Chronic pain is a common ailment, and it’s also one of the most common reasons people seek medical help. In the U.S, 25% of adults suffer from chronic pain. Acute pain is a crucial nervous system reaction that helps to alert you to potential damage. When you have an injury, pain impulses go up to your spinal cord and into your brain. As the damage heals, the pain will normally lessen.
Nevertheless, chronic pain is not the same as ordinary pain. Even after an injury heals, your body continues to send pain signals to your brain if you have chronic pain. This can last anywhere from a few weeks to several years. Chronic pain can diminish your flexibility, strength, and endurance, as well as limit your mobility. This may make it difficult to do daily jobs and activities.
Ways to Reroute Pain Signals to Ease Chronic Pain
1. Neuromodulation therapy
Neuromodulation can help you with managing chronic pain and improve your quality of life. Neuromodulation devices function by sending modest electrical impulses to the spinal cord or peripheral nerves, which inhibit pain signals from reaching the brain and so help to reduce pain. Patients who receive this therapy experience pain alleviation or a relaxing tingling or numbness in the affected area instead of persistently uncomfortable sensations such as aching, stabbing, sharp, burning, or electric pain. You can target the exact locations of your pain with this precise technology.
There are many kinds of stimulation that vary in device location, intensity and electrical waveform. They include:
- Spinal cord stimulation (SCS)
- Peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS)
- Dorsal root ganglion (DRG)
2. Epidural steroid injections
This technique involves injecting an anti-inflammatory drug, such as a steroid or corticosteroid, into the epidural area around your spinal nerves to relieve chronic pain caused by irritation and inflammation of the spinal nerve roots.
Relaxation is a great way to manage pain. It helps in relieving muscle tension and reducing the stress brought about by chronic pain. You should set aside some time to relax to alleviate your pain. Here are some techniques to help you relax:
- Mindfulness meditation
- Take some deep breathing exercises
We have minds that are only interested in one thing at a time. With practice, you’ll be able to divert your attention away from your pain and into something else. Focusing on fun things that will take your mind off your pain is one way to do this. Jigsaw or word puzzles, board and card games with family or friends, a coloring book, painting by number, working with clay or play dough, or listening to music are just a few suggestions.
We all need to exercise, but pain might make it difficult to be as active as you should. The problem is that if you don’t exercise, your muscles will become weaker and you will experience greater discomfort. Exercise releases endorphins, which are hormones that relieve pain and boost your moods. Try to be as active as possible. It just takes 30 minutes of aerobic exercise to release endorphins, which reduce pain perception. As part of your chronic pain management, ask your doctor what types of aerobic workouts are appropriate for you.
Southeast Pain and Spine Care focuses on interventional pain therapies and supporting drugs to control and ease chronic pain. Conservative therapy, such as medicines and nerve blocks, can effectively treat a wide range of illnesses. Our pain treatment clinics also have the skills and experience to provide some of the most advanced pain management techniques available for the most challenging cases. In other circumstances, seeing a pain management professional before surgery can even be avoided. Contact us today, to manage your pain!