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9 Essential Items For Chronic Pain

You’ve suffered from post-surgical pain for months. Even though you’ve recovered, pain lingers, sometimes becoming unbearable. What can you do to relieve the discomfort of arthritis, back pain, or another kind of chronic pain? Understanding chronic pain and possible causes will help you determine the best way to relieve symptoms.

WHAT IS CHRONIC PAIN?

Chronic pain is long-standing pain that persists beyond the usual recovery period or occurs along with a chronic health condition, such as arthritis. Chronic pain may be ‘on’ and ‘off’ or continuous. It may affect people to the point that they can’t work, eat properly, take part in physical activity, or enjoy life,” according to the experts at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Chronic pain is a serious medical condition you can treat with proper care.

TYPES OF CHRONIC PAIN

There are many kinds of chronic pain caused by injury, illness, a surgical procedure, and even mental illness. The most common kinds of chronic pain include:

  • Low back pain
  • Hip and knee osteoarthritis
  • Hand osteoarthritis
  • Shingles nerve pain
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Tension headaches and migraines
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Menstrual pain

Did you know that symptoms of chronic pain can be managed with ketamine treatment?

THE CAUSES OF CHRONIC PAIN

Though it’s not always the case, some kinds of chronic pain have an obvious cause. You could suffer from a lengthy illness like arthritis or cancer resulting in ongoing pain. But diseases and injuries can also change your body and leave you more vulnerable to pain. These changes can remain even after you’ve recovered from the original disease or injury. Typical examples which can leave you with chronic pain include a broken bone, a sprain, or a short-term infection.

“Some people also have chronic pain that’s not tied to an injury or physical illness. Healthcare providers call this response psychogenic pain or psychosomatic pain. It’s caused by psychological factors such as stress, anxiety and depression. Many scientists believe this connection comes from low levels of endorphins in the blood. Endorphins are natural chemicals that trigger positive feelings.”

Multiple sources can overlap, including disease or something like migraines and psychogenic pain.

9 ESSENTIAL ITEMS FOR CHRONIC PAIN

How do you manage chronic pain? There are many different strategies, items, and therapies you can try, for example:

  • An app for your smartphone or mobile device. According to some studies, healthcare providers including primary care physicians could work with app developers to create more robust programs to help patients manage chronic pain, beyond the realm of mere distraction.
  • An electric or battery-powered heating pad. In some cases, warm heat in the 92 to 100-degree range can help relieve the discomfort of chronic pain related to arthritis.
  • Flotation REST. Many studies have shown that floating in a sensory deprivation tank can be useful for some people who suffer from chronic pain.
  • Foam rollers may help patients who have chronic pain associated with scar tissue which has built up in muscle and fascia, according to Jordan D. Metzl, a sports medicine physician at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. A study with a small group of patients at Canada’s Memorial University of Newfoundland “found that knee range of motion—or how far the knee can bend—increased significantly when measured two minutes and 10 minutes following a two-minute foam-rolling session.”
  • A trigger point massager. These hand-held devices can be used instead of paying for massage therapy. The device works to relieve pain in a hyperirritable nodule or knot that can be found in connective tissue and muscle tissue in hundreds of places on the human body, according to Spring Saldana, massage therapy program chair at Northwestern Health Sciences University.
  • Anti-inflammatory drinks for arthritis. The Arthritis Foundation says that people suffering from chronic pain need to stay hydrated throughout the day. Top beverages to fight the discomfort of chronic pain include tea, coffee, milk, juices, smoothies, and water.
  • Aromatherapy for temporary arthritis relief.
  • Ketamine therapy for chronic pain.

KETAMINE FOR CHRONIC PAIN

Years of research has found that ketamine therapy  is an effective relief for chronic pain symptoms related to injury, illness, surgical procedures, and mental illness. Ketamine is a type of medicine first used as an anesthetic and works to repair and strengthen neurotransmitters in the brain critical for transmitting pain signals throughout the body. It may help with chronic pain symptoms non-responsive to other treatments.

What Helps Depression

It’s natural to have anxiety in certain situations, like before a test in school or a blind date, but these feelings normally go away on their own pretty quickly. But if sadness, low moods, sleep or eating problems, or other symptoms hinder daily living, you may be suffering from depression.

WHAT IS DEPRESSION?

Anxiety means you’re fearful and experience sensations of dread and uneasiness – but it normally subsides on its own. Depression, on the other hand, is different. Its symptoms are more severe and long-lasting but can be treated.

Depression is a medical condition that affects your mood and ability to function. Depression types include clinical depression, bipolar depression, dysthymia, seasonal affective disorder and others. Treatment options range from counseling to medications to brain stimulation and complementary therapies.”

WHAT CAUSES DEPRESSION?

