Effective Strategies for Chronic Pain Management
Chronic pain can be debilitating and life-changing. Many people find it challenging to work and complete daily tasks. However, obtaining the proper chronic pain management can improve a person’s quality of life and allow them to do what they need.
We will highlight the different approaches to chronic pain and how the team at Santé can help if you or a loved one are experiencing chronic pain.
Understanding Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is a type of pain that lasts longer than the usual recovery period. It can last for months and even years.  Chronic pain can be on and off or be continuous.
The sources of chronic pain vary greatly but can include :
- Major injury or illness
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Pelvic Pain
- Stomach Ulcers
Chronic pain is physically painful and can also impact a person’s emotional well-being, leading to depression and low self-esteem. It differs from acute pain, which can come from inflammation, injury, illness, or recent surgery. Acute pain typically does not last for more than two weeks. The pain usually ends once the underlying cause has been treated.
Medical Approaches to Chronic Pain Management
There are several approaches to chronic pain management. Some people take medication to try to control their pain. Medications such as acetaminophen and NSAIDs are often prescribed for mild to moderate chronic pain. Sometimes, these medications may be used alone or combined with other pain medications like opioids.
While these medicines can effectively treat chronic pain, they have potential side effects, especially when used for a long time. These side effects include:
- Stomach Pain
- High blood pressure
- Kidney problems
- Fluid Retention
Some NSAIDs can also increase your risk of heart attack or stroke. It’s important to talk to your healthcare provider to determine the best course of medicinal intervention for chronic pain management.
Non-Pharmacological Approaches for Chronic Pain Management
Other strategies to help control chronic pain don’t involve medications. These can be used instead of medications or along with them. These types of approaches include things like physical therapy, occupational therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Physical therapy can help to strengthen muscle groups to improve endurance and range of motion.
Occupational therapy guides patients in using new skills and routines in their daily lives.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy reduces pain by modifying physical sensations and negative thinking.
Holistic Care and Alternative Therapies
Other non-pharmacological approaches for chronic pain management include acupuncture, chiropractic care, and massage therapy. Researchers believe that acupuncture can promote relaxation and reduce muscle tension associated with chronic pain. Massage therapy is beneficial because it can improve circulation, while chiropractic care can reduce inflammation and pain around the joint. Your healthcare professional can help you decide whether these approaches would improve your condition.
Herbal medicine can also be an option for some patients. But be sure to check with your healthcare provider because some types of herbal treatments can interfere with prescription medicines.
Some patients turn to biofeedback to treat their chronic pain. It gives you bodily insights and can help you develop skills to recognize and control unconscious physical reactions. It has been shown to help people with chronic back pain.
Lifestyle Modifications for Chronic Pain Relief
There are also lifestyle changes that can help patients dealing with chronic pain. It’s no secret that stress can cause physical pain. Some people rely on relaxation exercises to reduce stress which helps manage their chronic pain. Meditation may also help to reduce stress and control pain.
Maintaining a healthy diet helps to reduce inflammation in the body and control pain. It’s also important to look at your sleeping patterns. Many people experience reduced pain after getting a good night’s sleep. Making sleep a priority is an important tool to help with chronic pain management.
Finding the Right Solution for Chronic Pain is Personal
If you or a loved one is dealing with chronic pain, you’ll want to look at all types of chronic pain management. This can include medications as well as different types of therapies. Some patients also find success with lifestyle changes and alternative therapies. The key is to find the best combination of therapies for you and your pain level. Remember, always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider before adding any new strategies to manage your chronic pain.
Seeking Chronic Pain Management at Santé
Santé’s outpatient therapy in Arizona and Aleca’s home health is an excellent option available to help people dealing with chronic pain. From occupational therapy to physical therapy and other types of treatments, our team is ready to help you control your pain. Our highly skilled professionals are dedicated to helping our patients. Call us today to learn more.
Dan is Vice President, Marketing of the Alumus family of companies. A Seattle native, he earned his BA in Humanities and Political Science at Evergreen State College. He started his career as a newspaper columnist, eventually transitioning into marketing and tech writing for Microsoft and several other startups. He later launched a successful creative agency focused on branding, digital marketing, and content production in Los Angeles, where he worked for several nursing and behavioral health clients, eventually becoming the National Marketing Director for one of them.
He has taught Vipassana mindfulness meditation and MBSR and spends whatever free time he has with his son snowboarding, hiking, and camping in the mountains.