Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can truly make your life miserable! No matter how healthy you are, chronic pain can, to some extent, make you unfit for leading a normal life, leaving you with no other option but to run helter-skelter to the doctor’s doorsteps.

What Is Chronic Pain?

Pain, as such, is caused because of some injury or disease that affect the visceral, somatic and neural structures in the body. The same holds for chronic pain as well. Unlike acute pain, chronic pain is not gone in a few days. As the body show signs of healing, acute pain gradually leaves the host body but chronic pain continues, sometimes even for months at stretch.

Causes

Nociception is the term that describes the biological experience of pain. Nociception occurs if the nerves of the body cannot carry on their functions properly because of some disease or because of some injury. Nociception is governed by peripheral and central nervous systems. The peripheral nervous system comprises of small myelinated and unmyelinated nerve fibers, which meet into a region of the spinal cord referred to as the dorsal horn.

The dorsal horn virtually starts the process of pain signal transmission, followed by nerve fibers, which transmit the signals to the thalamus. The neurons move on from thalamus to the limbic system, reaching the sensory cortex so that we feel pain. The continuous nociceptive transmissions to the dorsal horn can even cause the nonnociceptive nerve fibers to respond to, generate and transmit pain signals. In case of persistent pain, it literally becomes impossible to reverse the process.

Treatment

The victims of chronic pain find help in medicines and therapy. Pain relievers, antidepressants and anticonvulsants are most frequently used to kick off undesirable pain. Antidepressants and antiepleptic drugs acts in the region of the central nervous system and provide much needed relief in neuropthic pain disorders.

Opioid and non-opioid medications are used to check the pain caused by chronic pain but come with a host of side effects. The use of Opioids for a longer period may cause drug tolerance, chemical dependency and (rarely) addiction. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are analgesics that offer relief from persistent pain, but prolonged use will invite a host of serious side effects.

Therapies

Therapies have come as a welcome relief for persistent pain sufferers. Unlike medication, therapies are free from any side effects. They not only give relief from persistent pain, but also act as stress-busters and assure you multiple advantages.

Physical therapies like stretching and strengthening and exercises like walking, swimming or biking have proved effective in bringing relief. Moderate exercising is better for a chronic pain patient.

Occupational therapy helps you to do normal activities without injuring yourself. Behavioral therapy includes meditation and yoga that alleviate chronic pain, also helping de-stress, giving your body a relaxing and rejuvenating experience.

Injection neuromodulation and neuroablative therapy strikes either the organ systems responsible for continuous nociception or the nerves carrying pain signals.

Other Ways To Reduce Pain

Kick of your smoking habit, as nicotine decreases the effect of medicine you take for chronic pain.
Proper sleep at night and short nap during daytime helps considerably.
Consult your doctor properly to ensure that chronic pain syndrome becomes a matter of past and it does not haunt you anymore.

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