What Can I Do About My Chronic Pain?
As many as 3 in 10 Americans suffer from chronic pain, consistent pain lasting longer than 3 months. A multi-pronged approach can achieve sustainable pain relief with so many patients suffering from debilitating chronic pain. Prescription opioids provide defense against pain but come with risks. By combining pain medication with physical therapy and an exercise care plan, people can often return to daily life uninhibited.
Getting back to your life
Unless pain is unbearable, opioids are not appropriate for minor procedures or chronic pain levels. Many healthcare providers suggest alternative options with fewer risks and side effects than opioids. OTC pain medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help manage symptoms. In some cases, topical numbing treatments also provide temporary relief. These effective pain management strategies can increase the overall ability to do everyday activities.
Slow and steady wins the race
Physical therapy helps minimize the need for prescription pain medication only. The nervous system acts as an alert system for potential threats to the body. In cases of chronic pain, nerves stay heightened with or without the presence of a threat. A personalized plan with a physical therapist calms the body and reduces nerve sensitivity. By identifying specific daily tasks that chronic pain interrupts, patients can work with doctors to determine the best strengthening movements.
Get a move on
Raising heart rate boosts blood flow and pumps oxygen throughout the body, which keeps nerves calm. Many people can gradually regain pain-free mobility by building in 10-20 minutes of daily mild aerobic exercise. Furthermore, regular exercise can soothe sensitive nerves causing acute discomfort. Activities such as walking, swimming and biking can help manage pain while limiting stress on the body.
Pain can impact everyone, but chronic pain often feels never-ending to the person experiencing symptoms. When medication and exercise is no longer sufficient to manage pain, surgery may be the best solution. However, no one should need to live in pain. With numerous minimally invasive procedures available, there are usually options that have high success rates and will relieve or, at least, reduce pain levels.