Chronic Pain

Millions of American adults suffer from chronic pain, about 20 percent – too many, in fact. If you’re experiencing pain, don’t wait for it to go away on its own because it probably won’t. Once you’ve identified the symptoms and possible causes, you should know that the right treatments can help you find relief.

What is Acute Pain?

Beaumont Health says, “Acute pain means the pain is short in duration (relatively speaking), lasting from minutes to about three months (sometimes up to six months). Acute pain also tends to be related to a soft-tissue injury or a temporary illness, so it typically subsides after the injury heals or the illness subsides. Acute pain from an injury may evolve into chronic pain if the injury doesn’t heal correctly or if the pain signals malfunction.”

What is Chronic Pain?

Unlike acute pain, which often goes away on its own or following basic care, chronic pain lasts for long periods of time. With chronic pain, the pain signals fire in the nervous system sometimes for years. The pain may have been caused initially by a sprained back or serious infection, or there could be an ongoing source of pain like arthritis, but it can also happen even without proof of past injury or bodily harm.

What Does Chronic Pain Feel Like?

Chronic pain is mysterious, relentless. The best way to describe it is through the words of people who’ve lived it.

“Chronic pain shatters productive lives. Chronic pain almost always is accompanied by depression, anxiety, frustration, fatigue, isolation, and lowered self-esteem.”

Jed Diamond

“Of pain you could wish only one thing: that it should stop. Nothing in the world was so bad as physical pain. In the face of pain there are no heroes.”

George Orwell

Other Kinds of Pain

Countless kinds of discomfort may accompany chronic pain, including:

  • Spinal stenosis
  • Vertebral Compression Fractures
  • Cervical and lumbar facet joint disease
  • Sciatica/Radiculopathy, or pain caused by a pinched nerve
  • Sacroiliac joint disease
  • Failed back surgery pain
  • Hip pain
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Post-surgical pain
  • Pain after peripheral vascular disease

Symptoms of Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can occur in your body. People suffering from chronic pain may have these kinds of pain:

  • Arthritis pain
  • Back pain
  • Cancer pain
  • Headaches
  • Pain resulting from nerve damage

The pain can be described as:

  • A dull ache
  • Burning
  • Shooting
  • Soreness
  • Squeezing
  • Stiffness
  • Stinging
  • Throbbing

 

If you experience chronic pain you may have other symptoms, too. These could include feeling fatigued, having problems sleeping, or changes in mood. The pain can lead to other symptoms, like anger, anxiety, depression, frustration, or low self-esteem. Thankfully, most of these pain symptoms can be controlled with treatments like ketamine.

What Causes Pain?

Normal pain can be caused by:

  • A skinned knee or elbow
  • A minor burn
  • A strained or pulled muscle
  • A tension headache
  • Post-surgical pain where the incision happened
  • Broken bones
  • A mild ankle sprain
  • Muscle, skin, tendon, or bone injury
  • Labor and delivery

Chronic pain can have similar causes, but is more likely the result of:

  • Nerve damage. This is discomfort caused by injury to or problems with the somatosensory system.
  • Muscle pain. Issues with the skeleton’s muscles are a widespread reason for chronic pain.
  • Inflammatory pain, like arthritis, infection, or tissue injury. It may also be caused by conditions that happen after surgery.
  • Mechanical or comprehensive pain, such as compression of tissue by tumors, disc degeneration, or fractures, cysts, or bony structures.

If you suffer from chronic pain or other pain, research has shown that ketamine helps relieve many symptoms by strengthening weakened or damaged neurotransmitters in the brain.

How to Diagnose Chronic Pain

Diagnosing chronic pain always requires a visit with a doctor or specialist. You may undergo many kinds of lab tests, neurological exams, imaging tests (magnetic resonance imaging or X-Rays), and electrodiagnostic procedures such as electromyography or nerve conduction studies. The results could confirm the cause and determine treatment options.

Treatment for Chronic Pain

Living with chronic pain is never easy, for you or those you interact with. But its symptoms can be treated with store-bought or over-the-counter medicine, different kinds of therapy (physical, exercise, occupational, behavioral), complementary and alternative medicine, or newer options like ketamine. 

RestoratIV Wellness & Infusion Center specializes in ketamine infusions for the treatment of depression, psychiatric disorders and chronic pain. Our mission is simple: to bring health, happiness and hope to those suffering in southern New Jersey and the greater Philadelphia area.

26 Oct, 2020

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