Chronic Pain Management

Doctors may implement a number of chronic pain management procedures to control debilitating discomfort. Patients who suffer from prolonged and frequently recurring distress simply want the pain to stop. Those who endure years of agony may have tried various forms of controlling discomfort from pills, to acupuncture, chiropractic care, diet and exercise, and lastly, surgery. In severe cases, some relief can be achieved by wearing medicinal patches, small rounds or squares similar to an adhesive bandage, which release small dosages of potent medicine when applied to the skin and worn continuously. Depending on the cause and site of discomfort, physicians may prescribe different medications which block nerve centers or remove inflammation in muscles and tissues. However, the dangers of prolonged medication include damage to vital organs, such as the stomach, heart, lungs, or kidneys. Physicians usually place patients on long-term lower dosages to help ease or prevent side effects. "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him" (James 5:14-15).

Chronic pain management not only includes prescription drugs and surgery, but also alternative treatments such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, and diet and exercise. Acupuncture is an ancient Asian method of applying needles to specific points on the body to help alleviate pain. Some Asians believe that the body can be divided into centers of sensitivity which respond to pressure. Natural health food stores may offer charts which illustrate pressure points in the body, particularly the feet, which correspond to various ailments. These pressure points are believed to correlate with certain infirmities and influence overall health. Patients who choose chronic pain management through acupuncture should make sure acupuncturists are certified and that facilities are properly managed.

Chiropractors are not medical doctors, but they are licensed to practice the manipulation of skeletal bones to alleviate discomfort and to realign the spine. Chronic pain management includes spinal adjustments that gradually relieve pressure between bones, on cartilage, and nerves. Manipulation may take several months before realignment is achieved. Patients report greater mobility and a cessation of suffering over a period of extended treatment. Men and women who want to avoid back surgery may choose chiropractic care because it is relatively painless and does not include invasive and expensive procedures. Chiropractors charge hourly rates for office visits which can last for thirty minutes to one hour.

Some patients may try changing their diet and enrolling in a personal exercise program to facilitate chronic pain management. A healthy diet, especially for people who suffer from arthritis or other inflammatory diseases, can help alleviate recurring or frequent discomfort. Individuals may consult a nutritionist to eliminate foods which cause inflammation or a proliferation of harmful bacteria, such as Candida. Certain foods may also cause pain as a result of allergies. Wheat, white flour, yeast, milk, animal proteins, refined sugar, and salt may all be culprits. Processed foods which contain preservatives, such as nitroglycerin, sodium, and refined sugars have been noted to cause discomfort and aggravate conditions such as arthritis, migraine headaches, or muscle spasms.

Before beginning a new pain relief diet, individuals may want to do a colon cleanse to rid the body of waste and cleanse the system from impurities. Colon cleansers can be purchased over the counter at most supermarkets or pharmacies. Depending on the patient's condition, certain intestinal cleansers may be more appropriate than others. Ask for the pharmacist's recommendation. Instead of spending thirty to forty dollars on expensive cleansers, citrate of magnesia is an effective, fast-acting agent that costs less than five dollars a bottle. A word of caution: Take the day off and stay close to the bathroom. After cleansing the colon, individuals can begin a new and improved diet the following day. A good chronic pain management diet should include fresh fruits and vegetables, organic fruit juices, and gradually, organic meats. For effective management, processed meats should be avoided, along with fried foods, sugary carbohydrates, breads made with white or bleached flour, and cow's milk or milk products. Chronic sufferers may also try adding diet supplements, such as vitamin E, vitamin C, and a deodorized garlic tablet to boost the immune system and help remove harmful cell sludge.

An exercise program may seem impossible for someone with a debilitating condition, but moderate exercise may be a good component in a successful chronic pain management program. Water aerobics, cycling, walking, or low-impact dance movements help lubricate the joints and increase mobility. Older adults or individuals with crippling diseases may also try chair exercises which are low impact and involve gentle, sustained movement. Enroll in a class at the local gymnasium or buy a video to begin an at-home exercise program. Walking for at least fifteen minutes per day will loosen muscles and improve circulation throughout the body. Patients who experience discomfort upon walking should slow the pace or try using a stationery bicycle. The key is to get moving, to increase circulation and to rebuild muscle tissue for a better pain-free body.

