Understanding Chronic Pain in a Loved One: A Guide
Chronic pain is known as common chronic pain (CP) in Australia, Europe, and the United States. However, nothing is known about how common chronic pain is in Asia or Southeast Asia. The results of earlier western studies cannot be generalised to Asia because of the cultural and genetic heterogeneity in pain causes, expression, and reporting. However, Ashok Kumar Saxena, Parmanand N. Jain, and Sushma Bhatnagar conducted a prevalence study to determine the prevalence of chronic pain in the adult population of India. The findings showed that women (25.2%) had a higher prevalence. Beyond the age of 65, the prevalence of pain rose sharply.
Pain can range from mild to severe and can feel like anything from a subtle ache to a sharp stabbing. There may be localised pain or agony throughout your entire body. Under the skin and in many body organs, receptor nerve cells act as the site of the beginning of pain. These receptor cells transmit signals to the spinal cord, which subsequently signals the brain when you are ill, injured, or experiencing another form of issue. Before they reach the brain, these messages are suppressed or blocked by painkillers. The severity of pain can range from something mildly irritating, like a minor headache, to something severe and urgent, like the chest discomfort that comes with a heart attack or kidney stones. Two primary categories of pain exist:
- A common reaction to an injury or illness is acute pain. It usually begins abruptly and is brief.
- Chronic pain is pain that lasts longer than it should recover. Usually, it lasts for longer than three months.
What is chronic pain?
A chronic pain condition lasts over three months. The discomfort may be constant or intermittent. Anywhere in your body the pain can be experienced. Your daily activities, such as working, maintaining a social life, and taking care of others or yourself, may be hampered by chronic pain. It can cause worry, despair, and insomnia, all of which can exacerbate your discomfort. This reaction starts a vicious cycle that is challenging to interrupt. Fear of making the pain worse can cause people with chronic pain to engage in less physical exercise. Different amounts and types of social support that a person with chronic pain receives can have an impact on pain severity, pain control, and pain resilience.
What causes chronic pain?
A back sprain or pulled muscle, for example, are common first injuries that lead to chronic discomfort. Nerve injury leads to the development of chronic pain. Pain is exacerbated by the nerve injury and lasts longer. In certain situations, addressing the original damage may not stop the persistent pain. But occasionally, people might have chronic pain without ever having been hurt. It is unclear what causes chronic pain without an injury. There are situations when the pain is brought on by an underlying medical condition, such as:
- Endometriosis is a painful condition that happens when the uterine lining extends outside of the uterus. It is characterised by acute, protracted exhaustion that is frequently accompanied by pain.
- Fibromyalgia: large-scale muscular and bone pain
- IBD: An assortment of illnesses known as “inflammatory bowel disease” (IBD) results in a painful, ongoing state of inflammation in the digestive system
- Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ): A condition that results in excruciating clicking, popping, or locking of the jaw
- Chronic vulva pain that has an underlying cause is known as vulvodynia.
How does chronic pain affect mental health?
You may find it challenging to carry out daily tasks if you suffer from chronic discomfort. You could experience unpleasant emotions, including fury, depression, anxiety, and irritation, as well as a drop in your self-esteem. Your feelings and suffering may be linked in a cycle. Depression is more likely to strike you when you’ve been injured. Your discomfort may worsen. Because of the link between depression and pain, antidepressants are commonly utilised by clinicians as a treatment for chronic pain. These drugs can address both the pain and the emotional stress it causes. Stress and difficulty falling asleep are both caused by pain. Both a lack of sleep and greater stress can make the discomfort worse.
How is chronic pain diagnosed?
Although it might be a challenge to pinpoint the specific nature of pain, your doctor has to be aware of how it affects you, where it comes from, what makes it worse, how it affects your daily life, and what relieves it. Consult your doctor if you experience persistent pain. Your healthcare provider needs to know:
- On a scale of 0 to 10, how severe it is
- how frequently it happens
- how it’s affecting your life and your work
- what causes it to get worse or better
- How much tension or anxiety do you experience in your life
- whether you’ve undergone any medical procedures or illnesses
What type of tests are used to detect chronic pain?
To find the source of the discomfort, your healthcare professional may physically examine your body and prescribe tests. You might be required to take the following tests:
- A blood test
- Imaging procedures like MRIs and X-rays
- Examinations of nerve conduction can determine whether your nerves are responding appropriately
- Tests of reflex and balance
- Testing for spinal fluid
- Urine tests
How is chronic pain treated?
Healthcare professionals initially aim to determine and treat the underlying cause of persistent pain. But occasionally they cannot locate the source. If so, they focus on alleviating or controlling the discomfort. There are many ways that healthcare professionals can manage chronic pain. Many variables, such as the type of pain you are experiencing, your age, general health, and the source of your pain, if known. The greatest treatment programmes incorporate a range of tactics, such as therapy, drugs, and lifestyle modifications.
A pain management rehab programme may occasionally be made to accommodate your demands. Depending on the pain, illness or condition, the treatment plan will be different. A rehab program’s success depends on you and your family’s active participation. The purpose of pain management programmes is to assist you in regaining as much function and independence as you can while enhancing your overall quality of life on a physical, emotional, and social level. Techniques for managing your pain help ease your discomfort.
At Sukino, we believe good intentions are just as important as knowledge or the legacy of caring for the sick. In India, most providers of out-of-hospital care either offer home care or have walk-in clinics where patients can get consultations. Depending on whether they require care at home, at a rehab facility, or at a hospice, patients who are released from the hospital must rely on several unconnected providers. Besides worsening patient outcomes, this renders continuity of care impossible. Through a comprehensive approach, we assess your health requirements and customise the solution to fit your unique health situation. We evaluate your condition and provide your advice on whether care at home or care in our fully furnished rehabilitation facility with round-the-clock nursing and medical care is appropriate for you. The thorough combination of tried-and-true conventional techniques and innovative technology used in Sukino’s low back pain treatment enables patients to resume normal functioning just a few weeks after treatment and prevent subsequent issues. Get in contact with us right away if you need help for a loved one experiencing chronic pain.
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