Chronic pain, defined as persisting more than four months, affects approximately 116 million people in the United States. About half of these Americans have an autoimmune disorder or condition that triggers the pain. One in three people struggle with chronic pain globally.
Short-Term Opioid Use
Americans consume about 300 million opiod prescriptions annually. Opioids do not fix long-term pain, but they can help in the short-term. It’s best to use the lowest dose for the shortest period of time. Combine with integrated natural strategies to get through the temporary pain.
It’s important to enlist the help of a professional educated about chronic pain. The average pain specialist you may see in the hospital only receives four hours of pain science education, focusing on what drug to prescribe or which procedure to perform.
Get Moving: Body & Mind
Movement is helpful for chronic or persistent pain. It burns calories and decreases inflammation. Being active also helps regulate insulin, cortisol and growth hormone. Movement helps decrease an overly sensitive nervous system. Start small and increase your movement as your body allows.
If you're worried about further injury after all of the tissue has healed, you may need to visualize simple movement of the pained area, retraining your brain and body. Gradient motor imagery is dosed like actual exercise. Increase visualization day by day, and you may find your pain decrease.
Uncovering the Root Cause
The cause of chronic pain may not be obvious on an x-ray or MRI. It is worth investigating diet, lifestyle, stress, and thoughts to heal the chronic pain. Get better at listening to your body, and speak with your practitioner about what you’re experiencing.
Listen as Dr. Joe Tatta joins Dr. Susanne Bennett to discuss treating chronic pain.