Chronic pain reduces your quality of life and makes everyday tasks difficult or impossible to perform. Right now, approximately 50 million Americans suffer from some chronic pain, and it accounts for more than $100 billion in lost wages every year. If you are worried you may develop it in the future, knowing the risk factors can help you take positive steps to help ensure you stay pain-free. If you already suffer from chronic pain, take action now to keep it from controlling your life. Don’t waste time guessing what you can do to help yourself. Be proactive and take your health and wellbeing into your own hands.
Pain Management: Chronic Pain
What Is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is pain that develops then persists for weeks to years. Common causes could be an injury that does not heal right, diseases that cause inflammation, damaged or malfunctioning nerves, or often just from deterioration of the joints that comes with aging. To help reduce your chance of developing chronic pain or lessen existing symptoms, know the risk factors and make changes where possible.
Risk Factors for Chronic Pain
Age – Age is the most widespread risk factor for chronic pain. With age, joints deteriorate and become inflamed, bone density deteriorates and makes one susceptible to fractures, and falls can be the source of serious injury. This is a risk factor we cannot avoid, but we can take efforts to guard against injuries as we age.
Biological Disease Processes – Biological factors in our bodies like osteoporosis, diabetes, neurologic diseases, rheumatologic disease, spinal disc herniation, or scoliosis can cause pain throughout the body. Some of these processes may be hereditary, so factors such as family history of disease may also contribute to risk of developing chronic pain.
Lifestyle – Your lifestyle has a direct effect on chronic pain. Factors like obesity, lack of sleep, poor diet, smoking and overexertion take a toll on your body and don’t allow it to function correctly or heal injuries properly.
Work Habits – Whether your work involves hard labor or sitting at a desk, you’re at risk of developing chronic pain from factors like using improper body mechanics, failing to stretch properly, heavy lifting or maintaining poor posture.
General Habits – Your habits can lead to chronic pain. Habits like poor posture, excessive computer or cell phone use, and even the position you sleep in are all factors.
Stress – Stress is one of the most common triggers for chronic pain. It affects your entire body and may lead to a lack of caring for yourself.
Treatments for Life-Threatening Chronic Illness – Life-threatening illnesses like cancer may require treatments that may save your life but as a side effect cause chronic pain and make routine tasks difficult to accomplish.
Carolina Regional Orthopaedics
If you suffer from chronic pain, there’s hope. At Carolina Regional Orthopaedics, our highly trained staff knows the ins and outs of pain management and can get you back on your feet in no time. After a consultation and evaluation, we can create a health plan to ease your pain. So, stop suffering and start living; call us today at 252-443-0400 and set up an appointment.