Gain Without Pain: Effective Pain Management Options

Chronic body pain can be a major obstacle for anyone to overcome. Conditions such as chronic back pain or neck pain are often burdensome and, at times, debilitating. Everyday tasks such as sitting down, writing with a pen, or even walking can be difficult for those who suffer from chronic body pain, which, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, affects roughly a quarter of the U.S. population. Chronic pain ranges from mild discomfort to severe irritation. It depends on the part of the body and the causes. No matter the severity, chronic pain is something no one wants to go through and yet is something that Americans spend $86 billion on every year.

However, there is hope. Pain management is a prominent field in medicine. There are many treatments and therapies available to control and eradicate chronic pain. Though there are many different kinds of chronic pain conditions, back and neck pain are two of the most common (lower back pain, in particular, being the #1 most common). Back and neck pain can be caused by muscle strains, worn joints, nerve compression, injuries (for neck pain, auto collisions, especially rear-end collisions, is a common cause), and diseases. Post-surgical pain is also a common condition. People who lose limbs often suffer from phantom limb pain, in which the person feels as though the missing limb still exists, often causing tremendous pain and stress.

There are a variety of treatments, both medical and alternative, to help combat chronic pain. Medically, chronic pain can be treated by steroid injections, spinal cord stimulation, nerve blocks, and piriformis muscle injections. Epidural steroid injections are often used to treat lower back and leg pain. The steroids are injected directly into the affected area in order to reduce the pain and stress on the body. Spinal cord stimulation is a treatment in which small electrical currents are sent to your spinal cord, interfering with the nerve impulses that cause pain. Nerve blocks are a kind of anesthetic that block nerve impulses from reaching the brain, effectively cutting off the pain.

There are also more alternative options to consider. Massages, for example, have shown signs of effectiveness in treating muscle pain. Chiropractic medicine focuses exclusively on the back and spine and has been proven to work for pain reduction. Acupuncture, though not strictly medical, is a popular alternative to surgery and pharmaceutical drugs. Finally, even yoga and meditation have been shown to improve chronic pain as well as mental well-being.

So, no matter what your condition is, effective pain management is not as unreachable as you may think. Chronic pain is quite common and universally hated. No one should have to endure pain everyday. If you ever find yourself in a distressing situation, know that there are a variety of avenues to choose from in leading a healthy, painless life.

Jeff Ellison Chief Operating Officer

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