Someone you know lives with daily pain. Recent research has shown that more than 20% of Americans experience significant pain every day or several days per week. That’s 1 in 5. If you know five people, you probably know someone who lives with daily pain.
Of course, most of us regularly interact with dozens of people in one way or another. There may be some of these that we are aware of pain. What about the others? Can you handle that alone?
Many people who experience pain on a daily basis simply buy over-the-counter pain relievers to help keep the pain in check for a few hours. Others may rely on a doctor to prescribe some medications instead. Often the medication only works temporarily or only alleviates the pain.
Many patients have tried services such as physiotherapy, massage, or other physical treatments. Some have tried chiropractic or acupuncture. For some, yoga, stretching, workouts, walking, or other types of physical activity help. These types of physical approaches are often helpful.
However, the fact is that in most cases these efforts can be helpful to some extent, but they will not make the pain go away.
This leads many patients to consider more invasive treatments like injections, implanted nerve stimulators, nerve treatments like ablation, or even surgery. It is to be hoped that these riskier and more costly interventions will finally provide lasting relief. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t.
I have worked with chronic pain patients for more than three decades. I’ve heard a lot of stories. I hear about the things that people have tried that didn’t work. Of course, if they found something that worked, they wouldn’t be in my office.
That’s the first tip. Nothing works for everyone and nothing works every time. Often times a person has to make the effort to keep looking for solutions. Patients, in many cases, need to be their own advocate.
Chronic pain is such a huge problem that much effort is gone into addressing it. For pharmaceutical companies, this can be an extremely lucrative topic. Every year billions and billions of dollars are spent on drugs used for chronic pain. Of course, if a product or procedure were able to reliably and reliably eliminate chronic pain, it could put those billions of dollars at risk. This is why many are skeptical when real efforts are made to actually resolve chronic pain.
That leads to the second tip. Most drug treatments for chronic pain are designed to temporarily mask the pain instead of removing it. There is simply too much profit for the pharmaceutical industry to ever imagine that this situation could change.
Despite negative perspectives and typical approaches, in some cases it is possible to find treatment methods that significantly reduce or possibly eliminate chronic pain.
Over the years we have worked with patients using a range of drug-free treatment options at our clinic. We have seen some patients actually get relief from chronic pain. This doesn’t happen in everyone, but it does happen in some cases.
In other cases, we have seen such a significant reduction in pain levels that the patient is able to find ways to manage their pain without even taking medication. You can still deal with some pain, but the improvement can be very satisfying. For these patients, being able to eliminate the significant risks of the drugs is a significant victory.
That’s the third tip. Regardless of what you’ve heard from healthcare providers, there are drug-free treatments that work very well and can sometimes help patients get rid of chronic pain completely. This of course varies from person to person. It also varies depending on the provider. Some providers have more experience, more training, or other technology to manage chronic pain cases.
For many providers, pain is pain. However, there are marked differences between acute pain that is the result of a recent injury or illness and pain that lasts for months or years afterwards. Chronic pain is a completely unique neurological process compared to acute pain. Therefore, the successful approach will be very different.
That’s the fourth tip. To find a solution to chronic pain, it may be necessary to look for providers who are different from your GP. If you just got more prescriptions and advice to “learn to live with” you may benefit from finding a different type of provider.
Finding a solution to chronic pain can be a frustrating effort. It may seem endless, expensive, and maybe impossible. However, I encourage patients to keep searching for the correct answer. For many patients, chronic pain is something they “used to live” with.
Dr. Mark Kestner is a licensed chiropractor and acupuncturist with more than 30 years of experience primarily focused on the treatment of complex and chronic spinal, joint and neurological conditions in Murfreesboro. His office is at 1435 NW Broad St. Contact him at [email protected]