Jun 10

More commonly referred to simply as “cancer pain,” oncologic pain is the most undertreated side effect of cancer. Those suffering with cancer on any site can, and often do experience high levels of pain, and they can be difficult to manage. What is oncologic pain? It’s a nightmare for those who experience it. We offer pain care management for people suffering from oncologic pain.

Oncologic Pain: Tumors

 When you’re suffering from cancer, your tumors could be pressing on your bones. More than that, they could be pressing directly onto your nerves. That’s going to make for sever discomfort, and it’s also going to persist through all hours of the day.

Your oncologic pain could be due to a tumor growing in a specific direction. When it presses down on your bones, you get the same feeling of growing pains from when you were a child or teenager. It can feel like muscle aches instead of sharp pain. Oncologic pain can start out very mild, and increase over a short amount of time. Your body doesn’t adjust to the different types of pain.

You can also experience oncologic pain in various areas of your body. For example, those tumors can be growing and pressing on specific nerves that mimic different types of pain. You could end up being diagnosed with chronic pain.

What Type of Oncologic Pain Do You Have?

There are virtually endless types of pain that you can endure. The most common is chronic pain, where tumors press down on your nerves, and make everything go haywire. If you’re experiencing acute levels of pain, it could be your body telling you that something isn’t right. It’s not always clear.

Even though tumors and cancer grow inside of our body, the rest of your body can still see it as a foreign object or entity. This means that a bunch of signals are going off, usually in the form of oncologic pain, and they are all trying to tell you that something isn’t right. While it can be frustrating, it’s also a sign to look further into your own health. If you are already suffering from oncologic pain and you know it, getting another evaluation to determine if there are more underlying issues could be in your best interest.

Pain Severity Depends on the Site

If you’re experiencing an increasing level of oncologic pain, it could be due to a number of reasons. More often than not, it’s tumor growth. Your different levels of pain could come in at different stages, especially if you have more than one tumor at a time.

Oncologic pain doesn’t have a scale, but when you go to your general doctors office and see the “1 to 10” pain chart, you always feel like it’s hovering around the top end of the scale. It’s not dramatic to say that—oncologic pain is something that’s very difficult to put into words.

Your bones may be experiencing extreme tension and pressure due to various tumor growth patterns. Every diagnosis of oncologic pain is unique to the patient. There’s no way to determine if nerve pressure or bone pressure is more painful—it’s also about the patients’ pain tolerance threshold.

Tissue Damage 

It’s not just your bones and major nerves—you could be experiencing pain due to damage done to soft tissue. For instance, if you are experiencing pain in your lower back, it could actually be due to the fact that you have incurred soft tissue damage to a vital organ, such as your kidney.

Phantom Pain

The term sounds insensitive to those suffering from oncologic pain, but in reality, it’s just used to describe pain in an area that has been removed. If you suffered from breast cancer, and you’ve since had that breast removed, you may still feel pain in that area. It’s still classified as oncologic pain, and may continue to hurt for some time. It’s also more common than you may think. If you had something removed, such as a limb, you’re among a vast majority of those suffering from phantom pain. It’s constantly affecting those who have had organs or appendages removed as a direct result of cancer.

Managing Your Oncologic Pain the Right Way

It’s not an easy thing to deal with. Contact us, the Pain Care Clinic of Idaho, at (208) 629-2492, to find out what we can do to help you manage your oncologic pain. It’s not an easy road to go down, and you shouldn’t have to go it alone. We can help.

May 20

Neuropathy affects older generations. As many as eight percent of adults over the age of fifty-five suffer from neuropathy. But what is it? The basic affliction is like an internet connection. Information is sent  and received back via the nervous system. With neuropathy, the body only sends and receives parts of the messages. Sometimes, you receive the wrong nerve responses. It’s a growing issue for Americans.

How Does Neuropathy Affect Your Body?

You have a lot of nerves in your body. They can be put into two main parts: Central nervous system, and your peripheral nervous system. It operates much like your vision. There is the part that you focus on, like voluntary movement. Then, there is your peripheral vision, where you see little details off to the side, where you aren’t focusing on them. It works the same way with your nerves.

Neuropathy is the result of your nerves becoming damaged or encountering problems. If they become disrupted, you can end up with sensitive nerves. There are a lot of different nerve types in your body, and they can all be affected by this painful condition.

What Causes Neuropathy?

A lot of the time, neuropathy can be inherited. If you have a family history of the condition, it’s very possible that you could someday be diagnosed with it. A lot of neuropathy is a result of autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. It is also a result of diabetes; it’s a widespread problem that tacks onto a lot of other problems we face every single day.

Muscle atrophy, whether due to an accident or otherwise, can bring on neuropathy. A lot of annual cases  are caused by car accidents and other injuries.

If you aren’t keeping up with your vitamin intake, whether through food or capsules, you run a higher risk of neuropathy. Alcohol abuse takes a vital role, as well. Hormonal diseases, chemical imbalances, and side effects from various types of cancer. In short, neuropathy has a lot of avenues to reach you, which is why it is so debilitating.

How Debilitating Is Neuropathy?

Neuropathy can come in different pain severity. It is classified by the Social Security Administration as a disability. It can inflame your joints and cause extreme pain, making it difficult to work in most jobs. Even tasks where you can sit down for most of it are still taxing on your strength and ability to continue under adverse conditions.

Peripheral neuropathy is among the most painful. It affects those with diabetes the most, and is difficult to express if you aren’t suffering from it. Any sort of chronic pain is going to tire out your body, making every single task in your daily life that much harder.

Neuropathy Is Mentally Draining

Neuropathy isn’t just hard on your body; it’s hard on your mind. It restricts you from doing things that you used to love, partaking in activities that you used to enjoy, and more. It affects every single part of your life, no matter which way you spin it. It has been linked to depression and anxiety. When you feel as though you can’t perform the way you did in the past, such as work or keeping up with your children, it takes its toll on you.

Neuropathy is going to win some days, and that’s okay. It’s best to focus on the positive aspects of the day. Mental health and awareness for those suffering with it should always be a priority. Coping with large amounts of pain is a lot to deal with for anybody.

Neuropathy Requires Life Adjustments

If you ignore a problem, it will not go away. Neuropathy commands that adjustments be made, but it doesn’t have to control your life. When someone suffers from pain, it sneaks its way into their mind and tells them that they’ve been defeated, but that’s never the case. It’s not simple, but there are coping mechanisms to carrying on with pain, and adjusting accordingly. Minimizing the length of activities, the duration of exercise, and how long you spend sanding versus sitting are just a few examples. It requires adjustments, but it never has to mean defeat.

The Experts on Neuropathy Pain Management

In short, neuropathy changes the course of your entire life. Living with it is a daily struggle. If you are suffering with this affliction, the experts at the Pain Care Clinic of Idaho can help.

Call (208) 629-2492 for more information on what you can do to combat neuropathy, including alternative means to medicine.

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.

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