How to Live with Chronic Pain
Many people are so used to living with constant pain that they no longer pay attention to them. Passing to the chronic stage, the pain loses its protective and preventive functions and becomes simply an unpleasant background for the current life. Thus, the emergence of new pathologies associated with painful sensations is easily overlooked and realized only when the body is significantly damaged. How to get rid of chronic pain? The answer to this question lies in understanding the nature of this dangerous syndrome and an integrated approach to solving the problem.
What is Chronic Pain Syndrome
The International Association for the Study of Pain defines chronic pain as pain lasting at least three months. The occurrence of chronic pain is most often associated with impaired functions of the nervous system and somatic pathologies, however, as an independent disease, chronic pain syndrome develops with disorders of the psychoemotional sphere.
Causes of Chronic Pain
The main role in the appearance of chronic pain is played not by damage to any organs, but by pathological disturbances in perception and other mental processes. They can be triggered by events such as:
- injuries and operations;
- heart attack or stroke;
- serious stressful situations.
Very often, chronic pain is accompanied by signs of depression:
- sleep disturbances;
- high fatigue;
- decreased attention span;
- decreased self-esteem;
- feeling of hopelessness.
The reverse is also true: more than half of patients with clinical depression are prone to chronic pain. These are mutually supportive pathological processes that make up a vicious circle. At first, pain can develop as a distraction after psychological trauma, but then it becomes an additional depressing process that supports depression. The result is a strong connection between pain and depression, which is also reinforced by the effects of muscle spasms.
Muscle cramps occur against the background of stress in people leading a sedentary lifestyle. They cause pain, which can provoke or aggravate an existing chronic pain syndrome.
Thus, with diagnosed chronic pain, complex therapy with mandatory correction of symptoms of depression is required.
Chronic Pain Treatment
First of all, it should be noted that the diagnosis of “chronic pain syndrome” is made by exclusion after examination by doctors of different specializations. There are a huge number of diseases in which similar pains occur. For example, chronic back pain can be associated with serious diseases of the musculoskeletal system. Chronic pelvic pain syndrome is diagnosed after examinations by specialists such as a urologist, gynecologist, gastroenterologist, neurologist, orthopedist. In the absence of identified diseases and low effectiveness of painkillers, one should proceed to the treatment of chronic pain syndrome as an independent disease.
Therapy for the diagnosed chronic pain syndrome consists of the following set of measures:
- drug anesthesia;
- measures to restore mobility and relieve muscle tension (exercise therapy, physiotherapy, massage, swimming, etc.);
- restoration of chemical processes in the brain with the help of antidepressants;
- creating a patient’s motivation for recovery.
Since painkillers and antidepressants have a number of contraindications and side effects, self-treatment of chronic pain syndrome is unacceptable. Taking any prescribed drugs requires constant medical supervision, so that if necessary, you can change the dose or prescribe another drug. Be sure to follow the hourly medication schedule. Especially important is night pain relief, as a poor night will make your condition worse. Do not let pain interfere with your sleep, think and act.
In the treatment of chronic pain, any stressful situations should be avoided, a healthy regime of the day should be observed, eat right, be in the fresh air, move more. The best results in the treatment of chronic pain are achieved in spa and sanatorium conditions, as well as in specialized centers.
How to relieve pain?
When the body adapts to chronic pain, physical mobility decreases, the quality and rhythm of life changes, the emotional state deteriorates, which gradually leads to depression. Patients with chronic pain need careful handling, moral support and counseling from a psychologist. All this can be provided by a specialized rehabilitation center, where patients are offered various rehabilitation courses after suffering mental and physical injuries and diseases. Treatment of pain syndrome effectively combines methods of motor and psychological rehabilitation.
An important success factor is the atmosphere supported by the center staff. Comfortable hotel-type rooms, healthy home cooking, special cultural programs, The location of the center in an ecologically safe area helps maintain a good mood for patients and motivate them to recover. Chronic pain will surely recede if you make the right effort.3 Sources