strength.
Chronic pain can be sharp or dull, cause discomfort and burning sensations in different parts of the body, and can periodically disappear and suddenly reappear for no apparent reason.
The most common types of chronic pain include:
Low back pain;
Neurogenic pain (caused by nerve damage);
Causes of chronic pain
As a rule, chronic pain occurs after a primary injury, such as trauma or sprains of ligaments or muscles. It is commonly believed that it can be caused by nerve damage, in which treatment of the underlying condition does not relieve the pain.
However, sometimes people can complain of pain without a previous injury. In this case, it is difficult to establish the exact cause of the pain, which can sometimes be a consequence of a person's general health, for example:
Endometriosis - a disease characterised by the growth of the uterine lining beyond its borders and accompanied by pain;
Chronic fatigue syndrome - characterised by increased long-term fatigue and pain;
Fibromyalgia - pain in muscles and joints;
Inflammatory bowel disease - a group of painful conditions of the gastrointestinal tract that causes chronic pain.
Chronic pain can affect anyone, but is most common in older people. Other factors that increase the risk of chronic pain include injuries, surgeries, female gender, and being overweight or obese.
How to overcome chronic pain?
If the underlying cause of the pain is not identified, the main goal of therapy will be to relieve symptoms and increase mobility and performance. A treatment plan should be developed with a specialist, taking into account specific complaints and your overall health.
Medications that can be used to relieve pain include:
Over-the-counter painkillers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs;
Opioid medications on prescription and according to a regimen prescribed by a doctor;
Specific analgesics, such as antidepressants or anticonvulsants.
In addition to oral medications, there are procedures to relieve chronic pain, for example
Electrical stimulation, which reduces pain by sending impulses to the muscles;
Nerve block - an injection that prevents pain impulses from being sent to the brain;
Acupuncture, which reduces pain in a specific area of the body;
Surgery to correct injuries that may not have healed properly and cause pain.
To alleviate chronic pain, you should review your lifestyle and adjust it:
Take care of your health: a balanced diet, moderate exercise, and adequate rest will strengthen your body and protect you from stress;
Lead a normal life: although chronic pain can be exhausting, you should not isolate yourself from the world and become depressed. A negative mood and lack of motivation and favourite activities will only increase your sensitivity to pain.
Do not give up on support: do not hesitate to consult a specialist for advice about your condition, and enlist the support of family and friends - this will make you feel more confident and help you overcome unpleasant symptoms more easily.
As you can see, there are many causes of chronic pain, and each of them requires special attention. Physical pain is often associated with an emotional state, so it is extremely important not to despair and gradually identify and overcome the causes of discomfort.
Earlier, OBOZREVATEL talked about the types of headaches. Experts noted that treatment depends on the underlying cause.