PAIN RELIEF SYMPTOMSChronic pain is pain that does not go away for extended periods of time. Chronic pain can be caused by depression, and depression can be caused by chronic pain. Chronic pain can be accompanied by swelling, stiffness, discoloration, changes in temperature, skin sensitivity, tremors, sweating, and changes in skin texture or hair growth.
PAIN RELIEF CAUSESChronic pain can be caused by any number of factors. It is not uncommon for an injury or surgical site to heal only to have continued chronic pain. This is typically related to nerve damage at the injury or surgical site. Chronic pain can be caused by fatigue, sleeplessness, disease, emotional distress, repetitive motion, or the perpetual inability to use a limb.
PAIN RELIEF RISK FACTORThere are no determining risk factors which indicate why some people are more susceptible to chronic pain than others. Those with specific diseases are likely to experience chronic pain, such as fibromyalgia, systemic lupus, multiple sclerosis, shingles, and bone diseases. These diseases, and others, often cause painful symptoms. Relieving the symptoms of chronic pain as it relates to disease can often allow a patient to effectively deal with other concerns related to their disease. Pain can inhibit a patient’s ability to do vital therapies, and in severe cases, can even keep them from seeing their doctor regularly.
PAIN RELIEF DIAGNOSISChronic pain is simply to diagnose. The causative factors for the pain may or may not be easy to diagnose. When a patient presents with localized chronic pain, such as pain that is consistently in the knee, testing begins at the site of localization. X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging, blood tests to rule out unseen tumors or autoimmune causes, bone scans, and patient examinations can help to narrow down the cause of the pain. Chronic migraines can be caused by dietary issues, tumors, head trauma, or stress factors. When there is no determining factor for pain in a localized area, various blood and urine tests can rule out diseases. It is not unheard of for a patient to have experienced chronic pain for no apparent reason, only to have it disappear once a seemingly unrelated physical issue has been dealt with effectively. Chronic tooth decay, perpetual constipation, overmedication, and other carious factors can create chronic pain in sensitive patients. Many of these patients have been told that their pain had a psychological cause.
PAIN RELIEF COMPLICATIONSChronic pain and the desperate need for pain relief can cause numerous complications. Pain slows a person’s activity level, which can lead to weight issues, heart health problems, high blood pressure, and even obesity, which in and of itself can cause chronic pain. Pain relief is vital to overall health and mobility, as well as improving an individual’s ability to fight diseases.
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PAIN RELIEF TREATMENTPain relief can come in various forms. Medication for pain relief can mean the long term use of narcotic medication such as Demerol, methadone, morphine, or vicodan. Narcotic pain relievers may be addictive or may cause serious side effects that make it impossible for the patient to continue. In some cases, very mild doses of certain antidepressants and anti-convulsants can alleviate a patient’s pain. The doses need to be small enough to prevent the medication from doing the job it is intended to do. Pain relief can come in the form of prescription pain patches, prescription pain ointments, electronic devices such as TENS units, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and movement restrictive braces.
Self care is vital when seeking pain relief from chronic pain. Using ice or heat as necessary or even hydrotherapy to help alleviate pain can be very effective forms of self care. Patients must be able to listen to their body, and avoid activities that increase pain while seeking out activities that still allow them to participate in life. Pain which secludes an individual from remaining active in their own lifestyle and social circles is bound to lead to depression.
Coping with daily pain is difficult and often psychological support can help a patient learn to cope better. Family support is invaluable when dealing with chronic pain. Patients learning to cope with chronic pain often feel useless and incapable of taking care of those they love. It is vital that those in pain do not lose their place in the family.