In order to understand chronic pain and successfully treating it, we need to see where it originates, why we feel it, and how it differentiates itself from other types of pain. In that regard, there are two major types of pain: acute pain and chronic or persistent pain. Acute pain is usually caused by tissue damage and it lasts from a few hours to a couple of months, depending on whether treatment is being sought out and if the appropriate course of action is taken.
When it comes to chronic pain, things get a little more complicated. Even after all damage has been mended and the according treatment has been deployed, pain can still persist. It becomes chronic or persistent pain after it moves over the 3 month threshold. In order to better understand it, we need to look at where all pain comes from. In this case, a physiotherapist is the best healthcare specialist that would treat chronic pain.
Understanding Pain and Managing It
All pain sensation we experience is actually being ‘delivered’ by the brain. Nerve endings send over signals when, for example, a tissue is damaged. Those signals are sent to the brain, where they effectively become pain. Counterintuitive as it may sound – pain is actually a crucial part of our survival. Without it, we wouldn’t know when something’s wrong and we wouldn’t know when to seek appropriate treatment for whatever ails us.
In the case of acute pain, treatment usually involves pain medication which can dampen the brain’s ability to send out pain signals. Physiotherapy helps in managing the symptoms and the damage done which is a key component in ridding yourselves from the pain completely.
However, in the case of chronic pain, the brain keeps firing off pain signals even though the tissue has been repaired and the symptoms treated. Medication can help, but only as a short-term solution. The active approach – relaxing, going for walks, using your body and turning your brain’s attention to other things is the best thing to do. A physiotherapist would be the most suited to providing you with the right exercises and course of action you should follow.
Pain is by definition, uncomfortable. And prolonged exposure to pain can lead to stress levels rising significantly, along with a decrease in overall well-being. Targeting these states of mind seems to be the best thing we can do, along with maintaining a proper diet and healthy lifestyle. Do this and your nervous system will become less sensitive and the pain will gradually start to fade away.