Do You Have Chronic Pain?
Do You Have Chronic Pain?
by Robert Wright, Jr., Ph.D., COFT
Did you know that according to a recent Institute of Medicine report, more Americans suffer from chronic pain than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined? Did you know that this same report showed that over 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, and that in addition to the cost in human suffering, chronic pain costs Americans more than half a trillion dollars annually in direct medical expenses and lost productivity?
Did you know that in a 2006 study conducted by the American Pain Foundation that 86% of participants reported that chronic pain prevented them from getting a good night’s sleep, 77% reported feeling depressed, and 70% had trouble concentrating due to their pain? Likewise, a 2011 report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. concluded that over 1.5 Billion people worldwide suffer from some form of chronic pain.
What is pain? The International Association for the Study of Pain defines pain as ‘‘an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage.” According to this definition, pain is a symptom—it’s a way for your body to let you know that damage has occurred—that is produced when inflammation arises or changes to your nervous system occur due to illness or injury. The pain signals are transmitted to your brain, producing a physical sensation that lets your brain know that damage has occurred.
What is chronic pain? According to the Academy of Pain Medicine, chronic pain is pain which persists—after injury such as a strained back or serious infection—for weeks, months or years. The sources of some types of chronic pain can also be unknown. Common chronic pain complaints include headache, neck and low back pain, and arthritis pain. A comprehensive 2006 survey prepared by the National Center for Health Statistics found that low back pain, migraine headache and neck pain were the most common forms of chronic pain.
Regardless of how we define chronic pain, the main point is that pain hurts! Left unattended to, chronic pain can hurt you physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially. If we live long enough, most likely at some point in our lives we will experience chronic pain such as a sports injury, a strain or sprain from lifting a heavy item incorrectly or from years of incorrect posture due to a sedentary lifestyle. Left unattended to, chronic pain can take a toll on your physical, mental and emotional well-being, and negatively impact the quality of your life.
Since the incidence of chronic pain is widespread, insidious and damaging, it’s important to get a handle on any chronic pain you have by addressing it. Here are some tips for directly confronting your chronic pain in order to improve your healthy well-being.
Acknowledgement: Stop denying your chronic pain and resolve to do something about it. Don’t ignore or pretend that your chronic pain is “not that bad”—doing so, won’t make it go away.
Seek Help: Consult your health care provider or a pain management professional in order to learn what the source of your pain might be so that you can explore your options intelligently.
Chiropractic Care: Consider consulting a Chiropractor who specializes in the type of chronic pain you are experiencing. By manipulating the spine, chronic pain can often be reduced.
Neurofeedback: Consider working with a professional who uses EEG Biofeedback to help dissolve chronic pain by monitoring and modifying your habitual brainwave patterns.
Open Focus: Consider finding a certified trainer to teach you this superior stress reduction technique which has the ability to dissolve chronic pain, stress and anxiety.
Tuning Fork Therapy: Consider using tuning forks to “spike” your natural nitric oxide rhythm. Research shows that doing so has the capacity to reduce your chronic pain, anxiety and stress.
At the end of the day, it’s possible for you to get a handle on your chronic pain by acknowledging it and making the commitment to do something about it. Doing so will enhance the quality of your life and perhaps put that “spring” back in your step!
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