Pain is the body's normal signal that tells you are suffering with an injury or illness. When the body heals, the pain goes away and stops hurting. However, sometimes, pain continues long after its cause is done. When it lasts for 3 to 6 months or more than that, it's called a chronic pain.
This chronic pain can take a toll on your physical and emotional health. It is estimated that about 25 percent of the people with chronic pain will start having a condition called chronic pain syndrome (CPS). That is when people will have symptoms like depression and anxiety, which interfere with their daily lives.
Chronic pain syndrome is hard to treat but there are treatments available.
What Causes Chronic Pain Syndrome?
Though the causes of CPS are unknown, it often starts with an injury or painful condition like arthritis and other joint problems, back pain, headaches, muscle strains and sprains, repetitive stress injuries, nerve damage, lyme disease, fibromyalgia, broken bones, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux and endometriosis.
Experts believe that people with this condition have a problem with the system of nerves and glands that the body uses to handle stress.
CPS can affect people of all age groups, irrespective of the sex. But, it is most common in women. People who suffer with major depression and other mental health conditions are more likely to get CPS.
Common Symptoms Of Chronic Pain
CPS affects your physical health, emotional health and even your social life over time. The pain can lead to other symptoms like anxiety, depression, poor sleep, irritability, guilt, feeling tired, drug or alcohol abuse, loss of interest in sex, joblessness, suicidal thoughts, and family problems.
Chronic Pain Treatment
If you can't withstand the pain and if it's taking longer to heal, you should immediately visit your doctor. The doctor might do certain tests to check whether you have joint damage or other problems that are causing pain.
Tests such as computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and x-ray are the ones that need to be done. You might also receive other treatments like occupational therapy, physical therapy, counselling, relaxation techniques, spinal cord stimulation, nerve blocks, pain medicines and surgery.
Ways To Ease CPS
- Walking is one of the best ways to ease the suffering of chronic pain. Walking is an exercise that helps to release the endorphins - the body's natural painkillers. Try to walk daily for at least 30 minutes.
- Chronic pain syndrome and sleeplessness go together. Try to get a regular amount of sleep daily.
- Distraction can be a type of treatment to ease chronic pain. Do a crossword puzzle, start a conversation or read a book.
- Keep a check on your diet. Eating certain foods like red wine and cheese can trigger attacks. So, check for yourself and see which foods are good for you.
- Strength training exercises improve your balance and flexibility. These also help in reducing chronic pain.
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