Chronic pain is the type of pain that lasts months or even years. You can experience it in not just one but in all body parts. It negatively impacts your daily life. If not addressed timely, chronic pain can also cause depression and anxiety.
Treatment for the pain begins by finding out its cause. But sometimes, the causes of the pain are not so obvious. At such a point, a combination of medications, physical therapies, and healthy lifestyle changes can help reduce the pain.
Advanced Pain Care is a leading pain care center based in Texas. They have Pain Doctors in Round Rock, Waco, Kyle, Austin, and various other locations across Texas. Specializing in chronic pain, it provides effective pain management to patients. The pain specialists are dedicated to improving the quality of life for patients and working with them in a caring, compassionate environment to develop a comprehensive plan of care that fits their needs.
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What Is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is a persistent pain that goes over three months. This pain is so intense that it does not let you perform your day-to-day activities normally. So, it negatively impacts both your physical and mental health. Common chronic pain conditions are back, arthritis, neck pain, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, and migraines. All of these conditions let you experience pain in different ways. But what they have in common is a lingering pain. This pain does not respond to treatment and medication.
The Impact of Chronic Pain on Your Mind
Chronic pain damages the emotional and psychological health of a person. This pain impacts your ability to work, sleep, and even converse with those close to you. By diminishing your ability in all these spheres, it reduces your morale. Over time, it can lead to the development of mental health conditions. Once your mental condition starts deteriorating, it becomes even more difficult to manage pain. According to pain care specialists, chronic pain makes you a victim of a vicious cycle of physical pain and mental stress.
Here are some ways in which chronic pain affects your mental health.
Anxiety: Chronic pain can cause you to become more anxious. It also aggravates your anxious thoughts. This, in turn, contributes to worsening pain.
Cognition: Pain negatively affects your ability to focus. You find it hard to think straight and recall. It has been seen that chronic pain patients have a lower level of long-term memory. They also have a lower processing speed and selective attention span.
Depression: Depression becomes a companion of chronic pain. The link between those with chronic pain and depression is very high. Depression not only worsens chronic pain but also causes the development of pain.
Stress: Patients with chronic pain are almost always stressed. They are exposed to more cortisol, which is a stress hormone. Excessive production of the stress hormone cortisol negatively impacts their body. It can also lead to chronic diseases like diabetes and heart ailments.
Treatment Approaches for Chronic Pain
According to pain specialists, chronic pain often results from damaged, inflamed, or dysfunctional nerves. This occurs because of structural deterioration that comes with aging. Besides, nerve damage can occur due to physical injury, muscle strain, or disease. Conventional pain management uses pain with medications to treat chronic pain. It only temporarily eases pain symptoms. The root cause of the pain remains unresolved.
According to pain specialists, interventional pain management, or IPM, is a better way of treating chronic pain as it identifies the underlying structural cause leading to pain. IPM devices like spinal cord stimulators interrupt the transfer of pain signals from the nerves at their source. Thus, it effectively reduces pain.
Other Treatment Approaches for Chronic Pain
There are various other integrated treatment options that address the mental health symptoms of chronic pain. They help people acquire a better hold over their thought processes to improve their overall condition.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): In CBT, the patient works with a therapist or psychologist. They address the anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues faced by the patient. To do so, the psychologist identifies the negative thoughts that cause them.
Medication: Medications such as serotonin and norepinephrine antidepressants can enhance mental health. This, in turn, positively impacts chronic pain.
Support Groups: Spending time with a group of individuals experiencing the same hardships due to pain is very comforting. Chronic pain adversely impacts the ability to be social. Support groups let the patient feel less isolated. They give them a space where they can voice their feelings and be understood by others.
If you or your loved one deal with chronic pain, visit Advanced Pain Care. The multi-disciplinary team of highly qualified physicians and staff in various Advanced pain Care centers hold certifications in over 15 specialties of pain care, nursing, and behavioral and psychological health. Contact Advanced Pain Care today to learn how they can help you.