About 50 million adults in the United States alone are estimated to experience chronic pain. Chronic pain can be defined as pain that lasts at least three months, but it can last six months or much longer. People who experience chronic pain can feel a range of discomfort, from mild to excruciating pain. Chronic pain can cause an increased risk for anxiety and depression, and, for many, reduces their quality of life and makes day-to-day tasks challenging.
What Are Some Conditions That Lead to Chronic Pain?
There are many disorders and conditions that can lead to chronic pain. These could be headaches, injuries, damage to the spine, joint pain and many others. While some people have an initial injury that leads to their chronic pain, others may not have any evidence of damage but still experience discomfort.
When the body is constantly signaling to the brain that it is in pain, this can certainly affect your quality of life. You may be more irritable, depressed or find yourself unable to cope with normal stressors. Your body also may not make its natural painkillers, called endorphins, the way it once did, meaning you may experience pain more acutely.
For some people, pain that doesn’t go away can even negatively affect the immune system, making getting treatment for chronic pain all the more important.
What Does Chronic Pain Look Like?
Chronic pain can present differently in different people—it all depends on the nature of your injury or identifiable source of your pain (if applicable) and your unique constitution. Chronic pain is generally defined as any discomfort that doesn’t go away. It could be an aching, stabbing or even a burning sensation. The area where you’re experiencing pain may also feel sore, tight or stiff.
Often, people who live with chronic pain experience side effects of their condition, including trouble sleeping, mood disorders, fatigue and lower immunity. You may also find yourself resting more or becoming less interested in the things you used to do as a result of your discomfort.
How Is Chronic Pain Treated?
Treatment for chronic pain will vary based on your pain and your condition. If you seek help for your chronic pain with experienced pain management specialists, you may have numerous options for treating your pain, including:
- Nerve blocks
- Intrathecal pain pump
- Physical therapy
- Regenerative medicine
- Radiofrequency ablation
- Spinal cord stimulation
- Steroid injections
For many patients living with chronic pain, successful treatment is a multidimensional approach, meaning a combination of therapies may be necessary to effectively improve pain instead of just one treatment.
Let Us Help You Address Your Pain
You don’t have to live with chronic pain. You have options to live a life with reduced pain or even to possibly eliminate your discomfort with the pain management specialists at Summit Spine & Joint Centers. Call us today at (770) 962-3642 or submit our online form to schedule an appointment at one of our many convenient locations throughout Georgia!