Did you know that (opens in a new tab) live with chronic pain? That means that a fifth of our population deals with pain most days, if not every day. If you’re part of that 20%, you may have given up on trying to treat your chronic pain, thinking it to be impossible, or maybe you’ve never sought out treatment for your chronic pain before.
Whatever your situation, don’t give up hope. Since January is a time for starting fresh and making New Year’s Resolutions, this year, set a goal to address your chronic pain, either again or for the first time.
What Causes Chronic Pain?
To best understand how to treat your chronic pain, it’s important to know what caused it. Typically, when an injury occurs, signals are sent from the injury through the spinal cord, and to the brain, and the brain interprets these signals as pain. This initial pain is important; when someone breaks their leg, pain plays an important role in making sure they don’t continue to walk on it and worsen the injury. As the injury heals, this pain lessens, until eventually, it goes away entirely.
With chronic pain, however, the body continues to send pain signals to the brain even after the injury has healed. This pain can affect any part of the body and can range from mild to severe. Once this pain continues past twelve weeks, it’s considered “chronic.”
Obviously, no one wants to live with pain almost every or every day; this alone makes chronic pain worth addressing. However, chronic pain typically leads to even more problems, like limited mobility, reduced energy, changes in appetite, depression, and anxiety.
What Can I Do At Home About My Chronic Pain?
There are a few different strategies you can add to your daily or weekly routine to help manage your chronic pain. For instance, try starting your day with 10 to 15 minutes of full-body stretches, like a gentle yoga routine. In fact, staying active generally can not only help your pain, but it can help improve your mood, as well. That said, if at any point you feel pain during these activities, take a break—pushing through is unlikely to help.
While the pain isn’t “all in your head” like some claim (the pain signals your nerves are sending are very much real), taking care of your mental health is an important part of managing your chronic pain. On top of morning yoga, which can reduce stress, mindfulness and breathing exercises can also help you to relax. Staying social and connected to others, as well as engaging in positive activities that you enjoy, can also decrease the effects of pain signals and help you focus on something other than your pain.
However, these strategies may not be enough to reduce or fully relieve your chronic pain. In these cases, it’s time to visit a doctor, like those at . Also, if your chronic pain is caused by a musculoskeletal condition, might be right for you.
Why Would I Need Orthopedic Surgery?
Orthopedic surgeons are trained to diagnose and treat conditions of the joints, muscles, and bones, many of which can cause chronic pain. Many orthopedic surgeries are minimally-invasive, meaning they are performed using small incisions rather than large openings. This allows for less risk during surgery, less pain after surgery, and shorter recovery times. If other treatments for your chronic pain have failed you, it may be time to consider getting in touch with one of our orthopedic specialists.
Some common conditions treated by our team include:
- Sports injuries
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Herniated and ruptured discs
- Hip dysplasia
- Hand injuries
Why Should I Try Orthopedic Surgery at Prima CARE?
If you suffer from chronic pain, our team of orthopedic surgical associates at Prima CARE are capable of diagnosing and treating your condition, alleviating your discomfort, and getting you back on your feet. You shouldn’t be living your life with pain or limitations, and the New Year offers the perfect opportunity to try something new. After all, new year—new you!