UNDERSTANDING YOUR CHRONIC PAIN

Aug 31, 2020

By now, you're probably sick and tired of hearing about chronic pain.

However, the sad truth is that some people living with chronic pain don’t know the root cause behind the debilitating discomfort they are experiencing.

This begs the question: How can you properly get your pain under control if you don’t even know where it comes from?

The mechanisms of chronic pain begin the same as many other types of pain, which are intended to alert the body to potential injuries. When this pain happens in response to a new, potential injury, it is called acute pain.

When the same pain continues to happen for more than 3 months or even years after your injury has healed, it is called chronic pain.

Pain originates through signals from receptors in the skin, which then travel to the brain and spinal cord. In most individuals, these receptors are only triggered when there is new pain that you must be alerted to.

However, individuals living with chronic pain have hyperactive receptors that consistently send pain signals to the nervous system, or your internal controls.

Normally, these messages kickstart the body’s natural inflammatory response, which is a healthy process that allows for healing from the inside out.

But when this happens on a regular basis -- as it does with individuals who have chronic pain -- the body’s inflammatory response is frequently engaged.

While this healing process is a good way to repair existing and potentially harmful injuries, bodily inflammation should not exist otherwise, since it can cause a range of issues that make individuals living with chronic pain feel worse.

These concerns include fluctuating energy levels and mood, sleep issues, appetite changes, varying levels of function, and digestive problems to name a few. All of which usually occur over an extended period of time.

Chronic pain typically lasts 12 weeks or more, and this type of pain can have a widespread effect on the body, manifesting in some of the following ways:

● Migraines

● Joint pain

● Pain after surgery

● Muscle pain

● Cancer pain

● Nerve pain

Pain after trauma, such as whiplash or a fall on one side of the body is also something that can cause long lasting pain.

And just like acute pain, each person’s chronic pain can be explained using a variety of words.

If you develop a good habit of tracking your pain by writing down how you feel each day (including levels on a scale of 1 to 10 with descriptive terms), you will begin to better understand your body.

These terms can also give doctors, therapists, and other providers involved in your care valuable insight about your condition. Some such terms include, but are not limited to:

● Dull or sore

● Aching

● Radiating or shooting

● Stabbing or stinging

● Throbbing

● Burning

● Compressing or squeezing

● General stiffness

One of the first steps towards taking control of your chronic pain is by understanding your body.

People can easily get stuck in a rut and become used to living with chronic pain, but it doesn't have to be that way.

You should change things up and take advantage of the Pain Mentor network.

Reach out today and learn more about how planning for pain relief actually works to your advantage.

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