Chronic pain affects millions of people and can be debilitating and cause a variety of other problems that add to the patient’s unhappiness. For those who suffer occasional pain, you will know how bad it feels, but those with chronic pain suffer this all day, every day, even though they are often on strong painkillers. Here are some of the effects of chronic pain and how you can try to deal with them.
One of the biggest issues with those that suffer chronic pain is mobility. Sometimes the pain can be caused by another issue that limits mobility such as damaged joints or arthritis. In these situations, most patients are unable to get around easily and often need the aid of a wheelchair or a walking frame. In other cases, the pain can be such that it causes the patient not to want to move or go out of the house.
As well as the physical issues that pain has, there are also associated psychological problems that can develop. These can include anxiety, depression, and insomnia, and they can add to the difficulty in dealing with the pain itself. There are ways that even people with severe pain can start to turn a corner. Some mild exercise has been found to lighten the low mood and improve depression and anxiety.
Sometimes, the effect of long-term painkiller use can be an addiction, especially those that take opioid-based medicines. There is a delicate balancing act to be performed by doctors who want to relieve the patient’s pain, but don’t want them to fall into addiction. For those that are already addicted to prescription drugs, there are places which can help them to come off the medication. If you want to try and avoid addiction, then perhaps you and your doctor can plan more natural ways to relieve pain such as herbal medicine and TENS machines.
For some people, the pain they feel makes them want to sit in one place or simply lay in bed because moving is too difficult. For those people, this can lead to a condition categorized by medical professionals as Disuse Syndrome. It is a cycle that can quickly get out of control if not stopped, and it can lead to muscle wastage, weakness and exacerbate mental health issues as well. When the body isn’t kept mobile, it can start to lose its ability to move, and the muscles start to waste. There are ways that you can prevent this from occurring, such as trying to get out of bed or out of your chair at least once a day. Even if you only move a short distance, it can make a lot of difference. You can also try physical therapy to try and keep the joints and muscles working.
Chronic pain is something that no-one can understand unless they have been in that situation. However, there are things that you can do to try and relieve the pain and prevent the associated problems that can occur.