Chronic pain management may involve several therapies before results can be realized. While some patients rely heavily on prescription medicines to alleviate suffering, side effects and prolonged usage can result in life-threatening organ damage or over-dependency. Alternative treatments, such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, or diet and exercise modifications may also prove successful in relieving chronic painful conditions. Patients should consult a physician, physical therapist, or nutritionist before embarking on an exercise program, a new diet, or alternative treatment. Physicians and nutritionists may help chronic sufferers discover the root cause of prolonged pain. A proper diagnosis can lead to a permanent solution to recurrent and frequent discomfort. With ongoing individualized care, chronic sufferers should see gradual improvement.

Chronic Pain Relief

Finding chronic pain relief can be a difficult challenge for both the individual who suffers from ongoing physical illness and the physician who treats them. Everyone experiences aches and pains from time to time. Acute illnesses and injuries can present a temporary time of painfulness and suffering. But with conditions that are more chronic in nature, the ongoing pain can be stressful to both the body and the mind. Patients may even find it difficult to keep up with regular daily routines. Entire families can feel the impact of a persistent condition that is both painful and debilitating. Back injuries, arthritis, nerve damage, and other conditions can result in anguish and physical limitations on patients. The psychological toll can be very high as well. Even more difficult to deal with is the painful condition that can't be diagnosed. Dealing with pain that is very real but has no diagnosis can be very frustrating for the anguished patient.

Families, careers, and peace of mind may suffer do to an inability to attain chronic pain relief. Some of the conditions that frequently cause long lasting and persistent suffering might include carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, giant cell arteritis, polymyalgia rheumatica, osteoarthritis, lumbar spinal canal stenosis, complex regional pain syndrome, somatoform disorder, patellofemoral pain syndrome, and pigmented villonodular synovitis. Treating a painful illness will obviously involve making a correct diagnosis of the malady that is causing the pain. With many conditions, this can be very difficult. Symptoms can overlap and diseases can imitate each other. Once a correct diagnosis has been made, finding effective ways to treat and alleviate the continuing suffering can also present a significant challenge.

Specialist who deal in managing persistently painful maladies may be of help. Medication may also provide needed chronic pain relief. Often a multi pronged approach is called for. Patients who are willing to work consistently with medical professionals and follow through on instructions, medications, and advice are the most likely to succeed. Emotional and psychological problems such as depression and anger management may be called for if the patient has been suffering for a lengthy period of time. There are a variety of medical appliances that can provide the patient with a continuous supply of medications that offer chronic pain relief. These devices may come in the form of implanted pumps that supply a continuous intravenous feed. In many cases, the patient themselves can have some control over the dosage, pumping more medication in at times when it is needed.

Living with these health issues and finding chronic pain relief may require the development of certain strategies. A patient's family doctor can usually sit down with them and help them to come up with tips and lifestyle changes that could help them deal with painful conditions. These strategies will frequently involve a certain amount of old fashioned trial and error. Such strategies could include medications, therapy, exercises, and any number of other options. Arriving at the best solution that fits the needs of the specific individual can be a challenge, but is well worth the effort involved. Finding a support group can be very beneficial as well. Many maladies will have organized groups that deal specifically with one particular illness. Sharing problems, frustrations, victories, and fears with other who are experiencing similar trials can be very rewarding. Dealing openly with the emotions that may accompany chronic pain rather than stifling them is very important. A patient should also never underestimate the power of humor. The Bible points to God as a source of light and strength. 'The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalm 27:1)

Of course, successfully finding chronic pain relief is not without its risks. Many medical professionals have expressed concern over the issue of drug abuse for patients who are suffering. Dealing with a patient's suffering without creating an addiction situation can be a major challenge. Some diseases will simply need to run their course. Giant cell arteritis, for example, can last from one to two years. Patients can experience extremely painful symptoms and may loose a great deal of mobility as the malady progresses. Without proper treatment, the patient's eyesight can be seriously threatened as well. Treating this disease with steroids can bring needed chronic pain relief. Of course, ingesting steroids over a period of years can create a number of other physical problems. Such is the balancing act that is faced by medical professionals when dealing with illnesses that cause a persistently painful condition for patients.

In addition to the use of various medications, there are a number of other approaches that can be used to provide chronic pain relief. Physical therapy that includes exercises that promote stretching and strengthening can be very helpful. Low impact exercise may be appropriate in some cases. Walking, swimming, or a number of other activities can help injured individuals get back to normal. Of course, every situation will be different, and a patient will need to discuss the appropriate measures with their physician. Occupational rehabilitation can help patients slowly build their health so that they can once again return to normal activities and work day responsibilities. For those who are having a hard time adjusting mentally to the change in life that their condition has caused may benefit from behavioral therapy. With dedication and skilled medical care, individuals can find relief from many long standing and painful conditions.

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