What is Chronic Pain, and How Do I Manage It?

Posted on
man in a blue shirt sitting next to his desk holding his lower back from pain, on his desk there is a laptop and glasses

Chronic pain. If you struggle with an occasional strained back or a bum knee that pops every couple of years, that’s not chronic pain. Likewise, suppose you deal with an excruciating recovery from complicated surgery and need heavy pain meds for a few days or even a couple of weeks. In that case, that’s not chronic pain either. Chronic pain is much more insidious. Chronic pain doesn’t go away.

What Makes Chronic Pain “Chronic?”

Chronic pain is pain that doesn’t ever go away for at least three months. It may ease, or you may have pain-free days, but when a patient struggles with chronic pain, it can be difficult to create a treatment regimen that provides true relief.

Chronic pain includes things like arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia and some types of neuropathies. It doesn’t go away or even ease for long with OTC anti-inflammatory medicine or ice packs. Instead, it persists throughout therapy, rest and typical recovery times. Debilitating illnesses like Cancer can cause chronic pain, as do other diseases. On the other hand, sometimes chronic pain can appear without cause.

To make matters even worse, when people struggle with chronic pain, it can lead to mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, as the patient is forced to withdraw from their life.

Allied Pain & Spine Institute Offers Alternatives to Treat Chronic Pain

At Allied Pain & Spine Institute, we know that pain medication works well for some patients, but long-term medication isn’t always the answer. That’s why we support and offer a wide variety of alternative treatments for chronic pain.

  • The right types of exercise can be helpful in pain relief and increased mobility. In addition, things like swimming and yoga can be very helpful in pain management.
  • Electrotherapy uses mild electrical impulses applied directly to the painful area to interrupt the pain signals your nerves send to the brain. This can decrease pain for some patients.
  • Injections of steroids to reduce inflammation and anesthetics can be a viable alternative for pain relief.
  • Mindfulness training can be helpful to chronic pain patients. By learning to harness the power of the mind, many can reduce their pain to tolerable levels.

If you’ve been searching for an answer to your chronic pain, please contact Allied Pain & Spine Institute today for an appointment.

Posted on behalf of Dr. James Petros, Allied Pain & Spine Institute