Living With Chronic Pain: Physical And Mental Consequences
Posted: Sep 15, 2014
When people hear about others experiencing pain, their first thoughts often are of the conditions which cause pain. That’s a natural inclination, because for most people, luckily, pain is a temporary symptom associated with an injury or illness which can heal or be treated effectively. However, that is unfortunately not the case for everyone. For some, chronic pain becomes a constant in their lives, shaping their relationships, careers, and even their personalities. For those who have never experienced long term pain, it can be difficult to understand the suffering of those who do.
Physical Consequences of Long Term or Chronic Pain
Pain is more than a symptom in and of itself. Pain can contribute to a loss of mobility or a loss of functionality which can impair an individual’s lifestyle significantly. There are many things that those who suffer from chronic pain simply cannot do, because of the pain they experience. Back pain and joint pain, for example, can make it difficult for an individual to excel in their career or even socially. Sometimes, pain can even make it impossible for an individual to walk, let alone run.
Emotional Consequences of Long Term or Chronic Pain
Pain can also affect a person emotionally or psychologically. The frustration related to having chronic pain which doctors seem to be unable to treat can lead to anxiety, anger, or despair. It can even lead to a patient experiencing clinical depression. It’s not simply the pain itself which can negatively impact a person’s thoughts or emotions. It’s also the effects that the pain has on their physical abilities and their ability to socialize.
Many things that we take for granted can become impossible for those with chronic pain. Even sitting in an office chair can be profoundly difficult for those who have certain types of pain. Others are unable to stand for long periods of time, or walk for more than a few meters. Pain doesn’t just affect mobility, either. It also causes higher levels of the chemicals which induce stress and affects concentration. Someone in chronic pain is not able to concentrate, study, or socialize the way they could prior to the development of their condition. At times, it can feel like the pain has become their whole life.
Seeking Quality Care for Chronic Pain
Thankfully, there are physicians who specialize in pain and understand the far reaching consequences it can have on a patient’s life and lifestyle. These doctors, known as pain management specialists, take the time to interview each of their patients before devising a treatment plan. Their treatment plans are designed not only to combat the physical symptom of pain itself, but the effects that it has on a patient’s body, mind, and life style. Because pain management specialists dedicate their careers to understanding pain and its effects as well as an almost infinite number of strategies for combating it, they offer patients the best chance of regaining their quality of life.
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