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Chronic Pain — A New Awareness of an Old Problem

Sep 06, 2022
Chronic Pain — A New Awareness of an Old Problem
September is National Pain Awareness Month in the United States, so we’re focusing on some relatively new thinking surrounding this age-old problem and the many ways we can help.

Most everyone encounters pain during their lifetimes, but far too many people struggle with chronic pain that can affect every aspect of their lives. Unfortunately, these people often can’t remember a day when they weren’t in pain, and we want to correct this.

Since September is National Pain Awareness month in the United States, the team here at Commonwealth Pain and Spine wants to take a closer look at this all-too-common problem. In the following, we offer some insight into pain and the available solutions.

Why the high prevalence of pain?

About 50 million adults in the United States report chronic pain, and 20 million of them are struggling with high-impact pain that limits their lives. Many theories exist about why so many people are in so much pain, and we believe the following are major contributors.

First, humans are living longer these days, which makes us more vulnerable to age-related conditions that cause pain, such as arthritis and degenerative disc disease.

The modern world has also done a number on our musculoskeletal systems, as we spend more time sitting and less time moving, which can lead to pain and discomfort.

Third, as the medical world gets better at resolving certain medical issues, such as cancer, there’s potential for more pain related to the treatments.

Whatever the reasons, the fact is that pain is a global problem that affects the lives of hundreds of millions of people.

Pain as a disease

For most of medical history, it was thought that pain was secondary, meaning it was a symptom, not a diagnosis. Today, this thinking is shifting, and we now consider pain a primary condition. This relatively new thinking recognizes that the longer someone deals with pain, the more their central and peripheral nervous systems adjust to this state and continue to function (or malfunction) in a way that causes continued discomfort.

We also recognize that pain, whether a symptom or a primary disease, causes cascading problems in your overall health and wellness. For example, chronic pain can cause changes in the neural pathways in your brain that lead to chronic pain-induced depression. Backing this up, one study found that “85% of patients with chronic pain are affected by severe depression.”

The many ways we can remedy pain

As pain management specialists, we feel that all pain is abnormal, and we’ve devoted our practice to helping our patients find much-needed relief. We offer an extensive suite of treatment options to address pain, which includes:

This list is by no means comprehensive, but our goal is to illustrate that we have solutions to break the cycle of chronic pain and restore your quality of life.

If you’d like to learn more about your pain management options, please make an appointment with one of our pain management experts at a location near you. We have offices in St. Matthews, Elizabethtown, Lexington, Crestview Hills, Owensboro, and London, Kentucky. Indiana offices are in Evansville, Vincennes, New Albany, Carrollton, and Jasper. We also serve patients in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio.