What is Chronic Pain and How to Help
Complex, chronic and difficult to describe is how one might express the feelings associated with neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain is a disease or disorder that directly effects the neuropathic nerve. The chronic pain involved with these conditions is actually linked to something bigger—a syndrome known as neuropathy which indicates a serious disorder or dysfunction of the peripheral nerves.
When you experience pain in these nerves, it can be devastating and even life-changing. The pain is so acute and complex that it is difficult to know just how to alleviate any discomfort. It is important to understand what is going on behind neuropathic pain before looking to treat it. Here are some facts on the types of neuropathic pain and how it affects people.
What is Neuropathic Pain?
Neurons are pivotal parts of the brain that are responsible for regular cognition and understanding. When a disorder or disease occurs, it causes derangements that can feed into the central nervous system and cause serious complications to be produced.
These imbalances include:
Of course, these sensory, motor and autonomic understanding are important for the way you perceive the world using the senses to understand, the motor skills to interact, and so on. When central nervous system disorders and problems arise, they are usually the direct consequence of an illness, injury, a stroke, or other congenital conditions that exclusively include the brain and spinal cord.
When debilitating symptoms occur, they are often called neuropathies henceforward. Neuropathies, in their simplest terms, are disorders and conditions effecting the nerve. Not all of these conditions result in chronic pain, but they can still be very dangerous. In fact, some neuropathies can cause acute muscle paralysis or weakness, sensory numbness, paresthesia, and gastric dysfunction.
Neuropathic Pain Types
Understanding the different types of neuropathies and their causes can help you and your doctor go about finding an effective treatment or maintenance plan for your condition. Some common types of neuropathic pain include:
Neuropathic pain can take a toll on your life, so it is important to visit your doctor to discuss your options. Therapies that can bring relief are very rare and only relaxation treatments have been effective for some individuals.
Ask your doctor if you have more questions or want to find ways to manage your pain so that it does not disrupt your life.
The Emotional Consequences of Chronic Pain
What Is Known About Pain?
Chronic pain is both a sensory as well as an emotional perception due to actual or potential tissue damage. This is because the perception of pain is not only a physiological response of our body, but also an emotional perception in our brains. Anthropologically and philosophically, humans are said to instinctively recoil from and avoid pain while actively pursuing pleasure.
Pain Can Be Good
Pain is not always a bad thing. The perception or awareness of pain is a means of survival: when we feel pain, we immediately remove that part of our body from the object causing the painful stimulus. For this reason, when we touch a hot stove, the pain we feel makes us immediately remove our hand, thus saving us from a serious burn.
Pain is also an indicator that something is wrong in our bodies, and can be a signal of disease or some condition that needs to be taken care of.
When Pain Is Bad
Chronic pain becomes a bad thing when we do not feel pain or when we experience too much sensitivity to it. There are infections and conditions which attack the nerves that inhibit our pain preceptors. One such infection is Hansen’s disease or leprosy. The disfigurement of a person suffering from Hansen’s disease is not really brought about by the bacterial infection itself; but the bacteria attacks the nerves that renders causes loss of perception of pain.
When a person is unaware of pain, it makes him vulnerable to serious injury or danger. On the other hand, there are conditions, autoimmune diseases and injuries that do not only cause chronic pain they also intensify the brain’s perception of pain. Chronic pain is said to be pain that lasts for more than three months with or without any tissue damage or injury.
Classified as chronic pain are the pain and intensified perception of pain associated with:
What Is Unknown About Pain
The causal relationship between mood, emotions, state of mind and the perception or sensitivity to pain has not yet been found. This means: it still cannot be determined if stress, low mood and other mental health issues cause a heightened sensitivity to pain; or if heightened sensitivity to pain causes emotional or mood disturbances.
What is evident is that most people who suffer from chronic, persistent pain also suffer from emotional distress, mood and mental health disturbances.
Stress Related to Diagnosis
Those who suffer from chronic pain tend to want to stay immobile for fear of aggravating the pain. They withdraw socially from friends, family and their usual activities, especially if they are taking pain medication. The pain medication may relieve feelings of pain but often, pain medication has undesirable side effects, which, affect mood.
The pain, the immobility and the isolation or the side effects of medication trigger feelings of low mood and isolation. They often lose their jobs and occupations because of the pain or because the pain medication prescribed for them renders them incapable of doing things that they used to do.
Pain medication often affect one’s reaction time and concentration which interferes with one’s ability to do cognitive and mental tasks and it makes them incapable of operating machinery or even driving a car. This makes them feel dependent, unable to care for themselves; helpless and hopeless.
They lose their financial independence and they often battle with guilt at not overcoming their pain and going back to their old life.
The Emotional Consequences of Chronic Pain
Because dealing with chronic pain includes both pharmacological, emotional, mental, and quality of life diminishment components, it essential that those who are dealing with pain take care to address those issues.
A person dealing with chronic pain must come to terms with the pain, learn how to cope with it and the altered circumstances of their lives because they have to live with it.
The Connection Between Stress and Chronic Pain
Many people find that as they grow up and get older, they begin to experience more pain. Aches, twinges, and other conditions become more and more common because the stress levels in their lives are often rising. Usually from high school onward, people begin to experience higher demands in their lives.
Education, employment, relationships, and personal obligations attempt to pull an individual in many different directions. In an attempt to satisfy each these, one might stretch themselves too thin and develop a vicious cycle of stress and pain. Due to the link between these two symptoms, it is possible to cure one by curing the other.
The Purpose and Cause of Stress
Stress is often labeled negatively. From the silent killer to the internal assassin, stress has been given a bad reputation thanks to the havoc it wreaks on the body when it gets out of control. The truth is that stress is actually healthy and necessary in one’s day to day life. It encourages focus, ambition, and helps people to try their best. Unfortunately, too much stress can be very harmful to the body.
Excessive stress occurs when people allow their many obligations to overwhelm them. Usually their time is not properly managed, and they do not know what to focus on. When this much stress is experienced day in and day out, it severely stresses the body, causing several chronic problems. Chronic pain is usually one of the earliest side effects of poor stress management. People can feel this pain as tension in their neck and shoulders, acute pain in their lower back, or as internal pain such as stomach aches and headaches.
Stress and Pain Management
Managing one’s stress is the key to alleviating chronic pain. Since the pain is the result of the body’s attempt to once again claim equilibrium, it can only be reduced or completely relieved by taking care of the stressors in life. This does not mean that the stressors are eradicated or ignored; it simply means that how one reacts to them changes, which could make a world of difference.
There are many ways to practice effective stress management. Usually what works depends on the person, but there are lots of practices and activities that can be subjected to trial and error. To actively manage stress, many people try the following:
Reducing Stress Can Relieve Pain
For those who feel stressed often and are suffering from chronic pain, there may be a direct correlation between the two. It is important to visit a doctor or psychiatrist to help evaluate these symptoms and come up with a stress management plan to reduce or relieve the pain.