Patients and clients struggling with chronic pain deserve a technique for special counseling that can be universally applied, regardless of the source of pain or the duration. It is also important to note that chronic pain and addiction may not necessarily occur together, but there are very strong links. However, since research evidence shows that medication used in pain management can be addictive, there is a tendency to find patients dealing with chronic pain to also struggle with addiction. About sixty percent of people with chronic physical pain also struggle with substance addiction and alcoholism. With chronic pain affecting millions of people in the United States, effective pain treatment options are needed, and mental health therapy is ideal.
What Is Chronic Pain?
Everyone experiences some form of physical ache or pain at some stage. In fact, pain is an important bodily function that offers a way for the central nervous system to inform you that there is a possibility of injury. When any part of your body is injured, pain signals are sent from the area exposed to injury to the brain through the spinal cord.
As an injury heals, pain is expected to become less. On the other hand, chronic pain does not follow this route, and pain can continue for more than six months. What happens in most cases is that pain signals remain active for long after resolution of the instigator. As a result, patients continue to suffer in pain even when there is not visible bodily damage or injury to their bodies. Pain can limit your flexibility and reduce your level of mobility and strength, making it hard for you to go on with day to day tasks.
In essence, therefore, chronic pain implies any form of pain that lasts longer than twelve weeks and can be dull or sharp. The nature of pain can be intermittent or steady, and may not have a triggering cause. The pain can happen in different parts of the body and will feel different depending on the areas it affects. With more than seventy-six million people in the United States suffering from chronic pain, there is a need for effective treatment. Largely ignored, psychotherapy has emerged as an effective technique for pain treatment, improving quality of life and reduce suffering.
What Causes Chronic Pain?
Many factors interact to cause chronic pain. In most cases, the pain starts acute, resulting from an injury or an illness. In some instances, however, there can be no identifiable cause of idiopathic pain. Some common cause of pain includes:
- Back problems;
- Nerve damage;
- Past surgeries or repeated injuries;
- Irritable bowel syndrome.
Those who have chronic pain need competent help as they struggle with physical effects that can stress their bodies and reduce their quality of life. The conditions highlighted above are just a few causes of chronic pain and where biofeedback can be ideal.
Lasting Effects Of Chronic Panic
People suffering from chronic pain are at a high risk of developing different complications, including mental health problems and impaired physical function. One area where prolonged pain affects the quality of life is in terms of altered mood and mental health outcomes. Various studies have shown that individuals with chronic pain have a higher likelihood of developing mental disorders, including depression, suicide ideation, and anxiety disorders. The prevalence of psychopathological problems among those struggling with chronic pain ranges between 33% to 46%, while it only stands at about 10% in the general population.
When pain refuses to go away and continues for weeks or even months, the effects can be considerable, and urgent help is required. Some notable consequences of pain include:
- Lowered energy and constant fatigue;
- Sleep deprivation;
- Tense muscle;
- Memory and concentration problems.
Professionals agree that ongoing irritation from the pain can change the state of mind of sufferers. When you are unable to sleep through the pain, you are likely to be stressed and fatigued, worsening your condition. Getting professional help is recommended.
Treatments Of Chronic Pain
There are many types of treatments that exist for chronic pain. Patients can choose between acupuncture, prescription medicine, and many other pain relief approaches. Of course, there is no silver bullet that can be deemed to work help better than others, and combined strategies may be needed to effectively manage the pain.
Medical Chronic Pain Treatments
One technique for treating chronic pain is through the use of prescription and non-prescription medication. Usually, the doctor begins pain treatment by prescribing over-the-counter drugs like naproxen. If the options fail to work, then they may prescribe stronger analgesics, including antidepressants. Opioids are seldom used in the routine management of chronic pain due to their extensive side-effects.
Injection of medication using steroids is another route for pain treatment and can help by reducing inflammations and swellings. They tend to be quite common for joint pain.
Physical Therapy for Treating Chronic Pain
Another commonly used practice to help in pain management and treatment is physical therapy. It helps by increasing mobility and range of motion. This practice is good for improving the quality of life. The patient can also learn to stretch, monitor, and work on the muscles that continue to cause pain.
Psychological Treatments of Chronic Pain
Many patients report that medications and physical therapy have limited efficacy in relieving chronic pain. There is research evidence to show, however, that therapies that help by connecting the mind-body are effective and can help in the relief of chronic pain.
Cognitive behavior therapy, for instance, remains one of the most effective treatment strategies in pain treatment as it improves the quality of life. The point is that CBT treatment can help by altering the patient’s perception of pain.
Other interesting treatment help options include:
- Biofeedback therapy — patients learn to control their heart rates;
- Acupuncture corrects energy imbalances that cause pain in your body;
- Chiropractic treatment involves spinal manipulative therapy to relieve pain;
- Mindfulness meditation involves being present at the moment;
- Yoga works as a relaxation and pain medication strategy.
How To Live With Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can be debilitating in physical and psychological terms. The good news is that with proper therapy that uses a combination of strategies, pain can be reduced, and quality of life improved. The first step for anyone struggling with chronic pain is to identify an ideal treatment plan that works with the help of a therapist. Go ahead and select a competent therapist online or in your locality that specializes in the process of effective chronic pain therapy.