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Chronic Pain and Depression

No one likes having to deal with pain. In a world where just about everything can be solved or has an endpoint, pain which goes on and on is certainly not welcome. Chronic pain is not good for your mental health and overall state of being. In fact, it can make things decidedly worse.

What is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is any pain that lasts longer than usual. You could almost compare it to an endless toothache. Long after an injury or problem has healed, the pain continues. It may cut into your daily life in that you begin doing things differently, or stop doing things altogether. Because all you’re looking for is pain relief, if not diagnosed and treated properly, chronic pain can often lead to substance abuse.

Your body will react in different ways with chronic pain. Chronic pain is characterized by low energy, muscle pain, abnormalities in brain hormones, mood disorders, and impaired physical and mental performance. As neurochemical changes in your body take place, chronic pain worsens.

This leads to pain in other parts of your body, where once you may have never experienced pain. Chronic pain leads to not being able to sleep at night, which means that during the day you are tired don’t feel like doing much of anything. Where once you had great enthusiasm for the day, now nothing matters because you don’t have the energy to deal with anything but the pain.

Depression can set in. If your chronic pain has led to depression, know one thing: you’re in good company and there are treatments available to help you.

Neurotransmitters in your brain, the brain chemicals that act as messengers between nerves, are shared by both depression and chronic pain. That includes some of the pathways in the brain and spinal cord as well. It’s no wonder that chronic pain can lead to a feeling of depression.

Think of depression as a magnifying glass. It’s bad enough coping with chronic pain, and depression only magnifies the pain you have. Given enough time, many things start to be affected: relationships, your job, hobbies, and your social network, whereby daily living becomes a chore.

Here’s the good news: because chronic pain and depression are so closely linked, there is pain relief, and they are treated together. It just makes sense doesn’t it, to treat the whole condition and not just a piece of it?

If you have chronic pain which has led to depression, know that pain management in Phoenix has the cure for you. Don’t make pain a part of your life. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Back Pain or Pulled Muscle?

Back pain is something most people will experience at one time or another. There are many reasons for back pain, some of which are:

• herniated or bulging discs
• arthritis or osteoarthritis
• sciatica
• obesity
• degenerative disc disease
• improper posture
• muscle strain

If you wake up one morning and feel intense back pain, it can be difficult to identify exactly what is causing the back pain. Is the pain you feel just a pulled muscle or is it something deeper? Pulled muscle pain can range from a mild ache to a truly debilitating pain, which often comes on suddenly. Symptoms of a pulled muscle are:

•Pain comes on suddenly, especially if you have been lifting a heavy object;
•The pain is usually located in the lower back;
•You may experience muscle spasms along with the back pain;
•You feel better when at rest, but you are in real need of pain relief when standing or walking
•Muscle pulls can last for some time, with intermittent flare-ups of pain over days or weeks.

If your back pain is accompanied by numbness or tingling with a pain that starts in your lower back, then radiates down one leg, then you are experiencing sciatica. Sciatica is a symptom of something gone wrong, such as a pinched nerve or degenerative disc disease.

Chronic pain is when the pain lasts several weeks or more, for no apparent reason. There are many reasons you can be dealing with daily back discomfort over a long period of time. Back pain can originate from a sports injury, an accident, a work-related incident, or something else, such as pregnancy, for instance.

There are ways to lessen back pain or avoid it altogether. Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind.

Don’t be a weekend warrior. In other words, don’t try to be Superman two days a week. Your exercise regimen should reflect what it looks like the other five days of the week.

Watch your lifting techniques. It’s all too easy to quickly pick up a heavy object without thinking. Bend your knees when lifting and never twist around until you’ve put that object down.

Mind your computer manners. In fact, don’t let the digital lifestyle overtake you. Being hunched over playing games or sitting intensely at your desk all day long, will wreck your back, guaranteed.

