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May 13

So what is chronic pain? Everyone has felt pain at one point in their life. Chronic pain is like feeling an injury for three to six month after it has healed, but the pain is still great. If you had a few injuries, but the pain never felt like it went away, wouldn’t that drive you crazy? Chronic pain is difficult to diagnose. Many doctors categorize chronic pain as different illnesses or diseases. Staying informed on chronic pain, even if you aren’t suffering from it, can help you in the future. There is a large chance that most Americans will suffer from debilitating pain at some point in their lives.

Is it a Disability?

In the Blue Book, which says what disabilities are, made by the United States, chronic pain is not considered to be one of them. There is much debate on this. Depending on the severity of the pain, doctors are more likely to diagnose you with another type of illness. Even if it can be called chronic pain, doctors know that it’s hard to get help, no matter how much pain it causes their patient. Despite 100 million Americans dealing with chronic pain, there’s no hope that it will be seen as a disability anytime soon.

Who Does it Affect?

Most of the time, it affects people as they get older. Things like arthritis and joint pain can be considered chronic pain. As working conditions continue to worsen across America, we are seeing chronic pain affect younger people more often. You don’t have to be over the age of 60 to suffer from chronic pain. Though children and teenagers are not screened for it as often as they should be, anyone can feel it at any age. It’s most common link is age, but it is not exclusive.

Pain affects you in numerous ways, and can get worse as time goes on. If you think you may be hurting from chronic pain, it’s best to seek a doctor. In most cases, pain management options are available. If you aren’t certain what type of pain you are feeling, that is another reason to consult a doctor. Once you figure out what type of pain is affecting you, it’s easier to find a solution.

How Bad Can the Pain Get?

In some cases, chronic pain can get pretty bad. For a lot of people, the pain can make them miss school or work. It can be located anywhere in your body. Headaches, growing pains, and other types of pain can be considered chronic. When your chronic pain get bad enough, you should see a doctor. Pain management is one of the only lines of defense that we have at our disposal.

Chronic pain can make you miss work, but that affects you in a lot of ways. Your income and grades can slip. It can prove to be a hassle to deal with. Whether it’s headaches or muscle aches, you can’t focus on anything else. After a while, it’s so irritating that you feel like you’re going crazy. It makes it hard to sleep, and when you do sleep, it’s light.

How To Fix Chronic Pain

There are a lot of different ways to help. While nothing is proven, natural remedies are able to help. Various diets are often thought to be the cause. Cutting out GMOs and other harmful chemicals in your diet can help. If you are not in top physical form, using anti inflammatory pills can help you. Take them to ease your pain and relax your muscles, and begin a new workout. When your body is in top form, it can be easier to fight the pain.

Even though the pain is a numb type of pain, it is still harmful to your everyday life. Pain can be distracting, and finding other cures can be hard. A lot of it is related to stress and anxiety. If you are feeling chronic pain on a daily basis, you may be fueling it with stress. In most cases, when you are able to relax, your body relaxes. This can one of the best thing to handle pain.

Call us at (208) 629-2492 to find out more about chronic pain, and what you can do to fight it.


Apr 29

Pain often modifies the way that the central nervous system works, so that a patient may become more sensitive and experience more pain with less and less provocation. This is referred to as “central sensitization,” as it involves changes in the central nervous system, the brain and the spinal cord in particular.

Sensitized patients are typically more sensitive to things that are “supposed” to hurt, as well as to ordinary pressure and “touch.” Their pain also has a tendency to echo, fading away more slowly than it does in others.

Because pain is a “warning system,” central sensitization is a disease of over-reaction to threats to the organism: a hyperactive warning system. Far too many patients end up experiencing even more pain in their quest to alleviate it.

A recent study that was presented at the annual meeting of the American Urogynecologic Society showed that nerves in an organ that is under real distress might “leak” information to a nearby organ.

Because of this, the brain is unable to determine and/or process where the message (and the pain) is originating. This is important to note, as patients are often told that there is nothing structurally wrong with the organ from which the pain seems to come. The study focused on patients who experienced chronic pelvic pain.

The study supports the view that inflammation in one of the pelvic organs may lead to symptoms in other organs through “cross-sensitization.” This is a process in which a prior exposure to a stimulus increases a subsequent response to this, as well as another, different stimulus. It plays a significant role in how patients experience chronic pain. Reversing the ongoing spiraling distress cycle is difficult.

However, a seasoned pain management professional can harness their understanding of this process in order to determine how and why patients are experiencing pain. This enables them to select an appropriate therapy to treat both the root cause of the pain and the symptom of cross-sensitized pain elsewhere.

