Millions of people in the US suffer from chronic pain. At some point, everyone struggles with some sort of pain during their life, but chronic pain is defined as prolonged pain that lasts anywhere from a few weeks to years. There are many different causes of chronic pain. Everything from nerve damage to injuries that don’t heal properly can leave a person in miserable pain. Chronic pain can often be a baffling problem with no simple solution. Painkillers are often prescribed to chronic pain sufferers, but these powerful medications present certain side effects and risk of addiction. There is a range and combination of factors, and I will try to discuss a few of these in this article.
What Causes Chronic Pain?
Everything from nerve damage to injuries that don’t heal properly can leave a person in miserable pain. Chronic pain can often be a baffling problem with no simple solution. Painkillers are often prescribed to chronic pain sufferers, but these powerful medications present certain side effects and risk of addiction. There is a range and combination of factors, and I will try to discuss a few of these in this article.
Chronic pain caused by bad posture is not as serious of a problem as some of the other causes, but years of bad posture really can affect things like skeletal health. As you get older, bad posture will certainly catch up with you. Many people struggle with back and neck pain because of slouching shoulders and years of sitting at a desk. The best way to combat this pain is to practice good posture consistently, stretch regularly, and get exercise that will build muscle to support your spine.
Nerve damage is a common and very painful cause of chronic pain. There can be a variety of causes for nerve damage and it can happen in your brain and/or spinal cord, as well as the peripheral nerves located in the rest of the body. Nerve damage can result in back and neck pain. It can also result in numbness, tingling, lightheadedness, and muscle twitching. The worst of it obviously results in paralysis. Nerve damage and chronic pain can occur from diseases like autoimmune disease, cancer, diabetes, and infectious disease. It can also happen as a result of physical injury.
When someone with an injury experiences pain long after the projected recovery period, this is known as chronic pain. Pain can arise from an initial injury, oftentimes from sports activities or accidents, that don’t heal within an allotted time. For example, a person may sprain their back in a fall, but if the pain persists and the injury doesn’t heal correctly with adequate treatment, we label this chronic pain. This type of chronic pain can be very frustrating, especially for athletes who have to sit-out their activity for such a reason. People also suffer from chronic pain because of particular diseases like Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia. These are huge contributors to chronic pain because they occur in sensitive areas with a lot of nerves.
A Myth About Chronic Pain
If you suffer from a disease like some listed above, there is not a lot you can do to improve your situation, other than with the use of medication. But for those of you who are suffering from chronic pain as a result of injury or tweaking, like a twisted back, there is a myth you should avoid. If you have back spasms, for instance, you might think that rest would be the best thing for it. And, while some rest and plenty of icing is good for an injury, you don’t want to spend too much time in bed. This can actually make your pain worse because the muscle tightens up. Make sure you stay active to keep your body in a strong and healthy condition, but don’t go too hard either.