Pain is inevitable. The International Association for the Study of Pain states that pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with or resembling an actual or potential tissue damage. You experience acute pain from a papercut, cut on your knee, muscle sore, sprain, or broken arm. There’s always tissue damage with acute pain. However, chronic pain haunts you even after the wound or the tissue has healed. It might also be due to an injury that doesn’t heal or a painful illness that isn’t getting better. It affects numerous facets of your life and the quality of it.
What is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is getting common as much as it is a complex and distressing problem that profoundly impacts an individual’s quality of life. The National Health Service defines chronic pain as a pain that persists for longer than 12 weeks despite medication and treatment. According to the British Journal of Anesthesia, the prominence of chronic worldwide is increasing. However, there are still many misconceptions about chronic pain. Let us debunk some common myths on chronic pain.
- You eventually get used to the pain
- It doesn’t hurt much since you were able to enjoy or attend an event or gathering, or did an activity
- You look happy, smiling and “normal”, so you’re probably not in pain
- Chronic pain gives you a mental illness and vice versa
- Push through the pain and it will go away
No, you don’t get used to how much it hurts. Chronic pain myths will always hurt you and affect your life. However, you can adjust your lifestyle and learn how to function with the pain. There are numerous available treatments and therapies available to help alleviate the pain as well. You might need to sacrifice the things that you always enjoy doing and the things you still want to do in the future. Learning to avoid activities that may make it worse or trigger it can help a lot.
Chronic pain doesn’t have the same level of pain intensity all the time. There are specific periods that it may be manageable and times that it flares up, which makes you not function well in your daily routine. Some can still attend a concert or go on a hike but may feel worse pain on the following days.
People with chronic pain can still learn to enjoy their lives. It doesn’t mean that they always have to be sent to the emergency room or stay in solitary or home confinement. They will learn how to adapt enough to socialize and mingle. However, you may notice a grimace if you try to observe more closely. They will also have days where they can’t even bring themselves out of bed. People with chronic pain fight a daily battle alone and still strive to be healthy every day.
The impact of chronic pain on one’s daily life can result in depression. Both chronic pain and mental illness correlate. However, chronic pain is not the cause of depression, and depression is not the cause of chronic pain myths. Depression develops over time, and it can even worsen the pain. That’s why an untreated chronic pain is dangerous to mental health and may lead to suicide.
The assumption is undoubtedly false. Medications don’t take away the sensation of pain. It just reduces the pain to a tolerable level or creates a numbing sensation in a particular area of pain. People should be aware of the misnomer of the word “pain killer” for it does not kill or take away the pain. There are also pain medications that have side effects that may leave the patient too sedated to function for a short amount of time. It is also not advisable to frequently drink pain killers to avoid substance abuse.
Chronic pain has no finish line. You can’t push through it. It does not get better after a day or two, like the soreness from a workout or a run. People with chronic pain have to face it every day. “Pushing” through the pain will only make it worse, so you need to listen to your body and be kind to it.
Who’s the Best Chronic Pain Specialist?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic pain is prevalent in America, with an estimated 20.4% of the population having chronic pain and 8.0% having high-impact chronic pain. You might be one of them, who should you turn to?
Dr. Ronak Patel is the right pain doctor for you. He specializes in treating back pain, neck pain, joint pain, facial pain, and cancer-related pain. He acquired advanced skills in the innovative spinal cord and peripheral nerve interventions/ablation, fracture repair through vertebral augmentation, state-of-the-art regenerative therapy, and both ultrasound-guided and x-ray guided procedures while training with the leaders of pain management in the country. His goal is to bring expert, comprehensive, safe, and effective pain care to as many patients as possible.
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Disclaimer: Information on this website is not intended to be used in place of your professional medical advice or treatment. Please consult your doctor or healthcare provider with any questions regarding a medical condition.