Everyone will experience pain at some time in their lives. Pain is a necessary form of protection against accidents, diseases, or conditions that would otherwise impair or kill us. Pain alerts us that something isn’t right. Pain can be either ‘acute’ or ‘chronic’ – the distinguishing characteristic between the two is their duration.
Acute pain usually occurs after a particular injury. It appears fast and is usually very extreme – one example is the pain of a broken bone. It subsides fairly quickly, particularly after treatment. Chronic pain, on the other hand, seems to accumulate over time, and frequently cannot be connected to a particular injury or illness. What chronic pain lasts in intensity, it makes up for in duration – occasionally persisting for decades. Living with constant pain can be unbearable, and many kinds of treatment attempt to provide sufferers some kind of chronic pain relief.
Among the most commonly prescribed therapy for chronic pain is medication, both prescription and over-the-counter. While often effective in alleviating pain, these are eschewed by some because of the adverse side effects, including nausea, dizziness, and fatigue. Others are in search of a more natural kind of chronic pain relief.
Exercise, stretching and physical therapy reduce chronic joint pain and muscle soreness and spasms by increasing tone, strength, and flexibility. Exercise increases blood circulation, eases joint stiffness, aids in weight loss, and counteracts the stress, anxiety, and depression that often comes from living with chronic pain.
Chiropractic, acupuncture and massage provide three alternative procedures of chronic pain relief. Even though their approaches differ, all of them have helped victims manage chronic pain.
In the past few years, researchers have started to turn their focus on the real source of pain – the brain. Although an injury or wound may lie elsewhere on the body, signals of pain are intercepted, processed, and very literally’felt’ by the brain. Research findings indicate that a multidisciplinary approach to treating chronic pain – one that incorporates psychological as well as physical therapy – provides the most chronic pain relief. Yoga, meditation, and even laughing practices have demonstrated effective treatments.