Sometimes people with acute or chronic pain can’t find the right solutions for what is hurting them. They will often need assistance in finding alternative treatments. In most cases, they don’t want to take medications and will connect with a specialist to figure out how we can help them. Many times, their pain will stem from neck or back pain, but it can include anything that is making them hurt. Our goal is to get them back to living a largely pain-free life again, one where they are more comfortable and can enjoy a good quality of life.
Chronic Pain Is a Disease
Chronic pain is rarely a symptom and often a disease. There is no cure-all for it. We cannot “fix” it, which is why medications never work over the long-term. This type of pain is often more like a chronic disease, comparable to hypertension or diabetes. Those are conditions you have to treat every day in order to survive. You do so by watching what you eat and making proper lifestyle choices. Pain needs to be treated every day in a similar fashion.
Play it safe by being more cognizant of how you are moving your body during your day-to-day activities. Is it recommended that you exercise and stretch? It certainly is. In addition, try to increase your awareness of how you are sitting, how you are moving and, overall, how you are living your life. If you are going to live without any significant amounts of acute or chronic pain, it’s often going to mean modifying your lifestyle.
That’s hard to understand sometimes. Often we are eager for a quick fix when it doesn’t exist. You must put in the work if you’re going to get a longstanding outcome.
Chronic vs. Acute
Chronic pain is treated differently than acute pain. If you twist your ankle, for example, you can take two Advil, ice it regularly, stay off of it and rest to recover. But if it doesn’t heal, you understand almost immediately that you can’t treat that problem in the same manner. You have to look deeper, to the root of the matter, to discover what the underlying pain is and where it is coming from. If the pain you are experiencing is severe, you will need to see a medical professional, especially if you don’t know what the problem actually is.
When your issue isn’t getting better, see a specialist. If your pain is affecting your quality of life, again, see a specialist. If you can’t play golf without wincing or you can’t pick up your child — if you’re experiencing any kind of weakness in your hands or legs — don’t ignore what your body is saying. These are serious issues. Find out what’s going on by making an appointment to see a specialist. My goal is to return patients to a normal quality of life without utilizing surgery. In most cases, we can treat chronic pain with minimally invasive procedures.
Strive to Be Healthy
If you want to better manage your pain, be smart about what you do with your body. Be cognizant of your posture, how you move and how you lift objects. Overall, strive to be healthy. The healthier you are, the less pain you are likely to feel. And, whatever you do, please don’t smoke, as there is a strong correlation between smoking and chronic pain.
You will need to see a qualified medical professional for assistance with your pain, not someone who only does one aspect of it. There’s a good reason for this: When you’re in the care of a multidisciplinary team, they are able to approach your problem from many different angles and make a more thorough diagnosis and develop a more thorough treatment plan.
It’s not a bad idea to try to alleviate your issues on your own. If you can do so successfully, please do. If your condition does not improve and is affecting your quality of life, however, consider seeing a specialist. That’s what we’re here for.
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