Chronic Pain Explained
If you are suffering from pain and it has been lasting for more than a few months, then it would be categorized as chronic pain. It can be tempting to get in bed to rest when you are feeling the worst effects, but medical experts will advise you that this is not a good solution. In fact, they recommend that the complete opposite is a better way to combat chronic pain and advise that exercise is a good way of relieving the pain.
Chronic pain sufferers have developed their pain through an injury, but sometimes there is no rationale behind the cause of the pain. The different types of chronic pain include:
- Headaches: If a headache lasts for more than a few days, then it could be a chronic headache. Due to the persistent nature of constant daily headache, they can be quite debilitating.
- Back pain: If back pain lasts for more than 12 weeks then it a described as chronic.
- Arthritis/joint pain: a very common problem which has numerous possible causes. Older people are frequently affected.
- Nerve pain: Usually caused by damaged nerve fibres.
- Cancer: Cancer survives sometimes suffer ongoing pain after a cancer treatment. The severity can vary though it can affect daily life.
When you visit your doctor, they will discuss with you the various ways that chronic pain can be treated, but anyone who has suffered with it will understand that it can often be unbearable and the thought of trying to exercise to combat it is not even an option.
If you do try to rest up and stay inactive, then the problem is that it gets harder to get active again, meaning the pain can escalate. It is difficult, but the best thing really is to try and push through the pain and keep your body moving.
Exercises that are commonly advised are walking, swimming, yoga and using an exercise bike. These are all types of exercise that are less weight bearing, so less likely to be painful. Swimming is an exercise that is recommended for all kinds of injury rehabilitation due to the fact that the water helps you to keep weight off the joints. Physiotherapists will often do sessions in the water to get people walking again after an operation or any injury on a joint.
Physical therapy is often prescribed to help chronic pain sufferers to relieve some pain. Therapists will build a special exercise schedule for you to pinpoint the pain issues and work out a way to reduce the pain in the affected area.
If you are suffering pain in your workplace, then you should also see an Occupational Therapist. Most large companies will have a service provider that they pay to help their staff to set up a more comfortable environment. For office workers, this will usually involve a desk assessment to see what equipment could be used to make you more comfortable. This could include a specialist chair that puts less pressure on your back or neck, or it could be a mouse rest to support your arm. There are lots of different solutions that can make a major difference in your working environment, and reduce your pain.
To help provide your doctor with relevant information and updates about your pain levels, you can use a painscale tool to help to track the pain, and you might even be able to identify certain patterns where it occurs more.
Chronic pain is terrible to live with, but there are ways that you can try to improve your life and make adjustments for less painful days.