If you suffer from chronic pain, you may think no one understands how you feel. But, did you know one in five Australians are suffering from it too, and even more in the over-65 age bracket?
Chronic pain is constant, ongoing pain that will occur for at least 50 percent of the time in a six-month period. While cancer and nervous system injuries can cause chronic pain, it can also have no diagnosable cause and affects children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly. Chronic pain does not discriminate.
WHAT IS CHRONIC PAIN?
Think back to the last time you were healing from an injury, even if it were a bruise from hitting your hand or a scraped knee. You felt pain for a few days or weeks, but then it went away as the injury healed. Chronic pain is feeling pain long after a wound heals, or even for what appears to be no reason at all.
Your spinal cord and nerves become sensitive, and even with no damage, enhances messages to your brain to tell you to feel pain in certain areas. In essence, your nervous system is alerting you that you've injured a part of your body when you're actually completely okay.
What can often make chronic pain worse is when it begins to enhance pain in areas of your body where there once were injuries that are now healed. You now feel both the old pain and new pain, exacerbating the situation.
While chronic pain often has no cause, there are scenarios where it does - such as from cancer or neuropathic pain. When you are involved in an accident or sustain an injury resulting in nervous system damage, you can permanently damage your nerves. As a result, areas of your skin may tingle, feel numb or as if they're burning, or you may experience sharp, shooting pains.
HOW DO YOU FIX CHRONIC PAIN?
Anyone who has ever had chronic pain wishes there was a cure, but unfortunately in many cases there is only a way to manage it. The most effective way to manage chronic pain involves a multidisciplinary approach and there are many drug-free therapies that can be helpful in reducing many types of pain. Because everyone is different there is no one right answer. It is best to try for yourself to see what works best for you.
TALK TO YOUR CHIROPRACTOR
When you see your chiropractor about chronic pain, part of their job is to learn about your personal situation, how you manage your pain currently, and what you find does and does not work for you. The more detailed you can be, the more your chiropractor can help.
Chronic pain can rule your life, but it doesn't have to. You can make an appointment with your chiropractor to discuss which drug free and non-invasive methods may be best suited for your chronic pain. The goal is to live your life to the fullest, where you're in control of the chronic pain – it doesn't control you!