People who suffer from chronic pain know it can be a debilitating way to live life. Persistent pain can slow a person down, both physically and mentally. It can take a toll on a person’s health and well-being. The type of chronic pain treatment a person can receive all depends on the afflicted area of the body.
The Vicious Cycle of Chronic Pain
Simply put, chronic pain is any pain that persists for longer than three months. Sometimes referred to as Chronic Pain Syndrome (or CPS), the condition differs from acute pain. Acute pain is often short-lived, sharp, and centrally located. Chronic pain remains for extended periods of time and can affect many parts of the body.
Occurring anywhere on the body, chronic pain might come and go in waves, or it might be persistent. During lulls, a chronic pain sufferer can receive a temporary respite, but the promise of returning pain can make that time seem fleeting. Living with chronic pain can make everyday activities difficult or impossible. It can lead to depression, sleep loss, and various medical conditions that can exacerbate chronic pain.
Chronic pain can be a vicious cycle, affecting about 25 percent of adults in the United States. It is different from acute pain that comes from an illness or injury. Once the injury is healed or the illness has passed, acute pain goes with it. Chronic pain lingers on.
Chronic Back Pain
One of the most common forms of chronic pain is back pain. Back pain is so common, in fact, that about 80 percent of Americans will experience some form of it in their lifetime. Chronic back pain affects about 8 percent of people over the age of 18.
People who suffer from back pain have a wide-ranging spectrum of troubles. Muscle aches, shooting, burning, and stabbing sensations all throughout the back are common complaints. Because the human back extends far, severe back pain can even shoot down into a person’s leg. This can make everyday activities such as walking, lifting, bending, and even standing unbearable.
Chronic back pain might come from any number of ailments including:
- Muscle spasms or ligament strain
- Ruptured or bulging disks on the spine
- Arthritis and/or osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease)
- Inflammatory disease
Other Forms of Chronic Pain
Though chronic pain often results from an acute injury or illness, sometimes it is brought on by unknown reasons. Some types of chronic pain a person can suffer from are:
- Neck pain
- Persistent pain in scar tissue
- Muscle pain throughout the body, as with fibromyalgia
Chronic pain can also affect people living with long-term diseases such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Chronic Back Treatment
Chronic pain sufferers often seek out medical specialists. Depending on a person’s condition and medical history, a variety of treatments can be prescribed. Pain medicines such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin can sometimes alleviate pain. Other forms of treatment might include:
- Physical and/or occupational therapy
- Braces and other body support mechanisms
- Relaxation techniques
- Spinal cord stimulation for back pain
- Nerve blocks
- Surgery to treat the condition that caused the pain
Since pain originates in the brain, chronic pain management can involve a mix of both physical and mental treatments.
You Don’t Have to Manage Your Chronic Pain Alone
People who suffer from chronic pain have a high rate of anxiety, fatigue, and depression. What can begin as a symptom of another condition, chronic pain itself can lead to other medical problems. It can negatively affect a person’s life in many ways. But it doesn’t have to. Chronic pain sufferers can benefit from support groups and like-minded communities. It’s the job of a pain specialist to help people manage their pain.
At Bass Medical, our staff is well-equipped to help manage your chronic pain. If you have further questions about chronic pain or any other medical issue, Bass Medical can help. Contact us today for a consultation.