Chronic pain occurs when there’s damage to the nerves in a specific area of the body. Those nerves continue to send pain signals to the brain even though there isn’t immediate damage or risk to the area itself. It’s debilitating and frustrating to manage for many people. Yet, effective chronic pain management is an option for many people within the right treatment program.
What Makes Chronic Pain Treatment So Difficult?
People who have chronic pain don’t often have access to a cure for it. The damaged nerves continue to send pain signals to the brain even after the tissues in the area heal and become healthy again. In some cases, damaged muscle tissue heals improperly, or the function of the foot, leg or some other area is limited after an injury. It may not be functioning as it should, and that’s causing the pain.
What really makes chronic pain worrisome is what it causes: a sedentary lifestyle. That’s dangerous for numerous reasons:
- A higher risk of obesity
- Lack of mobility reduces the quality of life
- Chronic pain can worsen over time
- Pain medications like opiates are not appropriate for many due to their addiction risks
- Over time, the condition can lead to complications with heart disease
Yet, without a simple answer, what can be done to help a person with this debilitating pain?
How Staying Active Can Help
It can seem like an impossible situation. To feel better, you need to get in physical activity, but it hurts to move. Working closely with a team of professionals, many people can see significant improvement in their chronic pain levels. For example, you can slowly work to improve the function of muscles, tendons, and ligaments using physical therapy. You can work to build strength on core muscle groups. Over time, and slowly, the proper function of muscles can also help restore function. It’s a healing process that may be slow, but it is less painful and works well.
Who Should Invest in Chronic Pain Management?
If you have significant pain, it may be limiting what you do. You may be avoiding steps. Some people may spend more time sitting down instead of doing things they used to love outdoors or with friends. That does not have to happen. With proper treatment and ongoing support, you may be able to regain the function of your body again. Seek out chronic pain management support if you are:
- No longer engaging in activities you enjoy
- Struggling with pain daily
- Using over-the-counter or prescription pain medications for pain
- Using alcohol to deal with pain
- Slowing down physically