If you’re currently living with chronic pain, you may feel like your entire life revolves around pain. Without treatment and management, pain can control almost all aspects of our lives and affect our abilities to concentrate and work productively in a job for eight hours, exercise, or spend a carefree evening out with friends.
If you’ve been managing chronic pain alone up until now, you may not know all the options you have available to find pain relief. Below, we’ve outlined the first steps you should take if you’re ready to get on the pathway to treat chronic pain and find long-term relief.
1. Document Everything You Know About Your Pain
In order to help your doctor and guide future treatments, it may be helpful to document as much information as you can about your pain. Find a journal where you can record:
- The location of pain
- The movement of pain — does it travel, radiate or remain localized?
- The severity and frequency of pain
- Words that describe how the pain feels — like “shooting,” “throbbing,” or “burning”
- Times of day when the pain feels worse
- Movements or activities that make the pain worse
- Treatments or resting positions that reduce pain
- Treatments that have been ineffective
Having this information on hand can help your doctor accurately diagnose your pain. And knowing the treatments you’ve already tried will help your doctor make a more focused, effective care plan for the future.
There are multiple types of pain you may be experiencing. Common classifications for pain include:
- Acute pain. Acute pain is short-term pain that originates from an identifiable cause, usually soft-tissue damage (bones, muscles, organs). This type of pain is typically worse at the beginning but improves as the injury heals. Acute pain doesn’t last any longer than six months. Some examples of conditions that cause acute pain are fractures, sprains and strains, dental work or surgery.
- Chronic pain. Chronic pain is any pain that lasts longer than six months. It could originate from an injury that didn’t heal properly or an underlying medical condition. Sometimes, chronic pain has no apparent cause and is difficult to diagnose and treat. Many people with chronic pain have persistent, day-to-day pain that sometimes flares up into severe, breakthrough pain. Some examples of conditions that cause chronic pain are arthritis, fibromyalgia, back pain, chronic headaches or nerve damage.
- Nociceptive pain. Nociceptive pain originates from stimulation of nociceptors, which are pain signals in soft tissues, like your skin, bones, joints, muscles and organs. Nociceptive pain is the most common type of pain, and the type you’re most likely to experience from soft tissue injuries and inflammation. It’s often caused by an external force, like falling and hitting your knee. The resulting sharp, throbbing pain and tenderness is nociceptive pain.
- Neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain originates from damage to the nervous system, which causes dysfunctional nerves to fire abnormal pain signals. Nerve pain can be prickling, burning, electrical or radiating, and be accompanied by weakness, numbness and tingling. Some conditions that cause nerve pain and damage include diabetes, strokes, shingles, HIV infection, tumors, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease. One common type of neuropathic pain is radiculopathy, which is radiating nerve pain caused by nerve or spinal cord compression in the back.
2. Make An Appointment With Your Physician
One of the most important steps you can take when you’re in pain is making an appointment to see your physician. If you’ve been living with and managing chronic pain by yourself for several years, you may believe there’s nothing that can help. But your doctor has access to medical knowledge and treatments that can help you make a more effective management plan to reduce pain and improve your day-to-day quality of life. Knowing the type of pain and its underlying cause will also play a big role in building an effective long-term care plan.
Your doctor will perform several tests to make an accurate diagnosis. He or she will ask for a medical and family history to determine diagnosed medical conditions, past injuries, past surgical procedures and genetic predispositions. Next, your doctor will conduct a physical exam to pinpoint the location of your pain and test the strength of your muscles and joints. After that, you may need to undergo more tests like lab work, imaging studies, or nerve tests before your doctor can make a diagnosis.
Once your doctor has an accurate understanding of your pain, he or she will walk you through the treatment options available to you. These treatments might include medications, physical therapy, injections, surgery, or other therapies.
3. Find Coping Mechanisms for At-Home Pain Relief
Along with prescribed treatments, you need to have home mechanisms in place to manage long-term pain, especially when you have flare-ups or breakthrough pain. Due to the effects pain has on their lives, many people with chronic pain experience depression, anxiety, anger, and feelings of isolation. Coping methods that can help you manage the physical and mental aspects of living with pain include:
- Exercising (to the limit that you can tolerate), which can improve physical pain and reduce stress, anxiety and depression
- Massages and acupuncture
- Heat and ice therapy
- Deep breathing and meditation
- Gentle stretching with yoga
- Seeking counseling, where you can express your feelings and find methods to channel your emotions productively
- Finding activities to distract you from pain, like listening to music, reading a book, playing a game or watching a guilty-pleasure TV show
4. Explore Alternative Treatment Options
For most people, ending chronic pain is an ongoing journey of trial-and-error for different treatment methods. Everyone’s pain is unique and everyone responds to treatment in different ways, meaning there is no one-size-fits-all for pain management. But just because one treatment method is ineffective, don’t give up trying to find a solution for your chronic pain.
One scientifically supported option to treat chronic pain is scrambler therapy. Scrambler therapy is a non-invasive treatment that uses electrostimulation to substitute pain information for synthetic non-pain information in the body’s central nervous system. Scrambler therapy can successfully treat numerous types of chronic pain — including headaches, back pain, sciatica, diabetic neuropathy, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, plus many more — in any area of the body. This modern therapy can significantly reduce or eliminate pain for long-lasting pain relief.
Contact Radiant Pain Relief Centres If You’re Living With Chronic Pain
Radiant Pain Relief Centres exclusively uses scrambler therapy treatments for the treatment of chronic pain. Because we have focused completely on this type of treatment, we’ve developed a level of expertise you won’t be able to find anywhere else. On average, our patients experience an 84% reduction in pain, and more than 90% of our patients conclude therapy with a pain score of zero or near zero.
We have a start-to-finish comprehensive care model and payment plans that make scrambler therapy accessible and affordable for everyone with chronic pain. We offer a free evaluation and free scrambler therapy session so that you can make an informed decision on whether or not this treatment is right for you before you invest.
If you’re living with chronic pain that’s decreasing your enjoyment of life, please call us today or submit a contact form for more information.