Depression is like other mental illnesses in how it doesn’t have a single cause but, rather, many influencers which trigger it. Depression may be linked to any of the following:

  • People with depression often have physical and biological differences in their brains compared to people not diagnosed with depression.
  • If you’re depressed, chemicals in your brain (neurotransmitters called glutamate) may be weakened or damaged, resulting in mood changes and depressive episodes.
  • Hormones and inherited traits like personality.

WHAT HELPS DEPRESSION

People who suffer from depression can be treated, but the key is recognizing symptoms in yourself and a willingness to get help. Help, of course, can involve seeing a medical doctor or psychiatric specialist, but people sometimes choose to treat their symptoms on their own as a first step.

Here’s what you can try

  • Establish a routine and try to add structure to your life. You don’t have to go overboard, either. Start small with a daily morning routine and go from there.
  • Recognize what’s happening in your life, and don’t be overly harsh with self-criticism. Saying to yourself, “Ok, this is what’s going on and I’m trying to get better,” is better than ignoring the symptoms.
  • Set goals, even if they’re small. If you’re depressed, try setting this goal: Call a family member or friend, even for a short conversation.
  • You can accept self-pity – but only for a brief time. Wallowing in despair can only make things worse.
  • Our bodies produce feel-good chemicals called endorphins, but depression does its best to suppress them. The solution? Try some rigorous exercise and get your heart pumping. What constitutes exercise is different for everyone, so you don’t need a gym membership for this one. Go for a jog, ride a bike or, if you want, lift weights or try a treadmill.
  • Understand that your mood today has no bearing on your mood tomorrow. If you’re sad today, tomorrow can be different.
  • Doctors and clinicians may also recommend healthier eating habits. Add foods that are rich in omega-3 fats (salmon, algae, pumpkin seeds, sardines, mackerel, pilchards, herring, and trout), B3 vitamins (whole grains, meat, poultry, and dark green leafy vegetables), and amino acids and serotonin (fish, beans, eggs, lentils, nuts, and seeds). Talk to your doctor or a dietician for specific meal planning tips.
  • Depression often speaks in a negative, irrational voice and tells you things that bring you down. But fight back with logic by handling each bad thought as it happens and replacing it with an opposite, healthier thought.
  • Get a good night’s sleep. According to the Sleep Foundation, most adults younger than 65 need seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep in a 24-hour period. If you’re older than 65, you should get seven to eight hours per night.

Remember, what works for one person may not work for you. But any of the tips mentioned may be worth the effort.

HOW TO DIAGNOSE & TREAT DEPRESSION

Diagnosing a mental illness like depression involves:

  • A physical examination by a medical doctor to see if an underlying medical condition is causing your symptoms. This may involve blood tests and other diagnostic procedures.
  • A psychiatric assessment by a mental health specialist to evaluate your thoughts, feelings, and behavior as a basis for your symptoms. You’ll be asked for details about personal and family history of mental illness and whether family and acquaintances can be contacted on your behalf.
  • Compare your symptoms to criteria in the DSM-5.

Treatment for depression can involve medicine like ketamine or different kinds of psychotherapy.

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you experience depression, the symptoms are treatable. There is no single cure, but doctors and psychiatric professionals recognize that several approaches – sometimes in tandem – could relieve warning signs and restore normalcy to your life. Contact us today for more information about whether ketamine is right for you.

does-alcohol-make-you-depressed

Depression and Alcohol Abuse

When combined, alcohol abuse and depression affect nearly 30 million Americans every year – and countless others who may be victimized by their destructive powers. Science and medicine play an important role in helping people manage the symptoms of both and repairing damage from either but defeating both require compassion and commitment. Both of these addictions can occur separately or together, but thankfully there are treatment options for them, including individual and group therapy and a drug called ketamine.

Alcohol And Your Brain

Northwestern Medicine spells out all the damaging effects alcohol can wreak on the brain:

  • Releasing more dopamine to create euphoria, a pleasurable feeling.
  • Depression, disorientation, memory loss.
  • Exhilaration. A blood alcohol content (BAC) of between 0.09 to 0.25 means that you are legally drunk.
  • Confusion. A BAC of 0.18 to 0.3.
  • Stupor. A BAC of 0.25 to 0.40 can result in a diagnosis of alcohol poisoning.
  • A high BAC boosts the chance of a coma thanks to weakened respiration, circulation, and motor reflexes and responses.
  • A high BAC could strip your brain of its means to manage bodily functions, leading to death.

Consuming alcohol changes the levels of neurotransmitters, which transmit signals body-wide and play a role in controlling emotion, behavior, and physical activity.

Symptoms of Depression

Depression is characterized by any one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Tearfulness, emptiness, sadness,
  • Anger, irritability, or frustration
  • