If you have a painful injury or condition, the sensation may seem unbearable, but that does not mean it is severe chronic pain. Chronic pain can last for years, but even its most uncomfortable symptoms can be treated with physical therapy or innovative new treatments including ketamine.
PAIN IS LIKE A MIXING BOWL
We all feel pain at one time or another and perceive it differently from the next person. Some people have a high tolerance for pain, while others do not. In either case, how we experience pain is driven by many things:
- Religious beliefs
- Support networks
- What life was like before the pain
- Socio-economic standing
- Emotional fortitude
Your pain experience can also be driven by family responses. A parent’s reaction to a child’s pain can set up the foundation for how that child responds to pain as an adult. Other examples are medical care networks and society.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE SEVERE CHRONIC PAIN?
When we think of chronic pain, we relate to the physical sensation, a tingle, sting, prick, burn, or ache. It can be harsh or something you struggle through and live with. Chronic pain can go on for years, but when does it become severe? At this point, severity is a matter of how it affects your life – stopping you from going to work, performing other physical tasks, or functioning successfully from day to day.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF CHRONIC PAIN?
Chronic pain normally happens after an injury or strained a muscle, like hurting your back in a bicycle crash or tearing a tendon while playing basketball. The role of damaged nerves in chronic pain is huge, with the nerves heightening your perception of pain and influencing how long it lasts. In these cases, treating the original injury may not end your chronic pain. And what if there was no apparent injury to begin with? Severe chronic pain could be the result of:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome which includes severe, prolonged fatigue often complemented by pain
- Endometriosis affects women if their uterine lining builds up on the outside of the uterus
- Fibromyalgia is characterized by extensive pain in your bones and muscles
- If you suffer from excruciating, chronic inflammation within the digestive tract, you may have Inflammatory bowel disease
- Interstitial cystitis which is a continual ailment where you experience bladder pressure and pain
- If you experience an unpleasant clicking, popping, or stiffening of the jaw, you may have Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
- Chronic vulva pain without an obvious cause
PAIN AND YOUR PSYCHE
Severe chronic pain can affect your whole quality of life, affecting personal and professional relationships and creating a heightened quantity of emotional distress and pain. In fact, chronic pain and psychological harm often go hand in hand.
The psychological effects have been dissected for decades but questions remain. 1984 author George Orwell said this of chronic pain: “Of pain you could wish only one thing: that it should stop. Nothing in the world was so bad as physical pain. In the face of pain there are no heroes.”
If chronic pain leaves you disabled and unable to work, it can mean deeper fear or depression and make you worry about your financial security. The quality of life you once enjoyed will deteriorate under these circumstances, which is why you owe it to yourself to get help.
Severe chronic pain can have a cascading effect, resulting in one or more of the following:
- Changes in mood, anger, confusion, fear
- Tension and anxiety
- Low self-esteem
- Disinterested in sex
- Variations in your weight
- Sleep troubles and feelings of fatigue
- Poor eating habits
If chronic pain is depressing you or negatively affecting your way of life, take steps to get treatment as quickly as you can.
PHYSICAL EFFECTS OF CHRONIC PAIN
There are numerous physical effects of severe chronic pain. Even with an underlying illness, injury, or condition recognized as the cause, someone struggling with severe chronic pain can often find themselves dealing with pain from something else as a result. A person with chronic pain in one limb, for instance, may try to compensate by using the other limb more than normal – creating pressure on the “good” limb and even more discomfort like backaches or muscle strains.
You know your body better than anyone and can judge the severity and duration of pain better than anyone. If it is chronic and severe – seeming to never end and leaving you in a state of disability – the pain needs to be treated.
If you or a loved one are dealing with the symptoms of chronic pain we can help. Please contact us to learn more about the innovative new treatment that we offer.