Pain Awareness Month

September 8, 2023

September is Pain Awareness Month, a time to promote education and understanding of chronic pain syndrome and how it affects millions. Chronic pain is a complex disorder and can significantly impact a person's daily life. It can lead to limited mobility, decreased productivity, and even depression. In this article, we will discuss what is chronic pain, the symptoms of chronic pain and effective chronic pain treatments to help manage it. 

What is Chronic Pain? 

Living with chronic pain syndrome can be an overwhelming experience that impacts all aspects of life. According to Mayo Clinic research, approximately 20 percent of Americans have chronic pain. Chronic pain is different from acute pain as it persists for longer than six months and can be caused by a variety of factors including injury, illness, or nerve damage. This condition not only affects physical function, but can also lead to depression, anxiety, and social isolation. Those struggling with chronic pain may feel as if they are fighting a constant battle, unable to find relief despite seeking medical treatment. Despite the challenges, it is important to know that chronic pain can be managed with the right combination of therapies and support. 

Symptoms of Chronic Pain 

For those who suffer from chronic pain syndrome, the physical torment can only be matched by the emotional anguish that accompanies it. Unlike acute pain, which can often be cured or alleviated with medication or surgery, chronic pain lingers like an unwelcome guest, disrupting the lives of its victims on a daily basis. Some of the common symptoms include the following: 

  • Joint Pain: This type of pain affects the joints that connect two or more bones, such as your knees, elbows, or hips. The pain may be constant or intermittent and can range from mild to severe.  

  • Muscle Aches: Chronic muscle pain is characterized by discomfort and a persistent, aching sensation in muscle groups. People experiencing chronic muscle pain may feel it in one or many areas of the body.  

  • Burning Pain: A burning sensation is often described as heat or warmth emanating from the affected area. This type of pain may be caused by nerve damage or damage to the skin.  

  • Fatigue: Chronic fatigue is a common symptom of several chronic pain disorders. It is characterized by a lack of energy and motivation to perform even simple tasks.  

  • Sleeping Problems: Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or waking up several times throughout the night, can result from chronic pain. Pain can also cause sleep disruptions that can exacerbate the severity of pain experienced.  

  • Loss of Stamina: One of the most debilitating side effects of chronic pain is the loss of stamina. People with chronic pain may experience a lack of physical and mental endurance, which can impact their ability to work, exercise, or socialize.  

  • Flexibility: Chronic pain can often result in decreased flexibility and range-of-motion in areas of the body that are affected by the pain.  

  • Mood Problems: Pain can have a severe impact on a person’s mental health. Chronic pain sufferers may experience increased stress, anxiety, and depression. 

Chronic Pain Management Treatment  

Chronic pain syndrome can be a debilitating and frustrating condition, affecting millions of people worldwide. The struggle to find relief is an ongoing battle for those who suffer from this condition. Luckily, there are various effective treatments available that can help manage the pain. 

  • Medication: Over-the-counter analgesics such as Tylenol® and Ibuprofen can help alleviate pain in the early stages of this condition. However, prescription medications may be necessary for those with more severe symptoms.  

  • Physical Therapy: A physical therapist can help alleviate pain through targeted exercises designed to alleviate pressure on joints, strengthen muscles, and improve flexibility, balance, coordination and may reduce chances of a fall.  

  • Acupuncture: An age-old practice involving the application of needles in strategic points of the body, acupuncture is considered to be an effective treatment for managing chronic pain.  

  • Massage Therapy: Often used in combination with other therapies, massage therapy helps reduce stress, improve circulation, and relieve muscle tension.  

  • Mind-Body Techniques: Meditation, biofeedback, and relaxation techniques can improve pain management by reducing stress, which amplifies pain. Meditation improves cognitive and emotional self-regulation and awakens individuals to focus on the present moment and accept thoughts and feelings without negative reactions. 

  • Chiropractic Services: Chiropractic care offers a natural and effective way to manage chronic pain. With gentle adjustments and manipulations, practitioners can relieve tension in the muscles and joints, promoting overall alignment and balance in the body. Through a combination of chiropractic treatments, patients can reduce inflammation and improve their range of motion, resulting in less pain and a better quality of life. 

  • Yoga: Yoga has proven to be an effective chronic pain management technique that can help alleviate persistent pain. By incorporating various yoga poses and movements into a regular routine, yoga can help improve flexibility, reduce inflammation, and increase circulation throughout the body. It also promotes relaxation and stress reduction, which can reduce pain sensitivity. Regular yoga practice can be a transformative tool for those living with chronic pain, fostering a greater sense of control over their physical well-being and improving overall quality of life. 

Managing Chronic Pain: Finding the Help You Need 

Chronic pain can be debilitating, affecting every aspect of life. It can limit mobility, impact mental health, and strain relationships with loved ones. The good news is that there is hope for relief. If you or a loved one is dealing with chronic pain, know that there are options available that can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life.  

Chronic pain can make it difficult to perform daily tasks, leaving you or your loved one feeling helpless. Consider enlisting the help of a skilled caregiver or home care agency like BrightStar Care. Our team of highly trained professionals can provide in-home care including light housekeeping, transportation, medication management, and more. This can help those with chronic pain maintain their independence and improve their quality of life. 

At BrightStar Care, we’re committed to helping those with chronic pain live their best lives. Learn more about the types of home care with BrightStar Care to consider for those who are experiencing chronic pain. For more information on how BrightStar Care can help care for a loved one dealing with chronic pain, contact us or call 866.618.7827.