What is Chronic Pain? Solving the Pain Problem
What is chronic pain?
Take a look at the pain scale above. Do any of these faces match up with how you feel right now?
Sadly, millions of Americans are suffering from chronic pain, and a large percentage of those Americans are rating at a moderate to severe on a regular basis.
Pain is such a problem in the United States, that there are more people suffering from chronic pain than diabetes and cancer combined.
That means that more than 76 million Americans are suffering from chronic pain problems, and that means the pain is present most of their daily lives.
Pain that persists is different from pain that is generally associated with surgery, and then dissipates over time.
Arthritis, diabetic nerve pain, and other types of pain from back problems and certain cancers can cause chronic pain.
Many older adults may suffer from pain on a regular basis, regardless of the fact that there is presently no injury involved.
Are you suffering from nerve pain, cancer pain, or do you currently have pain from a broken bone or torn ligament?
Does your pain stem from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or even fibromyalgia?
While there are numerous causes for chronic pain, there are many ways to manage your pain.
Conventional medicine offers a multitude of options and holistic medicine offers some as well. Which option is right for you? What options are safe?
This article will discuss the answers to, “What is chronic pain?“, and it will give you some insight and answers to your most common questions about how to manage your pain.
You will learn more about the types of therapy available to you, and how PEMF therapy plays an important role in pain management today.
Answering “What is Chronic Pain” for a Better Understanding
Once you understand chronic pain and how it can impact your life, you’ll begin to see that chronic pain is often not dealt with properly.
There are two major problems in the United States when it comes to treating pain.
- Pain medication is handed out freely and in large doses for patients.
- The patient gets addicted, while others can’t seem to get adequate help for their pain.
Those who struggle with chronic pain know how hard it is to function and carry out activities that they do every day.
Simple tasks like running the vacuum, doing dishes, or even taking a shower feel like a chore.
Daily or chronic pain is truly a burden in the United States for more than one reason.
It isn’t just the pain or the problematic medication issue we have. Here is what research tells us about how pain has impacted our country.
- The cost is more than $100 each year. This includes the time patients lose on their jobs, and it also includes the cost of healthcare expenses. This would include co-pays, prescriptions, doctor’s visits or procedures paid for out-of-pocket. If you have had to miss work, then you also know that this translates into lost income as well as the ability to be productive on the job. Missing time at work means you may have to do twice the amount of work if no one is available to do your job while you are out. The expense that goes into pain and how our country handles it runs deep.
- Patients are still dying while suffering in pain. Pain is supposed to be under control for those who are dying. The most commonly heard phrase by those who get Hospice involved in the last days of their loved ones lives is, “just keep them comfortable”. This is admirable, and keeping the dying comfortable is okay as long as their time is already coming to a close. However, research shows that nearly 50-75% of dying patients were still in moderate to severe pain as they came to the end of their lives.
- Pain interrupts sleep. Did you know that more than 20% of people aren’t getting the sleep they need because they are in pain? Pain can wake you from a deep sleep, and it can cause you to struggle to fall asleep and get the quality sleep you need. A restful and restorative sleep is the key to the body healing itself.
Control over pain in times past has mainly consisted of the use of opioids.
The use of opioids has become problematic because of addiction as well as the fact that many pain problems weren’t being treated at the source.
Inflammation is a good example. When inflammation is present opioids may help some, but NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories) are a better option.
Prescribing the wrong medications for the wrong things leads patients down the wrong path.
One question that doctors ask is, “What level is your pain at today?” This is the most commonly asked question for an initial visit as well as the day of a procedure.
Doctors want to know what the patient is feeling and how to gauge whether or not the procedure does what it is supposed to do.
This is true of cortisone injections as well as nerve ablations or radio-frequency treatments.
It all seems dramatic at times, as well as expensive and inconvenient.
What if there were a way to dial down the doctor’s visits, co-pays, procedures, and the other numerous out-of-pocket expenses?
There may be a better answer to the, “What is chronic pain?” question with a holistic modality that is growing in popularity.
What is Chronic Pain Response to PEMF Therapy?
Now that you know quite a bit more about chronic pain and how the United States is dealing with it, it’s wise to open up the conversation about the prescription drugs used to treat pain.
Here is what we know about the recommendation of prescription medications for pain, and what a pain doctor may say is the course of action in this order (this is not always true and depends upon the doctor’s personal recommendation).
- Tylenol is the first recommendation, however, it is hard on the liver when used long-term.
- Ibuprofen and Motrin (Advil, Aleve, and other drugs that are referred to as Naproxen etc.)
- Medications that are a combination of both.
- Courses of oral steroids as well as injections.
- Nerve blocks.
- Procedures like radiofrequency, in which nerve endings are burned to stop the pain signals.
There are numerous other options depending on what type of injury or pain the patient is suffering from.
However, those who have spoken with us that are under the guidance of a pain management doctor seem to follow this same path.
There are numerous potential issue and side effects caused by these prescription medications, as well as the steroid injections.
Tylenol based products are all dangerous because they metabolize in the liver.
The long-term use of drugs that use acetaminophen can cause health problems and injury to the organs.
Those who opt for NSAIDS are also at risk. These drugs, although they are mostly over-the-counter (OTC), they too can cause harm to the body when used long-term.
These drugs can cause ulcers, water retention, and swelling that could potentially ignite other health problems.
This is why an alternative is much needed in the world of pain management.
Clinics have been popping up all around the United States, and one of the greatest challenges these clinics face is doctor shopping.
Once a patient has developed an addiction to pain medication, they will call around to various clinics and ask how these doctors treat pain.
Addiction continues to be a problem, and that puts patients and doctors in a position to choose other modalities. What about PEMF therapy?
Chronic pain isn’t a new problem, but research has shown that the use of PEMF therapy has been effective for many, and oftentimes patients experience some relief within a few days or even a few weeks.
A PEMF device is ideal for those who suffer from chronic pain because it offers patients full body therapy.
A PEMF mat may be a good option for those who desire to treat the whole body, addressing inflammation at the source.
As inflammation reduces, and tissue begins to heal and healthy tissue begins to regenerate, the patient will note less pain and fewer flare-ups.
(Regarding flare-ups; this seems to be especially true for those who suffer from fibromyalgia, as well as rheumatic illness in which inflammation is always present).
Hundreds to thousands have tried various PEMF devices, like a PEMF therapy mat or ring for more localized therapy for carpal tunnel, torn ligaments, and tendons, and stiffness and pain.
What ails you?
Don’t continue to suffer.
Talk to your doctor before you try PEMF therapy, and continue with your treatment plan.
Make notes of your progress with the PEMF device you choose, and you will become an encouragement to all others who are searching for answers on “What is chronic pain?”