For all kinds of back pain, which includes sciatic back pain relief, find out what your pain management professionals can do for you starting today.

Back Pain Do’s and Don’t s

There are many experiences that people share, and one of the unfortunate ones is back pain. It is highly likely that just about every adult you know has suffered through a bout of back soreness at one time or another.

Back pain can be caused by any number of reasons. Sometimes back pain comes from simple straining or lifting too much at once, and other incidents of back pain are disc-related and can render you almost immovable. When back pain strikes, all you want is a quick fix because without that your daily activities can quickly grind to a halt.

When you have back pain, there are some ways to alleviate the pain on your own.

Do’s:

•Medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can relieve inflammation and swelling.
•Resting with little movement will also bring relief.
•Use heat or ice to relieve back pain. Heating wraps are readily available in drug stores, and ice packs too, can decrease back pain, especially in your lower back.
•Pay attention to your posture. Slouching over video games or hunching for too long at a computer will only make things worse.
•Try some low-impact exercises such as swimming or yoga.

Don’t s:

•Don’t try more intense exercises, such as Pilates or working out at the gym. If you think these will ‘get the kinks out’ you may be making a bad back situation worse.
•Don’t sling a heavy pocketbook over your shoulders regularly. Backpacks, too, will put a strain on you and can easily cause upper back pain.
•If back pain persists, do not ignore it. It may be a sign of degenerative disc disease or herniated discs or even the beginnings of osteoarthritis.

When you feel severe back pain, the only wise choice is to contact your doctor. In addition to prescribing narcotic pain relievers and muscle relaxants if needed, they will assess your back problem thoroughly.

Back pain may continue for some time, or it may disappear as suddenly as it appeared without any treatment. A strained or wrenched back can heal on its own, but the pain may return if you resume the same activity that caused it in the first place.

For whatever type of back pain you have, there is relief available. At Pain Stop Clinics pain management in Phoenix is just a phone call away. Here you will find professionals who deal with back pain every day. They will provide a comprehensive treatment plan specifically for your back pain.

Trends you need to know about chronic knee pain

Even if you don’t suffer from some type of knee pain, chances are you know someone who does. It is a very common problem for millions of people. Often, chronic knee pain can lead to knee surgery.

Total knee replacement surgery is a big deal. Not only is it a full surgical procedure, but it takes weeks of rehab to get you back on your feet again. Luckily, with newer trends in medicine and physiotherapy for chronic pain relief, surgery is not always necessary.

There are a number of non-invasive treatment plans that your doctor can employ to alleviate chronic knee pain. Some of these treatments include:

  • Non-steroidal Injections. Steroids are not always needed to relieve knee pain, believe it or not. The non-steroidal medication is injected into the joint, muscle or around a nerve for total pain relief.
  • Nerve Blocks. Your doctor will pinpoint the exact region where your pain is coming from. Then an epidural steroid injection is used to specifically target your pain area. This is done through the use of an x-ray known as fluoroscopy.
  • Chiropractic Therapy. Another non-surgical solution is using your body and bringing it into proper alignment. Through the use of chiropractic therapy you may find that your knee pain is lessened or gone, now that your body has been restored to a more balanced natural state.
  • Trigger Point Injections. Muscle fibers cause pain. They actually can become muscle knots, due to overwork or an injury. Trigger point injections can reduce inflammation and the pain caused by these muscle knots because they are specifically targeted by your pain management doctors in Mesa. This goes a long way in helping the muscle to heal.
  • Physiotherapy and Therapeutic Exercises. These are at the heart of any pain management program. Your doctor will develop a treatment plan specific to your knee pain. This is to treat the cause of the pain, which in turn will bring about chronic pain relief. Musculoskeletal imbalances are brought into alignment and knee pain can be greatly reduced or eliminated.

Knee pain can be mild to severe, even to the point where getting around is next to impossible. Let your pain management doctors in Mesa evaluate your knee pain situation and put you on the road to total knee health again.

