5 Unexpected Facts about Chronic Pain
While chronic pain affects millions of people around the world, it’s not commonly understood. Pain affects more Americans than cancer, heart disease and diabetes combined! This is a good reason why we should learn as much as we can about pain, how we can properly treat the symptoms, as well as the underlying issues.
So, what is chronic pain exactly? It’s defined as pain lasting for more than 12 weeks. Chronic pain is persistent—where you will experience pain signals for weeks, months and maybe even years if you don’t seek treatment. It can be caused by an injury, ongoing illness or there could be no sign of the root cause.
If you or someone you care about is suffering from chronic pain, schedule an appointment with the Comprehensive Pain Consultant of the Carolinas, a pain clinic Asheville, to learn how we can help. Here are five unexpected facts about chronic pain:
Unexpected Fact #1: Pain is both physical and psychological
Dealing with chronic pain symptoms every day for an extended period of time often leads to increased levels of depression, an overall sense of helplessness, anxiety and many other negative emotional issues. It can start to affect every aspect of a patient’s life! Long-term physical suffering can cause you to lose sleep, making you more irritable, affect your ability to concentrate and even negatively affect your relationships with others. Along with chronic pain doctors in Asheville, we also have pain psychologists on staff to help you work through the emotional side-effects of living with physical pain.
Unexpected Fact #2: Lower back pain is most common
Most people will experience some type of back pain at least once in their life. Roughly 20% of people who are affected by short-term back pain will develop chronic back pain. There are many reasons why people experience lower back pain. It can be due to trauma, exposure to heavy lifting, not enough exercise or a variety of other common incidents.
Unexpected Fact #3: Smoking can increase pain
The chemicals in cigarettes cause damage to your blood vessels, which decreases the blood flow to your joints. Smoking causes patients to perceive pain more severely due to tobacco’s effect on the nervous system. Smoking can prolong your healing process or even put you at a higher risk for future injuries. It’s also common that people who smoke cigarettes need to take a larger dosage of pain medications to experience relief than those who do not smoke.
Unexpected Fact #4: Pain is an output from the brain
When you get hurt, a nerve ending is triggered, and this sends a single to your brain. Your brain then creates the pain you feel in your body. Without your brain, no pain would ever be felt! The brain is the epicenter for pain—sending signals through the spinal cord to different areas of the body that are experiencing physical harm or stress.
Unexpected Fact #5: Pain can be unrelated to physical harm
If you are hurt, you will not necessarily be in pain. And if you are in pain, you might not be physically hurt. Many patients who suffer from chronic pain have no tissue damage whatsoever. The nervous system in the human body is highly sensitive which can trigger pain when no real threat is present.
Our staff of board-certified doctors and physician assistants have extensive experience in managing and relieving chronic pain. We have convenient locations throughout the Asheville, NC area in Fletcher, Hendersonville, Marion, Waynesville, Brevard, Weaverville, and Franklin.
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