With chronic pain, the goal of treatment is to reduce pain and improve function, so you can resume day-to-day activities. With consultation from your healthcare provider, there are have a number of options for the treatment of pain.
In the United States, pain is a significant public health problem that cost society at least $560-$635 billion annually which averages out to around $2,000 per person for everyone living in the US. This is more then the yearly costs for cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
The four most common types of chronic pain are:
- Low back pain (27%)
- Severe headache or migraine pain (15%)
- Neck pain (15%)
- Facial pain (4%)
Only you know what your experience of pain is. For this reason, it is important that you take control of your situation. One recommendation is to keep a pain journal to keep a record of your pain symptoms, what you did that day, and what foods you ate, providing yourself and your doctor with a valuable record that could help to discover more effective treatments. A simple dosage change, trying a different treatment option, or using a different combination of treatments is part of the process of finding what works for you.
Just 23% of patients with chronic pain found opioids effective, according to a 2006 survey carried out by the American Pain Foundation
Nearly all people with chronic pain seek alternative treatments
- Physical Therapy
- Massage Therapy
It's important to stay well-nourished and active, even if you are in pain. Having a healthy diet will help improve the way your medications work, reduce side effects, and help you maintain the energy you need to carry out your daily activities. Also keep in mind while chronic pain can often be debilitating, not exercising can often be worse. Many types of gentle exercise can be therapeutic and often include range-of-motion activities, stretching, strength training and cardiovascular conditioning.
Whatever your treatment plan, it is important to remember that chronic pain usually cannot be cured, but it can be managed. There is no reason to suffer in silence when effective pain relief is available.