Stop Sciatica Pain with Pilates

Sometimes back pain is sciatic pain. If you’ve been experiencing sudden pain in your back upon arising, a pain that travels down one of your legs, chances are it’s sciatic nerve pain. Sciatica is caused from either a herniated disk, tight muscles, or some type of injury to the nerves in the spine.

Other symptoms of sciatica include pain while bending, numbness, or tingling in the leg after prolonged sitting, a pins and needles sensation, or pain felt around the mid-buttock to the side. These are usually chronic in nature, meaning they don’t just appear and then disappear quickly.

Because the sciatic nerve controls most of your lower body’s sensorimotor activity, anything that puts pressure on this nerve can cause some type of sciatic nerve pain. There are exercises known as Pilates that can help to alleviate some of these sciatic symptoms.

Pilates exercises won’t cure sciatica, but they may go a long way to helping you with gaining sciatic nerve pain relief. It’s very unlikely that Pilates will cause sciatica, although it is true that certain exercises may make a sciatic situation worse. If you have any type of sciatica, do not engage in any exercises that have you rolling like a ball, where you are rolling back and forth on your spine. That said, there are several other Pilates exercises you can utilize, and pain management doctors in Tempe can help develop a Pilates routine to help you alleviate sciatica pain.

Mat Exercises

Exercises such as the cat stretch, where you kneel on all fours, and gently round your back to an upwards curve, can be useful in alleviating sciatica symptoms caused by spinal stenosis.

The swan exercise is best for a herniated disc. Lie face-down, flat on the mat, with your elbows and forearms on the floor and your fingers under your shoulders. Lift your head, neck and chest slowly from the floor, extending your spine. Return slowly to the floor and repeat 4 or 5 times.

Equipment Exercises

You can also gain sciatic nerve pain relief from the use of a Pilates chair. If you have a herniated or degenerated disc, lie face down on the machine with your hands against the pedals. Pushing down on the pedals, you can extend your spine.

Pilates exercises are best discussed with your pain management doctors in Tempe, in that they are qualified to recommend what will work best for your particular sciatica condition.

Things You Need to Know If You Suffer From Migraines

Migraine headaches are more than just your typical headache. They are the result of specific changes in the brain, although what causes migraines isn’t fully known. Usually, they consist of a pounding pain in your head, which can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, and eye pain.

There are a number of factors which seem to trigger migraine headaches, such as stress, hormonal changes, certain foods, or even loud noises. Once you are in the grip of a migraine headache all you want is for the pain to go away.

In the past you may have tried any number of remedies in the search for the one that would provide you with the best pain-free condition. Some may have worked for a while, some may never have worked, and others may have seemed to be too far ‘out there’ to bother with. You’ve probably gone through the prescription medication route, OTC meds, massage therapy, stretching, aroma therapy, nerve block shots, supplements, and you may have even tried surgery to bring some relief.

When you talk with your pain management doctors in North Phoenix, you’ll discover how they are using a two-pronged approach to help their patients reduce and even eliminate the pain of migraines. This treatment is not suitable for every individual, but it has been effective for many.

This treatment begins with the MiRx Protocol, which is a non-surgical nerve block technique for relieving pain through targeting a nerve located in the nasal cavity. Pain relief is almost instant and can last for weeks. This protocol is combined with advanced physiotherapy, where physiotherapists and chiropractic professionals work with you to determine the exact causes and location of your migraines. You work with the doctors to identify physical and emotional factors that bring on migraine episodes.

Knowing all there is to know about your specific life factors is key to reducing and eliminating migraines permanently. The success ratio for this two-pronged approach is 90% in qualified candidates.

Migraine headaches are controllable through lifestyle changes and the right treatment program designed for you. Knowing what triggers your pain goes a long way to controlling it and eventually reducing the effects it has on your life. Pain management doctors in North Phoenix can help determine whether or not migraine relief can be achieved by this treatment and therapy.

