Chronic pain can be extremely disruptive to a person’s everyday life, from their ability to carry out daily tasks to their mental health. Finding an effective solution to manage pain is a must for maintaining a good quality of life.
Many people go to great lengths to reduce their pain but often find themselves enduring the pain for weeks, months, or even years.
Are there pain solutions that actually work? What kinds of treatments are worth paying for? And, most importantly, where can you find real help?
What Is Chronic Pain?
Any pain that lasts for more than three months is considered chronic pain. It can stem from a variety of causes, including injury, disease, nerve damage, or an ongoing condition such as arthritis.
Chronic pain can take many forms and can affect virtually any part of the body, from persistent aches to intense sharp pains, and can significantly impact a person’s daily life.
Common Chronic Pain Solutions
There are several conventional methods to manage chronic pain, including medication, physical therapy, and exercise. These methods work by addressing the source of the pain or helping the body build strength and flexibility to better cope with it.
Let’s take a closer look at different treatments commonly used as pain solutions.
Medication for Chronic Pain
Pain medications range from over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to prescription opioids. They work by blocking the body’s pain signals. However, they do not address the underlying cause of the pain and can have side effects like addiction, especially with long-term usage.
Physical Therapy and Exercise
Physical therapy can help manage chronic pain by improving mobility, strength, and flexibility. Exercises tailored to individual needs can help alleviate pain. For instance, a study showed that patients with chronic lower back pain who underwent physical therapy experienced significant relief.
Some patients find, however, that physical therapy doesn’t work fast enough to ease their pain or is too painful to continue. While it may provide gradual and/or eventual relief, some pain can continue to be hard to endure in the long term.
Alternative Pain Solutions
Alternative therapies like dry needling, massage therapy, and mindfulness have proven effective in managing chronic pain. However, the effectiveness of these therapies can vary from person to person and may require consistent sessions to maintain results.
Incorporating healthy lifestyle changes such as a balanced diet and quality sleep can help manage chronic pain. For example, certain foods with anti-inflammatory properties like fatty fish and berries can help reduce inflammation associated with chronic pain.
Psychological Therapy for Chronic Pain
Mental health plays a crucial role in chronic pain management. Therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) have been shown to help patients cope better with their pain. These therapies teach patients how to change negative thought patterns that exacerbate their perception of pain.
Newer, More Advanced Pain Solutions
In addition to the more common pain solutions, medical specialists have devised a variety of new, advanced methods for reducing chronic pain in patients.
Medical devices like transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) units and spinal cord stimulators work by sending electrical impulses to the nervous system to block the perception of pain.
Intervention procedures like nerve blocks, radiofrequency ablations, and spinal injections can provide temporary relief from severe pain. Studies show that the majority of patients find noticeable relief in shorter periods of time.
Finding the Right Pain Solution for You
It’s important to remember that what works for one person may not work for another. Work closely with your primary care physician and a local pain management clinic to find the best solution for you. It may take trial and error and patience, but effective management of chronic pain is achievable for most patients.
Get Pain Management Help at HPM
At HPM, we understand how debilitating chronic pain can be, which is why we offer advanced pain management services at clinics throughout rural America. Our specialists are trained to pinpoint the true source of your pain and tailor a solution that suits your needs best.
Find an HPM location near you today and take the first step towards getting back to doing the things you enjoy most.