Individuals with acute, chronic back pain understand how it can affect and disrupt one’s life. Chronic back pain can make it hard to carry out an exercise routine or to appreciate even the simplest daily activities.
Regardless of the number of chronic pain cases in the United States, polls estimate that 11 to 40 percent of Americans are dealing with chronic pain. Additionally, this condition hasn’t always been well understood. profession used to believe that pain was an indication of a disorder or an injury. Doctors concentrated on fixing the pain’s cause when the injury or disease was treated with the belief that the pain would vanish.
If no underlying cause is discovered, the individual may have been advised that not many remedies are available, or worse, that “their pain exists only in their mind”. Some doctors still practice with no appreciation for the problem of chronic pain, newer notions about chronic pain, and the numerous factors that influence a chronic pain issue.
Fortunately, efforts to focus public attention on the problem of chronic pain care have been encouraging in recent decades. The Department of Health and Human Services, released a National Pain Strategy in 2016, drawing on the attempts of governmental specialists, scientists, and patient advocates. The plan suggested access to better monitoring and healthcare to ascertain which therapies are most effective for this prevalent condition.
How Pain Affects the Brain
The medical community is beginning to understand that if the pain is no longer a function of a healthy nervous system, the chronic pain itself becomes the issue. Advanced neuroimaging has indicated that chronic pain, unlike severe, or short-term illness, leads to structural changes in the brain that can cause cognitive problems, such as anxiety and depression.
In addition, studies of brain anatomy have proven the central nervous system can change, based on a person’s experiences. Medicines and health conditions, such as stress, depression, and anxiety, may play a part in these changes.
Chronic Pain May Not Be Recognized
While a broken leg could be confirmed by means of an X-ray, and an infection can be confirmed by a blood test to measure white blood cell count, there’s absolutely no medical test to quantify chronic pain levels. Many people with chronic pain go from one doctor to the next. This process may cause needless evaluations.
A further complication in getting care is that everybody experiences pain differently. Two people with the same injury reveal and will feel their pain in ways that are specific to them, determined by a number of factors such as:
- The circumstances where the pain occurs
- Thoughts about the chronic pain, such as “that is not anything serious” versus “this annoyance can kill me”
- Emotions associated with chronic pain, such as depression and stress versus hopefulness and optimism
- Cultural effects leading an Individual to be more stoic or more striking in showing pain to other people
Contrary to what some people think, all pain is real. This might appear obvious, but individuals with chronic pain are sometimes treated as though their pain is exaggerated or imaginary. Sometimes, they believe that they must show their pain for their friends, family, and physicians. Some patients are told by their doctor that there is not any reason for chronic pain and therefore “it cannot be that bad.”
Biocentric Approach to Chronic Pain
In relation to biocentrism, the belief that needs and the rights of people aren’t more significant than those of other living things, a biocentric approach may apply to individuals with chronic pain. As mentioned, just like you will find a variety of factors, including injuries and/or conditions, which might cause symptoms of pain, there are several factors that can help improve symptoms of chronic pain, offering relief to these individuals.
The human body is made up of trillions of microscopic cells that come together to form tissues, tendons, ligaments, muscles, organs, blood vessels, and nerves, each performing their own independent function. But, when one element of these complex sets of cells is influenced, the body as a whole can be affected. In accordance with views, it is vital for healthcare professionals and the individual to care to promote overall health and wellness. In the food we consume to give energy to the tissues and the amount of exercise we participate in to strengthen the cells, to the amount of sleep we provide the body to heal itself, all of these variables as a whole should be carefully considered as a part of a chronic pain treatment plan to benefit from entire body well-being.
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By Dr. Alex Jimenez
Additional Topics: Wellness
Overall health and wellness are essential for maintaining the proper mental and physical balance in the body. From eating a balanced nutrition as well as exercising and participating in physical activities to sleeping a healthy amount of time on a regular basis, following the best health and wellness tips can ultimately help maintain overall well-being. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can go a long way towards helping people become healthy.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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