Can Chronic Pain Be Prevented?
Some Forms of Pain Can Be Debilitating
Unfortunately, pain is a natural part of life. You would be hard-pressed to find someone who has never experienced pain in some way. Pain comes in many different forms and can affect us in many ways. Often, people experience brief, acute pain from injuries that affect them momentarily, but after time, heal and go away. However, many people are cursed with the unfortunate circumstance of living with chronic pain, with an estimated 50 million American adults suffering from chronic pain.
Not only is this pain uncomfortable and affects how you feel both physically and mentally, but it also affects your quality of life. Everyday activities become difficult or impossible to do and enjoy. While most are aware of the physical damage chronic pain does, few people recognize the damage to your mental health it causes. With so many issues directly caused by chronic pain, it’s no surprise why so many patients ask their pain management providers if their chronic pain can be prevented. The answer isn’t as straightforward as you would like.
After all, pain is complex, and every individual case is different from the next. Their pain, whether chronic or acute, is unique to them. However, we will be explaining how you may be able to prevent chronic pain and certain cases where pain is more likely to occur. If you or a loved one is suffering from chronic pain, please do not hesitate to contact the Frisco pain management clinic at Texas Partners Healthcare Group today.
What is Chronic Pain?
While virtually everyone will experience pain in some form or another, chronic pain is vastly different than other forms of pain. When you suffer acute trauma, you feel immense pain immediately after the injury is sustained. However, after the injury is healed, the pain will subside and go away. When it comes to this pain, that’s not the case. Your body will continue to send pain signals to your brain long after the injury has healed, lasting several weeks, months, or even years.
Typically, this pain is identified as pain that lasts over 12 weeks. It can be minor to moderate to severe, affecting your overall quality of life. Sometimes the pain can be steady or intermittent, coming and going with no real reason.
Some of the most common types of chronic pain are:
- Back pain
- Joint pain
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Headaches and migraines
- Postsurgical pain
- Post-trauma pain
- Nerve pain
- Diabetic neuropathy
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
Certain conditions can lead to this pain, such as:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Inflammatory bowel disease
As you can see, chronic pain can be the result of a host of different causes. Because of the complexities of each case, we can’t outright say whether it can be prevented or not. It all depends on the individual and their specific case.
As you can see, there are many different causes and types of chronic pain, meaning that there is no cure-all. Each case requires different treatments to appropriately relieve symptoms of pain. What works for back pain may not work for nerve pain and vice versa. It’s difficult to find one way that prevents this chronic condition in all patients. With so many risk factors, preventing chronic pain should be multidimensional. It should include a host of factors, including better education, better treatments, counseling, better nutrition, and more.
It usually develops after an individual goes through an episode of acute pain. Acute pain will go away in a short time, while chronic pain can last for weeks and months to even years. To prevent this pain, you must treat your acute pain quickly and appropriately. If not, you run the risk of developing chronic pain. Intense episodes of acute trauma leave your nervous system overactivated. This overactivation is so strong that if it isn’t treated swiftly, it may not let up. Once this pain has set in, it can lead to a host of other issues, such as depression, fatigue, hormonal changes, impaired functions, and more. Arguably the best way to prevent this is to ensure that your acute pain is well-managed and treated so that this pain does not transition into chronic pain.
However, there are steps you can take to prevent chronic pain even if you haven’t suffered acute trauma.
You don’t have to wait until you suffer acute pain to work to prevent chronic pain. There is a myriad of lifestyle changes that you can make to reduce your risk of ever developing this pain. After all, wouldn’t it be easier to limit the amount of pain you experience in the first place rather than reacting after you develop it?
Texas Partners Healthcare Group has compiled a list of useful tips and strategies you can employ in your life to prevent pain:
- Go to your doctor after an instance of acute trauma
- Getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep a night
- Eating a healthy and nutritional diet
- Staying physically active; swimming, yoga, resistance training, physical therapy, etc.
- Avoid smoking cigarettes
- Limit alcohol intake
- Maintain proper posture, as this reduces the amount of stress on your body
- Limit stress by meditating and practicing mindfulness
The best way to prevent chronic pain is to ensure your body is as healthy as can be. This means making sure you are a healthy weight, your body is receiving the nutrients it requires and gets the right amount of sleep, and you are avoiding putting harmful toxins into your body. When your body is healthy and functioning at its full potential, it can better react to pain and heal properly. However, it is still crucial to seek treatment from a healthcare professional if you suffer acute trauma or experience pain of any kind. If you are suffering from chronic pain, contact the pain management clinic in Frisco at Texas Partners Healthcare Group to learn more about our pain management services.