Currently, there is no cure for chronic pain, other than to identify and treat its cause. For example, treating arthritis can sometimes stop joint pain. Many people with chronic pain don't know its cause and can't find a cure. They use a combination of medications, therapies and lifestyle changes to lessen 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.
Over time if this area is continually stimulated, if the sensitive nerves or the area responsible for pain memory keep sending messages to it, it can adapt to this input and become used to it. So pain can become part of the sensation for that part of the body.
If you hurt and it doesn't seem to get better, see your primary care doctor or a pain specialist. They can help you find relief so pain won't keep you from living your life.
Eating well, getting plenty of sleep and engaging in approved physical activity are all positive ways for you to handle your stress and pain. Talk to yourself constructively. Positive thinking is a powerful tool.
Reduce stress in your life. Stress intensifies chronic pain. Negative feelings like depression, anxiety, stress, and anger can increase the body's sensitivity to pain. By learning to take control of stress, you may find some relief from chronic pain.
When it intensifies to level 8, pain makes even holding a conversation extremely difficult and your physical activity is severely impaired. Pain is said to be at level 9 when it is excruciating, prevents you speaking and may even make you moan or cry out. Level 10 pain is unbearable.
Typically, pain is considered chronic when it persists for six months or more. But for some patients, chronic pain can last for years or even a lifetime.
Chronic or persistent pain is pain that lasts for more than 3 months, or in many cases, beyond normal healing time. It is different from acute pain, such as pain from an injury, which develops quickly and doesn't usually last for long.
Researchers have developed a type of treatment called pain reprocessing therapy (PRT) to help the brain “unlearn” this kind of pain. PRT teaches people to perceive pain signals sent to the brain as less threatening.
Regardless of its source, chronic pain can disrupt nearly all aspects of someone's life – beyond physical pain, it can impede their ability to work and participate in social and other activities like they used to, impact their relationships and cause feelings of isolation, frustration and anxiety.
Even if you have chronic pain, there is a way to be happy—“not fake happy but truly finding joy,” Wachholtz clarifies. Moderate exercise, even just a ten-minute evening stroll, can diminish the pain experience. Tiffany, of course, would recommend yoga. The secret, however, is in your mindset.
The concept of living well while living with chronic pain can sound impossible, but you can thrive despite chronic pain. Living well with your chronic pain isn't just about managing your pain, but rather about finding ways to live a happy, fulfilled life in spite of your symptoms.
Some people can handle more pain than others
We feel pain because of the signals that are sent from our sensory receptors, via the nerve fibres, to our brain. Everyone's pain tolerance is different and can depend on a range of factors including your age, gender, genetics, culture and social environment.
The central amygdala houses a pain-suppression circuit that can “turn off” pain. Researchers at Duke University recently identified specific neurons in the central amygdala that appear to "turn off" pain during general anesthesia, even if there is no loss of consciousness.
Physical activity, especially aerobic exercise, can also raise pain tolerance and decrease pain perception. One study found that a moderate to vigorous cycling program significantly increased pain tolerance. Mental imagery refers to creating vivid images in your mind, and it can be useful for some in managing pain.
But the truth is, pain is constructed entirely in the brain. This doesn't mean your pain is any less real – it's just that your brain literally creates what your body feels, and in cases of chronic pain, your brain helps perpetuate it.
As our bodies age, our muscles and bones lose mass and density, putting us at greater risk for injury. A new study published this year demonstrates that older adults may also be more sensitive to pain, and that the pain persists for longer.
Studies have found that the female body has a more intense natural response to painful stimuli, indicating a difference between genders in the way pain systems function. A greater nerve density present in women may cause them to feel pain more intensely than men.
You may be advised to contact your doctor the next day to try and access better chronic pain treatments. If another cause is identified, then treatment will proceed from there. You might be offered over the counter treatments and painkillers for your chronic pain.
“But chronic pain and pain without a source can be managed with your thoughts. There is a big emotional tie between pain and your thoughts, and by altering your thoughts you can alter the pain.” The CDC estimates that 20.4% of US adults live with chronic pain.