September 6, 2023
In some situations, pain is a good thing. It lets you know that something is wrong, and it prompts you to take action to make the situation better. However, when pain becomes chronic, it is a very bad thing. It can interfere with your quality of life, rob you of much-needed sleep, and be a major risk factor for depression and other mental health conditions. What causes chronic pain? How is it treated? Continue reading this blog post to discover useful information.
What Causes Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain, defined as pain that lasts for months or even years, can have a number of different causes. For example, it might arise as the result of:
- An injury that never healed correctly
- A past illness
- An ongoing cause of pain, such as cancer or arthritis
It is also important to note that, in some cases, chronic pain has no clear cause. After a thorough diagnostic process, such cases may eventually arrive at a diagnosis. Often, fibromyalgia is to blame.
How Is Chronic Pain Treated?
The management of chronic pain is complicated. Strong pain medications are prescribed in some cases, but doctors do not want patients to develop a long-term dependence on opioids. Therefore, other measures are usually more desirable. Here are a few examples of strategies that might be employed as part of a pain management plan:
- Heat and cold therapy. This is often used in patients with arthritis.
- Physical therapy and/or osteopathic manipulative treatment. These therapies can strengthen muscles, relieve pressure points, and more.
- Local electrical stimulation. Stimulating targeted nerve endings with mild electrical pulses has been known to provide pain relief in some cases.
- Mild, over-the-counter pain medications. A doctor may recommend ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or other mild pain relievers to work alongside other therapies.
- Lifestyle adjustments and behavioral counseling. Exercise, weight loss, and other lifestyle changes can reduce pain in many patients.
- Mental health support. Counseling may help patients to adopt a more positive outlook and focus on what they can do rather than on how their pain is limiting them.
- Surgery. Depending on the cause of chronic pain, surgical intervention can sometimes provide relief.
How Long Does It Take to Find Relief?
For some people, it takes some trial and error to find an approach that truly works. If you are suffering from chronic pain, be sure to cooperate with your medical team, be open about communicating your concerns, and be patient. Hopefully, you will soon enjoy a reduction in pain and a better overall quality of life.
Meet the Practice
Dr. Derek Murphy is an accomplished holistic physician who offers a number of conservative but effective pain relief treatments, including medical acupuncture and osteopathic manipulative treatment. If you are suffering from chronic pain and would like to talk to him about possible ways to find relief, our team is ready to serve you. Contact the Holistic Medicine Wellness Center in Saint Cloud at 407-319-7541.
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