Chronic Pain

How to Treat Pain in your Daily Life

Pain is generally classified as either acute (temporary) or chronic (long-term). We are only discussing chronic pain in this article, which is defined as pain that lasts longer than six months.

Doctors have known for some time that 50% of all chronic pain sufferers also experience clinical depression. Therefore, if you have chronic pain you should discuss your emotional and psychological health with him or her. If depression is present in a patient then the pain and the depression will almost always be treated simultaneously. The doctor can treat the physical pain and a psychologist can treat the depression.

Doctors have more tools available to treat physical pain than they had just a few years ago. Today pain therapy techniques and programs can be very focused and effective. Some of these pain treatment tools include physical therapy, water or aquatic therapy, psychological treatment, and if necessary, surgery.

However, there are a number of “self-help” tools that any patient can use to improve his or her overall health and reduce their level of pain. Before beginning any “self-help” treatment you should always discuss your plans with your doctor.

“Self Help” Tools for Treating your Pain

Quit Smoking – Among the many negative effects of smoking are reduced blood circulation and the possibility of cancer and heart disease.

Biofeedback – Biofeedback is learning to control a body function, such as muscle tension, and it can be very effective. Keep an open mind regarding biofeedback.

Meditation – Meditation and deep breathing has helped many patients reduce their chronic pain. Take a class and again, keep an open mind.

Healthy Diet – Eat a healthy diet because your body needs to repair itself. The human body has daily repair work to do even for a healthy person. If you are experiencing chronic pain then your body has extra repair work to do. If you are not sure how to proceed then work with a nutritionist. Your body needs a healthy balance of foods, vitamins, and minerals.

Exercise – Talk to your doctor about what exercises you can or should do. Exercise produces natural endorphins which are brain chemicals that block pain signals. Plus exercise has many other benefits for your body. If you are a “couch potato” then it is time to change.

Reduce your Stress – Find ways to reduce stress in your life because stress can increase your sensitivity to pain. Identify the stressors in your life and find a way to minimize or eliminate them. In addition, relaxation techniques such as soothing music and mental imagery relaxation can be helpful.

Chronic pain sufferers have many tools available to help them. Talk to your doctor and your psychologist and create a plan to reduce or eliminate your pain.

4 Simple Truths about Back Pain

Good news about back pain is that most moderate to mild back pain can be lessened and / or eliminated with a better understanding of the possible causes and solutions. Diagnosing back pain is difficult because there are so many body parts that are part of or interact with the spine. Some of these parts are the vertebrae, discs between the vertebrae, ligaments connecting vertebrae, discs and muscles, spinal cord, nerves, muscles, and internal organs in the abdomen.

Your Office Chair may be the source of your back pain. Sitting for long periods of time is unhealthy for the back and lessens the blood flow to discs that provide cushioning between vertebrae. Studies have shown that sitting can put as much as 30 percent more pressure on your spinal column than standing or walking. So what is the solution? Try to stand up and walk around as often as possible. Some people have both stand-up desks and normal desks so they can split their time between the two. And try to keep a good posture when sitting, which is a chair seat that tilts back slightly and keeping your feet flat on the floor.

Your Shoes may be another source of your back pain. Shoes with high heels can alter the distribution of your body weight, resulting in stress on the spinal column. The effects can also be felt in the feet and knees. And any shoe without a back, such as flipflops or flats, can produce problems because the heel of the foot can slide around when walking. This creates instability for the spinal column and could result in back pain also. So what is the solution? Wear shoes that are stable – with a firm back and heels under three inches in height.

Extra Body Weight, particularly about the belly, can cause strain on your lower back. This is true for pregnant women also. Your extra body weight forces a forward tilt in the pelvis, which is affecting the alignment and balance of the spinal column. So what is the most common solution? Exercise your abdominal muscles. Stronger abdominal muscles will reduce the load on the lumbar discs of your spine. These exercises are simple and can be done daily. Pregnant women should discuss this with their doctor.

Stress is a significant cause of back pain. Back Muscles, like any muscle in the body, are designed to contract and relax. But if you are physically and/or mentally stressed the back muscles may contract and not relax. If another related part of the back has been injured, nature “instructs” the lower back muscles to contract to lessen movement and protect the injured area. Basically, this is nature’s splint for the lower back. The solution may be low impact aerobic exercise or a simple schedule of walking frequently. Talk to your doctor about your stress and how to deal with it and your back pain.

There are many other causes and potential solutions for back pain. The situations mentioned above are just a few possibilities but they are common. Always contact your doctor if your back pain is severe or lasts more than a couple of weeks.