The Shocking Mental Effects of Chronic Pain
by AZ Pain Doctors, on Dec 3, 2020 9:15:00 AM
Many patients with chronic pain find that it can affect their sense of optimism. They may feel trapped and hopeless and have a hard time feeling positive. Imagining a satisfying future may be difficult or impossible.
If you have sustained a physical injury or have an age or disease-related condition, you may feel angry, frustrated, and hopeless. This is completely understandable, and you are not alone.
Has a loved one or friend told you you're a grump? Do you have more negative thoughts than usual? Find out some of the shocking mental effects of chronic pain as well as causes and treatment options.
Effects of Chronic Pain
To most people, chronic pain is a constant distraction and source of misery that never goes away. The pain may let up now and then, but it never completely subsides. This can take a huge toll on a person's sense of well-being.
There are many negative cognitive effects of chronic pain. They may include difficulty concentrating, anxiety, depression, or irritability. A person in constant pain may feel stuck with no way out and have trouble with decision making.
Over time, chronic pain may wear a person down until they become withdrawn. They may become only a shadow of their former self. They may disengage from previous activities, give up on dreams and goals, or experience negative personality changes.
If left untreated, chronic pain can cause a devastating loss of quality of life. This could lead to permanent disability, a loss of self-esteem, and the onset of depression.
If you are experiencing anything like this, keep reading, because this article is for you. There is hope- because treatments are available to help you.
Causes of Chronic Pain
Chronic pain usually falls under three categories: injury, degeneration/age, or disease. There may be other categories, but these are the top three.
Chronic pain can come from slipped discs, serious bone breaks, or neck injuries. Nerve damage, and sometimes even medical-procedure-related injuries, can lead to chronic pain.
Many times the source of chronic pain is musculoskeletal, but it could also be on the surface. For example, burns, tissue damage, and skin disorders are a frequent culprit.
Aging can lead to long-lasting conditions like arthritis or degenerative disc disease. Other ailments include osteoporosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, headache-inducing eye disorders, and neuropathy. Also, diabetes, fibromyalgia, cardiovascular disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and sciatica are common.
Cancers also cause chronic pain, either from the disease itself or from treatment side effects. Some chemotherapy treatments have caused nerve damage in patients, for example.
There are many different causes of chronic pain. The common denominator is that they are often difficult to fix.
Back Pain: A Common Cause of Depression
The back and spine are part of the body's core, so they often take the brunt of injuries. Damage in this area affects the rest of the body. Someone with a back injury may limp or hold themselves in a certain position to avoid feeling the pain.
Chronic back pain is one of the most common complaints reported by people of all ages and all walks of life. Some side effects of chronic back pain include missed work, high medical bills, weight gain due to lack of mobility, inability to enjoy a healthy sex life, and limited social activity.
According to the American Chiropractic Association, back pain is so common that around 31 million Americans experience back pain at any given time.
After a back injury or the onset of a degenerative disease, there's a high risk of lapsing into depression or anxiety. A person may find themselves unable to cope with growing feelings of irritability and anger.
Alternative Pain Management Options
Unfortunately, chronic pain can sometimes drive people to use illegal substances to find a bit of relief. But even legal medications can become addictive or result in more problems.
Since the side effects of pain relievers can sometimes be worse than the pain itself, people with chronic pain may try alternative management techniques. These include acupuncture, massage, music therapy, or biofeedback. Other options include hydrotherapy and traditional chiropractic treatments.
Harmful effects of pain relievers include brain fog, constipation, drowsiness, stomach damage, and addiction. It is also possible to build up a tolerance so that after a while nothing works to end the pain.
We want you to know options are still available. As pain management experts, we invite you to look over our full list of pain-relieving treatments. Decide which ones would make the most sense for you.
When To Seek Expert Help
The negative effect of pain on blood pressure is well documented. Research supports that chronic pain causes high blood pressure, which is dangerous and can lead to stroke or heart attack.
Along with the high rate of depression and anxiety amongst chronic pain sufferers, this creates a crisis. It is a powerful reason to consult experts for treatment options.
If you are experiencing chronic pain and are looking for relief, don't delay getting the help you need. Maybe you've tried to fix it by yourself and nothing is working. This means it's time to seek professional advice.
Don't give up your hopes and dreams because you are unable to function due to your pain! Chronic pain may be impossible to ignore, but this does not mean that you have to lose your happiness.