Chronic Pain – Symptoms and Treatment
What is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is persistent pain that lasts longer than the typical recovery time or coexists with a chronic illness.
In chronic pain, the nervous system’s response to pain does not stop once the injury has healed. Instead, the nerves continue to send the pain signal to the brain. The brain also begins to place greater emphasis on the pain feelings as they persist, making it even more difficult to manage the symptoms.Pain can affect any part of your body, disrupts daily living, and can cause anxiety and sadness.
What are the Symptoms of Chronic Pain?
Pain is generally constant, with ‘flare ups’ from time to time. Symptoms could include muscle aches and pain, joint pain, fatigue, decreased flexibility, decreased activity tolerance, mood problems (anxiety, depression), burning pain, and more. These symptoms tend to impact your ability to engage in and enjoy daily life over time. This often leads to withdrawal, feelings of isolation, guilt, and activity avoidance. It impacts on relationships and overall quality of life.
Chronic pain treatments can help you find relief from these problems.
What Are The Risk Factors for Chronic Pains?
The risk factors for chronic pain include mood disorders (particularly depression), chronic illness, smoking, obesity, those who are older than 65 years, and females.
What are the Causes of Chronic Pain?
The causes of chronic pain are poorly understood and believed to be related to a change in how the brain interprets the pain signal. Some of the conditions that are linked to chronic pain include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, back pain, physical trauma or surgery, fibromyalgia, and emotional trauma.
How Renew Neurotherapy Can Help in Chronic Pain Treatment
All of the approaches outlined below are geared toward changing the way your brain interprets the pain signal so that we can work together to limit the impact that pain has on your daily life, and promote the quality of life that you want to enjoy.
At Renew, we often approach chronic pain from a cognitive behavioural therapy perspective. Here are some of the foundational components of a CBT for pain program
- Walking program
- Pacing (how to balance tasks, activity and rest)
- Relaxation training (managing stress and decreasing muscle tension)
- Cognitive restructuring (identify unhelpful thoughts and develop a more balanced thinking pattern)
- Behavioural activation (increase participation in activities that hold meaning for you and that you enjoy)
Lifestyle changes are very important for managing pain symptoms. Fitness, healthy nutrition, spending time with supportive friends, getting high quality sleep, spending time in nature, etc., have all been proven to help manage pain symptoms. At Renew, we help you to develop a lifestyle that supports your pain management while allowing you to fully engage and enjoy your life.
Sleep therapy approaches may include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia, light therapy, sleep hygiene, supporting activity/rest balances, and more. Literature shows us that there is a strong correlation between sleep and pain. Addressing sleep issues can help to manage pain.
Restructuring how we think about pain is also an important factor. We work with you to manage the impact that pain has on your life instead of focusing on eliminating pain.
Neurofeedback sessions can also help to support pain management. Pain-related symptoms are often increased by an out-of-balance nervous system. Neurofeedback therapy (particularly Infraslow Neurofeedback therapy) can help to address the balance. Our board certified neuro therapists (BCN) can complete detailed assessments and therapy programs to help support your recovery.
Chronic pain is a difficult diagnosis to come to terms with, but our team is here to help you learn how to take control of your condition and live a healthy and happy life, despite your pain. If you are suffering from Chronic Pain today and are unsure how to handle it, please visit our website at https://renewneurotherapy.com/ for more information about what Renew Neurotherapy is all about and how we can help you feel better, faster!
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