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  • Carolina Regional Orthopaedics

How Chronic Pain Affects Your Immune System


Most of us experience pain, whether from an injury or disease, at some point in our lives. Unfortunately, at any one time, over 100 million Americans are suffering from long-term chronic pain. Therefore, it's important to practice effective pain management in Rocky Mount NC, because chronic pain does affect our immune systems, which can result in severe health conditions.


How Chronic Pain Can Impact Your Immune System


Just like stress can impact your immune system, so can pain. When your body experiences excessive pain, it affects your brain. This chronic pain has the effect of reprogramming genes in your immune system. Over time, it can slowly change the T-cells, a type of white blood cell that focuses on immunity. Scientists believe there is a significant connection between these DNA changes in the brain and long-term chronic pain.


The body's reaction to it can impact the immune, neurologic, and endocrine systems. For example, cortisol levels can go up. But when the mind is focused on pain, there may be less attention on your immune system. For example, chronic pain can cause a decreased immunity level in lymphocyte cells, increased viral infections (including Covid), and delays in wound healing. Older people are more susceptible to these changes.


How Chronic Pain Affects Serious Autoimmune Disorders


People with more serious autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, are at serious risk of acquiring harmful viral infections and experiencing slower healing of wounds. They may take immunosuppressive medications to prevent their condition from attacking their immune system. However, that can also restrain the body's immune response to other diseases, adding even more complications for the patient.


How Can I Manage My Chronic Pain?


Over time, severe health conditions can result from a weary immune system. These may include weight gain, cardiac disease, high blood pressure, risk of strokes or heart attacks, diabetes, and more. Therefore, it's essential to start decreasing your chronic pain levels before it can severely impact your immune system and body. You can begin with meditation and breathing exercises, then consult a qualified doctor for effective pain management in Rocky Mount NC.


Carolina Regional Orthopaedics, P.A.


Your chronic pain condition may be too complex for you to manage alone. If you're worried about long-term chronic pain affecting your immune system, please schedule an appointment at Carolina Regional Orthopaedics, P.A., by calling 252-443-0400 today. Effective pain management in Rocky Mount NC will not only make you feel better, but it will provide you with better long-term health too.


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