Whether you are experiencing central sensitization or cross-sensitization, or your pain derives from the true location of physical distress, it is a good idea to be kind to your central nervous system by taking steps to make your life less stressful. Reducing upsetting stimuli will give your central nervous system a bit of a break and might help diminish the perceived severity of pain. At a fundamental level, pain is tied to your brain’s assessment of safety. Cultivating peacefulness and “life balance” sets a solid foundation for the rest of the recovery process.

Pain Care Clinic of Idaho offers a wide range of therapies for effective treatment of chronic pain, including Scrambler Therapy, InterX Therapy, and medical acupuncture, along with lifestyle counseling to help improve your quality of life.  Call us for a consultation: 208-629-2492.


Apr 22

Persistent pain can have an incredibly negative effect on our overall quality of life. Whether it is due to a chronic illness, a recent injury, or an inherited genetic condition, persistent pain affects every part of our lives and most sufferers constantly seek out whatever treatments or medicines that could help them feel better.

Researchers have found that people react differently to, and experience varying levels of, persistent pain due to risk factors that are sometimes not related to the cause of pain itself. Knowing what these factors are and identifying who is at risk help doctors and pain management specialists uncover underlying causes of pain and develop better treatment plans for those experiencing it. Here are three of the most common risk factors in individuals that may cause them to experience more persistent pain.

Sleep Problems

Those who experience insomnia, inability to sleep through the night, sleep apnea, or other disruptive symptoms are more likely to experience persistent pain after an injury or illness. They are also less able to deal with the pain and seek out more medical intervention. This could be connected to their lack of restorative deep sleep, which can improve both pain symptoms and coping mechanisms.

Illness Attitude

Illness attitude can be characterized by “health anxiety” or “illness behavior.” Health anxiety is experienced by patients when they chronically worry about whether they will get sick in the future. Illness behavior occurs when patients repeatedly go to doctors or hospitals for perceived illnesses or other physical complaints. Health anxiety and illness behavior both negatively impacted an individual’s ability to deal with chronic pain. Patients who were identified as having an illness attitude experienced more persistent pain than their counterparts.

Anxiety and Depression

Those who experience chronic depression or generalized anxiety disorder are also more likely to experience persistent pain due to an illness or injury. Pain and depression tend to work together to cause a downward spiral in patients. Those who are depressed experience more pain and the more pain they experience, the more depressed they get. Anxiety can come from anticipating pain and those who are prone to anxiety disorders tend to also have fewer coping skills than those who are not.

Identifying risk factors associated with the development of persistent pain is important for pain management specialists so they can identify underlying causes and develop treatments that address both the physical pain and the factors that could be contributing to the pain in certain individuals.

If you are experiencing chronic pain and would like more information, please visit our website or contact one of our pain specialists today.


Apr 08

There are many levels of personal awareness and the human species falls on a broad spectrum when it comes to being aware of their surroundings, their thoughts and emotions, and the way their body works. Variance in levels of awareness can have a number of different effects on an individual, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the awareness of one’s own body, also known as interoception.

Individuals who are high in interoception are more aware of their bodies then those who are low. They may be able to predict when they are about to get sick, what types of stimuli produce pleasant or painful results, and how their body will react to different environmental factors. Knowing if you are high or low in interoception can also be helpful in determining how you will experience and manage pain. Those who are very aware of their bodies may be able to ward off, withstand, and even control their pain better than those who are low in interoception. Why? Here are a few reasons.

The Ability to be Proactive

Individuals who can identify which stimuli cause them the most pain or who are aware enough of their own bodies to be able to determine when they are getting sick can take proactive avoidance measures. This could include avoiding situations or stimuli that they know will cause them harm or loading up on vitamin C and rest when they feel a cold coming on. Athletes who are hyper aware of their bodies know when they need to hydrate, when they can push themselves further, and when it’s time to rest.

Higher Interpretive Abilities

The sensation of pain must pass through certain channels before an individual experiences the sensation. Pain produces a number of aversive stimuli that need to be interpreted by the brain before they are recognized as painful. Those with higher interoception are more aware of these messages and can therefore spend less time processing them. This frees up their mental capacity to deal with the pain more effectively or take measures to soothe it.

More Capacity to Deal with Chronic Pain

Because those with high interoceptive levels can effectively interpret pain and what it means, they tend to process and deal with pain better then their low interoceptive counterparts. Those who commonly deal with chronic pain, such as athletes, know what is normal and what is not and therefore do not become as anxious or stressed when they experience pain.

Do you know if you have high or low interoception? It could make a big difference when it comes to dealing with injuries or illnesses that cause chronic pain. If you have questions about how your interoception levels affect your pain tolerance and what you can do about it, please visit our websiteand schedule a time to talk to one of our pain experts.

Sources:

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