It seems like in today’s society, pain can be a measure of your worth and that “toughing it out” comes with some kind of reward or special status. How much pain you can endure and live with can seem to be a direct reflection of your mental and physical strength to some, and reaching for relief in the form of a painkiller can be seen as weak. What a lot of people don’t know is that chronic pain can have many detrimental effects on the body and mind. That being said, some people “tough it out” not to brag about how strong they are, but to avoid overusing medicines that can also cause harm to our systems and have the potential to be habit forming. Pain is a signal from our body that something isn’t right, and it shouldn’t be ignored or endured for long periods of time with no treatment.
What is Chronic Pain?
In chronic pain, signals of pain remain active in the nervous system for extended periods of time, and continues beyond the expected length of healing for an injury or illness.
What are the effects of Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain can result in a chronic stress reaction that causes an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. This increase in cortisol can lead to harmful health effects such a weakened immune system and an increase in the risk of heart disease. Physical symptoms can include limited mobility, tense muscles, lack of energy and appetite changes. Emotional symptoms include depression, anxiety, anger and fear. This will slow down a person’s ability to return to their normal everyday activities.
Management and Treatment
The ideal treatment would include a broad approach that addresses the physical, emotional and mental needs of a person. A lifelong wellness plan will need to be put in place and may include physical therapy, psychological treatments, occupational therapy, continual doctor’s care, and alternative and natural treatments and therapies such as acupuncture and plant based treatments.
Self Management Tips
– deep breathing and other stress management techniques
– gentle exercise and stretching
– setting achievable goals and not overdoing things, pace yourself
– join a chronic pain support group either online, in person or both
– know your medicines and consider if the benefit outweighs the risk, are you treating symptoms only or the underlying cause of your pain
– cut down on alcohol, smoking (both contribute to slower healing) and eat a well balanced diet
Maple Organics plant based therapy balms offer natural, organic, non toxic alternatives. We offer joint and muscle therapies meant to offer relief and pain management for sore muscles and stiff joints. These can be applied daily to problem areas followed by heat or a warm bath to help manage chronic pain symptoms without the side effects that many prescription drugs have.
Please seek medical help for persistent pain and remember that ignoring your body’s pain signals can lead to more significant health problems down the line.