According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, chronic pain “is one of the most costly health problems in U.S. Increased medical expenses, lost income, lost productivity, compensation payments, and legal charges are some of the economic consequences of chronic pain.” Its effects are widespread, the symptoms malignant, but it’s a treatable condition.
Chronic pain definition
Pain can be mild or severe. It can be in a specific part of your body, have a definitive cause, and go away on its own or after treatment – this is how you might think of acute pain. But if the pain, slight or excruciating, exists in your back then moves to your ankle, and doesn’t have a known cause and lasts longer than three months, you may be experiencing what’s known as chronic pain.
Does chronic pain ever go away?
A myth of chronic pain is that if you treat the underlying cause, it’ll just go away. But there are problems with that logic. Diagnosis is sometimes impossible according to many medical professionals, including this doctor from Walter Reed Army Medical Center. As a result, the pain may never subside.
Symptoms of chronic pain
If you experience chronic pain, one of its most frustrating aspects is it can be anywhere in your body. Many people report they feel it in the head as headaches or migraines, in the back, or anywhere else. It may also show up as the result of cancer, arthritis, nerve damage, or surgery. The symptoms are often described as stiffness, soreness, a dull ache, burning, or stinging. Many pain symptoms can be treated with ketamine.
How to get rid of chronic pain
Ridding your body of chronic pain, and fully returning to the life you led before it began, may not be possible. Many doctors say it can’t be cured, but its symptoms can be managed. Here are several therapies you may want to ask your doctor or therapist about:
- Ketamine, a powerful anesthetic known to lessen symptoms of chronic pain and mental disorders like depression and anxiety
- Cold and warm-to-hot compresses. Cold can lower inflammation and muscle spasms; heat raises your pain tolerance and relaxes muscles
- Exercise. Remaining physically active, even with mild pain, can perform a beneficial role for suffering from some of the more widespread pain conditions, including arthritis, low back pain, and fibromyalgia
- Manage body weight. Many episodes of chronic pain are exacerbated by extra weight, so it makes sense that losing some pounds can help to lessen some types of pain
- Occupational therapy and physical therapy, which may improve your ability to handle activities of daily life, like getting dressed, bathing, and eating, and reestablish or maintain your means to move and walk
- Ultrasound therapy guides sound waves into the skin. It may improve blood circulation, lower inflammation, and foster healing
- Mind-body techniques such as breathing exercises, hypnosis therapy, meditation, mindfulness, or progressive muscle relaxation
- Mind-body and exercise practices like tai chi and yoga will stretch and strengthen muscles. They may help with arthritis, fibromyalgia, headaches, or low back pain
- Try therapeutic massage to reduce pain by relaxing painful joints, muscles, and tendons; relieving anxiety and stress; and possibly stop pain messages from entering or leaving the brain
- Some forms of psychotherapy reframe negative thoughts about your pain which could interfere with your ability to handle daily life, work, and relationships
- Topical pain relievers or over-the-counter medications
- Herbal or nutritional supplements like passionflower, chamomile, lavender, or lemon balm
Diagnosing chronic pain
Because the source of chronic pain is often unknown, properly diagnosing it normally involves one or more appointments with a doctor or specialist. Diagnosis could include tests and diagnostic procedures like blood tests, X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging, nerve tests, and many others. The results will help formulate diagnosis and treatment.
What about ketamine?
One of the beautiful things about different kinds of medication is research often shows they have multiple uses. Store-bought or over-the-counter pain relievers not only lessen physical discomfort, but also may relieve headaches or other pain symptoms. The same can be said for medicine like ketamine, for instance.
Ketamine, a prominent anesthetic known across the globe and used for decades, is also a powerful pain reliever. Ketamine is especially useful as a pain treatment because of its unique ability to possibly bring relief to pain symptoms within hours or even minutes, rather than the weeks or months traditional medication can take for some people.
Research into ketamine for mood and pain disorder treatment is still ongoing, but it is believed that ketamine helps foster new connections between synapses and restore damaged nerve connections. This, in essence, rewrites the parts of your brain contributing to your symptoms.
Contact us today to learn more about this innovative new treatment option.