The Worst Suggestions For Pain Relief

Sometimes, pain just feels like it’s too much to bear. You need instant relief. When that fails to materialize, you might find yourself turning to remedies that are quick fixes and may even be dangerous to your health.

Pain can range from slight to disabling, and it can last for a day, a month, or longer. Some pain can be managed through a pain treatment program. Other times, the pain feels as if it will never go away.

Pain relief management plans are put in place to help you address the pain that you are personally experiencing. It’s not a good idea to expect that another’s pain management technique will stop your pain, although sometimes a quick fix may look awfully appealing.

Self-Medication and Chronic Pain Elimination

Self-medicating can be very dangerous. Treatments you should not be engaging in for pain relief include alcohol, drugs, tobacco, and food. All these do for you is to give you a false sense of comfort and control, nothing more. The use of illegal drugs is not only dangerous, but risky the longer you take them. The ability to become addicted can very high. Overeating is just as addictive, and just as unhealthful for your well-being. Instead of losing weight to help with your chronic pain, you’re putting on the pounds, which can only lead to feeling more pain.

Each of these substances feeds your body’s toxic responses. They don’t get to the root of the problem and they don’t solve the problem. Instead of working to attain a healthy state so that you can address the source of the pain, when you self-medicate, you are doing the opposite. Through self-medication, you seek a short-term solution that can aggravate and delay long-term healing.

Pain Management Plans to Address Root Causes of Pain

Any time you suffer with pain, it is caused by something that has gone wrong in your body, which is usually muscular or skeletal in nature. With your pain management doctors in Mesa, you can put into place a pain treatment plan that is a lot more effective over the long-term compared with self-medicating. Your doctors will offer emotional support as part of your treatment plan. Combined with a variety of medical and non-invasive treatments, these approaches should go a long way to alleviating your pain.

Talk with your pain management doctors in Mesa and let them assist you in coming up with the right pain relief plan for you.

Simple restorative yoga practices for pain management

If you suffer from pain that is constant or never seems to go away for long, you have chronic pain. Some people may tell you ‘it’s all in your mind’, but it’s not. Millions of Americans have some type of chronic pain, commonly in the neck and shoulders, and along the spine.

Doctors in the past believed that pain could only be caused by strains, sprains and breaks to muscles and bones, infections, and injured discs. It is now generally understood that pain is much more complex, and that the human body as a whole works as an interconnected system. Pain can manifest from stress, and sometimes tightness in a one muscle group leads to pain in another part of the body.

Luckily, there are proven ways to take the pain away. There are ways to unlearn chronic stress and pain responses that will help your mind and body to achieve practice pain relief.

Restorative Yoga

Restorative yoga is a practice that combines gentle yoga poses and conscious breathing exercises. The result, for many, is healing and relaxation. The effectiveness of this is due to several factors.

  • While holding poses, the stillness of your body results in you dropping off deep layers of tension.
  • While engaged in these poses, you use props to support your body.
  • There is no challenging stretching or strengthening with these gentle poses.
  • Restorative yoga rests your body but enlists your mind in concentration.

There are different poses you can employ that will bring your body into a greater harmony and lessen the pain you have been experiencing.

Nesting Pose

Using pillows for your head and between your knees (to relax your hips), lie on your side and draw your legs up to your belly. This pose creates a true sense of security and nourishment. Rest in the natural rhythm of each breath.

Supported Bound Angle Pose

Lying on your back with a bolster underneath your head, and place your legs in a diamond shape supported on each side with pillows. Lean back on the bolster with your hands to your sides. This allows your breathing to be unrestricted.

Supported Backbend Pose

Place pillows under slightly bent knees. Place a pillow or folded towel under your upper back and another under your head or neck. This pose improves the flow of your breath.

Supported Forward Bend

Sitting cross-legged, lean forward onto a stack of pillows, or the support of a chair cushion. This pose relaxes your hips and spine.

