Chronic pain is affecting 50 million Americans right now. Chronic pain is defined as pain that can last for over three months and does not respond to medical treatments. Unfortunately, chronic pain can make it difficult for individuals to maintain a happy lifestyle or plan for the future. Additionally, it can lead to over $80 billion in lost wages every year, as people are forced to take time off work or reduce their productivity. Yet, despite its prominence, the consequences of chronic pain continue to be dramatic, impacting people’s daily lives.
It can drive addiction to opioids
It’s natural to turn to painkillers in an effort to reduce the sensation of pain. When over-the-counter medications can’t help anymore, many patients seek medical assistance.
A doctor can prescribe a variety of treatments and medications, including stronger, opioid-based painkillers. In the long term, an individual with chronic pain could develop an addiction to opioids as they seek pain relief.
Unfortunately, the addiction can also affect the perception of pain, increasing sensitivity as withdrawal effects kick in. If you’re watching the TV show Dopesick like I am, then you know the reality of the OxyContin crisis.
It’s easy to see how chronic pain patients could become addicted as they try to control their pain. If you feel prescribed opioid painkillers only contribute to creating more issues in your life, consider seeking help from specialists who can assist you through the withdrawal phase, such as https://mattexas.com/. Helping clear the body from its dependency can make it easier to try alternative treatments.
It is tightly linked to stress
Working with chronic pain is tricky. Indeed, high levels of stress can also trigger chronic pain, as stress increases pain sensitivity.
It is essential for chronic pain sufferers to introduce mindful habits that can help relax the mind and the body. Doing so can be an effective part of finding relief from chronic aches.
However, the correlation between stress and pain is more complex than it may seem at first. Indeed, chronic pain can increase your stress level by putting more pressure on the body and mind.
The phenomenon can fuel a vicious cycle of stress and pain. Chronic pain can trigger stress, which in turn increases pain levels. Elevated stress levels can also facilitate cardiovascular diseases and weight gain.
Pain in the body hurts the mind
According to https://www.health.harvard.edu, chronic pain does not just trigger stress. It is also connected to depression. Individuals who experience chronic pain respond positively to pain medication used for depression.
That makes sense as pain can affect your mood, which intensifies the sensation of pain. Therefore, mood regulators can reduce the perception of pain.
However, it can be difficult to find the right treatment and diagnosis for your body aches. Consequently, it’s not uncommon for chronic pain sufferers to experience a bout of depression as they face prolonged pain.
Chronic pain and dementia: A surreal partnership?
Scientists strongly believe that chronic pain could be connected to dementia. While pain is not a dementia trigger, it could be an early symptom of degeneration.
Indeed, a study followed over 9,000 participants for up to 27 years. The analysis found that participants who were diagnosed with dementia reported an elevated level of pain up to 16 years before receiving the diagnosis.
Final words on chronic pain consequences
Chronic pain is a difficult and unpleasant diagnosis that complicates day-to-day life. However, it also appears to have links to a variety of severe conditions. Will science ever be able to tackle chronic pain and put an end to it? Only time will tell.