Not so very long ago if you went to your doctor complaining about chronic pain you were summarily dismissed as it being all in your head. Some doctors are steadfastly determined to find out what’s behind chronic pain, and therefore it’s no longer looked on as just a ploy for attention, or having to do with anxiety or depression.
If you are one of the 50 million Americans who can’t seem to find relief from chronic pain, know that help is on the way. In the last 10 years alone, neuroimaging, or MRI scans can now look at brain activity when it’s in pain or receiving a pain reliever, and be able to determine when someone is in actual chronic pain.
With new studies being concluded every year, doctors are learning of new ways to treat chronic pain. In addition to drugs and surgery, there needs to be a wide range of chronic pain relief options. Treatments such as mind/body, alternative, and psychological treatment options can all be utilized.
As an example, say your spouse suffers from leg pain. Over time he can’t sleep or exercise as he once did. This, in turn, leads to other problems, such as obesity or sexual disinterest. His job may suffer or he may be let go from his position. Over time, with little or no relief, this person can even develop anxiety, and suicidal thoughts can, in the worst case scenario, take over. This example demonstrates how one small, uninterrupted pain can be very detrimental to not just the one who suffers, but for others around him.
One new chronic pain treatment now being introduced has to do with teaching patients how to overcome their pain. The brain is an incredible instrument. It can be capable of creating pain, and also taking it away. Centuries-old Buddhist teachings are now being taught to patients to help them relieve their chronic pain.
Just as athletes use this a focusing technique to improve their performance, now patients are learning to divert their attention elsewhere when the pain kicks in. There are a range of different techniques for this, too.
Mind/body techniques are being utilized and with great success. Procedures such as guided imagery, biofeedback, mindfulness, cognitive behavioral training, and self-hypnosis are all being used in conjunction with massage and acupuncture.
The next time your chronic pain starts to take over your life remember there is help out there. For answers to your questions all about pain management in Phoenix, don’t wait a minute longer. It’s your life, and you want to live it pain-free.