Chronic pain

Chronic Pain as a Separate Disease

Chronic pain seriously affects the quality of life and makes it difficult for people to perform everyday tasks. Despite this, the society is not taking people who complain about pain, seriously.

Chronic pain is one of the most widespread health issues, and it has a great negative influence on individual, family and work relationships. As described by experts, pain causes a complex combination of physical, psychological and social changes to affected persons.

Definition of pain: “An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage. The inability to communicate verbally does not negate the possibility that an individual is experiencing pain and is in need of appropriate pain-relieving treatment. Pain is always subjective. Each individual learns the application of the word through experiences related to injury in early life” (International Association for the Study of Pain).

The researchers report that almost one in five Europeans have moderate or severe chronic pain, defined as pain lasting at least six months and with moderate to severe pain being experienced in the last month and at least twice a week. This proportion varies from country to country but the range is from 12% in Spain to 30% in Norway.

Despite the toll chronic pain takes, chronic pain has not always been well understood. The medical profession used to believe that pain was always a manifestation of an underlying injury or disease. Doctors focused on treating the cause of the pain, with the belief that the chronic pain would disappear once the injury or disease was cured.

If no underlying cause could be found, the patient was told that very few treatments are available, or worse—that “the pain must be in your head.” Unfortunately, some doctors still practice in this manner, having no appreciation for the unique problem of chronic pain, newer theories about chronic pain, and the many factors that influence a chronic pain problem.

Fortunately, efforts to focus public attention on the problem of chronic pain care have been encouraging in recent years. The medical community is starting to understand that if pain is no longer a function of a healthy nervous system, the chronic pain itself becomes the problem.

Advanced neuroimaging has shown that chronic pain—unlike acute, or short-term pain—can cause structural changes in the brain that add to the risk of cognitive problems as well as anxiety and depression.

While a broken leg can be confirmed by an X-ray, and an infection can be confirmed by a blood test to measure white blood cell count, there is no medical test to measure chronic pain levels. Thus, many people with chronic pain go from one doctor to the next searching for explanations. This process can lead to unnecessary evaluations and treatments.

We find it important to stress that one should learn more about one’s own pain and issues connected with it. Sometimes pain signals can continue coming to the central nervous system after the probem was resolved or tissued healed. A person’s thoughts about the pain, as well as emotional states such as depression and anxiety are issues to be considered.

Chronic pain, in comparison with acute pain, can take many forms, but we can still look at it through the following categories: pain with identifiable cause (usually spine problems, spondylosis, back pain) and pain with no identifiable cause. There is also neuropatic pain, often described as sharp, stubbing, burning or cold.

Modern medicine offers a variety of treatments for pain. And, again, what works best is very individual and thus needs personal care and approach.

We are aware of the complex and lengthy process of curing pain. It probably involves a combination of several methods and the one we are able to provide through our services is byproviding relaxation programmes and focused medical rehabilitation procedures for each specific type of pain.

As mentioned several times in our articles, spine, joints, rheumatic arthitis, psoriasis, after-stroke and similar impairments are very well addressed and treated with success. It takes time and dedication as well as investing into one’s own health in order to reduce the pain conditions to a minimum.

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