You smashed your hand in the car door, and it’s hurt and swollen. The why of the pain is obvious, and relief may involve an ice pack or a pain reliever. But months later, you begin experiencing pain unrelated to a known injury or illness, which could be chronic pain.
What is Chronic Pain?
“Chronic pain is pain that is ongoing and usually lasts longer than six months. This type of pain can continue even after the injury or illness that caused it has healed or gone away. Pain signals remain active in the nervous system for weeks, months, or years. Some people suffer chronic pain even when there is no past injury or apparent body damage.” Ketamine or therapy options can treat many of these symptoms.
What are the Symptoms?
Symptoms of chronic pain may include:
- back pain
- pain from cancer
- arthritis pain
- pain caused by nerve damage
As part of your potentially daily tribulations, you can accurately describe chronic pain as:
- a dull ache
And perhaps one of the most annoying things about chronic pain is it is mysterious, often without an apparent cause. For instance, many people report such pain years after recovering from an injury.
The Source of Chronic Pain
Here’s where we delve into the mysterious origins of chronic pain. The pain could be driven by environment or biology and include:
- Growing old
- You’re female
- You’ve undergone surgery
- You’re overweight or obese
- Stress or mood disorders
- Previous trauma
Chronic pain is usually the result of an injury or a single, underlying health condition, the most widespread being back pain, arthritis, migraine, and headache disorders. But there could be hundreds of other causes.
Ketamine and Chronic Pain
Some research indicates that chronic pain could be the result of misfiring neurons called glutamate within the brain. These cellular transmitters are chiefly responsible for running a communication network, if you will, to send information throughout the body about pain and how it’s perceived. Ketamine may be responsible for repairing or strengthening these neurotransmitters, thereby reducing many symptoms associated with chronic pain, mental illness, and other conditions not responsive to “conventional” treatment. Here’s more data.
You Can Live With Chronic Pain
Not everyone manages chronic pain symptoms with prescription medicine, chiropractic manipulation, or other therapeutic options. As impressive as it sounds, some people are of the mentality that if they can get out of bed in the morning, the pain isn’t that bad, and they’re good to go.
This is problematic, at best, and could be signs of other serious problems, particularly mental health issues. What strategies exist that mean you can live with chronic pain? Some of what’s mentioned below may be worth exploring, but they’re often a case of trial and error and sticking with something you believe works.
- Learn stress management. Psychological and physical pain are closely intertwined, and constant pain can result in higher stress levels. You may be able to reduce stress through dietary or other lifestyle changes.
- Talk to yourself quietly and positively. Positive thinking is a potent weapon against chronic pain. Learn to focus on the improvements you’ve made rather than your perceived failures, and you may notice you can make a change in your sensed comfort level.
- Stay active and engaged. Isolation may lead to negative thoughts and increase your perception of chronic pain. Find an enjoyable hobby, stay connected with loved ones, or get outside and go for a low-impact walk.
- Find a support group of people who also struggle with chronic pain.
If all else fails, reach out to a doctor or therapist, or look into an alternative treatment for chronic pain.
Diagnosis and Treatment
If you scraped your knee, you know why it hurts. Chances are, you don’t need a doctor to confirm that for you or recommend treatment. But with chronic pain, it’s much different. Pain which lingers – and is sometimes intense – for at least six months is likely established. Diagnosis typically involves seeing a medical doctor and going through many tests or diagnostic procedures. You may even have to have imaging tests like x-rays or an MRI.
Diagnosis may then be followed by some form of physical or psychological therapy, self-help, lifestyle changes, certain medicines or topical creams, or even ketamine infusions for chronic pain.
Chronic pain is mystifying, long-term, and not easily diagnosed or cured. If you’re experiencing any of its symptoms, talk to a doctor or therapist about diagnosis and treatment options. What works for someone else may not for you, so trial and error may be involved. You could also try ketamine infusions – an innovative new treatment. Contact us today to learn more.