Pain is one of the common reasons most people decide to see a doctor in the first place. But still, most people are unfamiliar with the idea of chronic pain because they have been taught that pain usually disappears when body tissues heal from an illness or injury. However, there are millions of people around the world suffering from chronic pain. Indeed, according to Australian Pain Management Association, one in every five people in Australia continues to experience pain even after the healing process is complete. Thus, chronic pain is one of the most common health problems in Australia.
Although pain is unpleasant, it is not necessary a bad thing. Its importance is that it alerts the body to some underlying problems. For example, chest pain can alert a person about an impending cardiac arrest. However, chronic pain can negatively affect the quality of your life. The problem with chronic pain is that there is no a straightforward way of treating it. In fact, there is not a definitive cure for chronic pain in the existing medical literature. Consequently, the goal of treatment is not to alleviate it but rather to help patients to manage it so that their emotional and physical functioning can be restored. Below are some pain management techniques you as a chronic pain patient can rely on to enhance the quality of your life.
Chiropractic care implements the use of spinal manipulation through both hands-on as well as alternative treatment methods, with effective alignment of the musculoskeletal structure, focusing primarily on the spine. This allows the body to rectify impairments without the requirement of medication or surgery. It also allows the restoration and mobilisation of joints which have been limited as a result of injury.
The truism that chronic pain has a psychological dimension cannot be overemphasized. Thus, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can go a long way in helping a patient to manage chronic pain. In psychological treatment, a psychologist will guide you on goal setting development and planning, with special emphasis on understanding the relationship between pain and emotions, thoughts, and behavior.
This mainly involves medication, nerve blocks, and even surgery. In some cases, doctors may use more invasive medical procedures such peripheral nerves and spinal cord stimulation. Other doctors go as far as using implantable intrathecal drug delivery systems. Some of the commonly used medications include paracetamol, anticonvulsants, anti-inflammatory analgesics, and Opioid. Pharmacological treatment for anxiety and depression may also be applied in some cases.
Even as you undergo physical therapy, biomedical treatment, and psychological treatment; you will also have your own part to play when it comes to managing chronic pain. For instance, you have to stay active and also acknowledge and respect your physical limitations. You also have to find interesting things to do in order to distract yourself from focusing on your pain. For instance, you can take a walk or engage in a hobby. It is also advisable to make social connections in order to have people you can talk to regularly. Most importantly, you have to listen to your doctor and follow prescriptions carefully.
Overall, it is apparent that chronic pain is a major health issue in Australia. If you have pain that is not going away, it is important to seek the advice of a local doctor. If you are in Sydney, you can count on Dr. George Hardas of Sydney St George Hospital for specialized assistance in chronic pain management.