All of the restorative yoga poses can be discussed with your pain management doctors in Tempe. Your body will learn to breathe and let go of pain in a whole new way.

Resources to help you manage chronic pain

Chronic pain is manageable. Due to advances in medicine and physiotherapy, new treatments can be very effective in helping you to keep pain in its place.

There are many ways you can suffer with chronic pain: back injuries, car accidents, sports injuries, or health conditions such as diabetes, shingles, arthritis or cancer. Waking up to face the day with pain that never ceases is not anyone’s idea of quality living.

Today, there are any number of resources available to you in your fight against chronic pain, and below are some resources for managing chronic pain:

  • OTC Medications. Acetaminophen, NSAIDs such as Motrin, Advil often are temporary stop-gaps in keeping pain at bay. They can be very effective for mild arthritis, headaches, or small sprains, and strains.
  • Antidepressants. Low doses of common antidepressants are now being used to fight chronic pain. These drugs adjust levels of brain chemicals that may be off enough to be causing undue pain. You don’t need to be depressed in order to be prescribed an antidepressant medication.
  • Pain Relief Creams. Topical painkillers such as Zostrix or Capsaicin help, as do topical skin patches that contain lidocaine for pain relief. If you suffer from shingles or mild arthritis these relief creams can be especially beneficial.
  • Targeted Procedures. Applications such as nerve blocks or trigger point injections are also very helpful in alleviating chronic pain that has gone beyond the mild stage. These help to hone in right where the pain originates, and they are very helpful when dealing with muscle pain.
  • Physiotherapy. Getting into a good physiotherapy regimen will often do wonders to help keep pain at bay. Just by properly exercising the muscles or joints that are the most sensitive, you can keep them from getting any worse. Exercise is often the last thing you want to think about when pain invades your life, although often it’s one of the most effective things you can do. Psychologically, physiotherapy can provide a real boost.
  • Surgery. This should be your last resort. There are so many ways to treat pain nowadays, surgery should be a last option when nothing else has worked.

The only way you’ll really know what will work best for you is by speaking with your pain management doctors in Mesa. Only a qualified professional can give you the best advice.

Questions You Should Ask About Back Pain

Back pain is experienced by millions of people every day. Sometimes, you know exactly why you have it, other times, it may be a mystery. Finding the cause of your back pain can be difficult. Knowing what questions to ask your doctor can help you to find ways to manage the pain and avoid aggravating it.

Consider asking your doctor these questions the next time you’re in for a visit.

  1. What will worsen my back pain? Chances are you are backing off from doing any heavy lifting. Are there certain movements or activities you should avoid? You definitely want to know.
  2. Is there a serious condition that is causing my back pain? Not all back pain is the same. Some is muscle related, while other back pain can be from a disease or a disorder. Has anything been ruled out?
  3. Is medicine called for? What about alternative measures? Depending on the severity of your back pain, there are any number of resources available for back pain relief.
  4. If I do take medicine, how long will I need it? What are any side effects? Is taking this medication over the long term possibly harmful? This is important because no one wants to become dependent on their medications. Too often, you hear about many people who can’t live without their meds, and this is exactly what you want to avoid.
  5. Where can I find out more about living with this type of back pain? Chronic pain relief options should be readily available right in your doctor’s office. There are many alternatives available these days.
  6. Are there special accommodations I should be aware of when at work, school or at home? You are in different environments everywhere you go, and each one may present its own set of challenges. It’s best to know what you should do to take the guesswork out of each situation. You might love to use the stairs at work, and now have a recommendation to use the elevator instead.
  7. What about exercise? Know your limits, especially if you are aching to go to the gym or workout heartily at home. You don’t want to make a bad back situation any worse.

Your pain management doctors in Mesa will have all the answers to your questions about back pain relief. Stop your pain today- contact us to set up your free consultation.

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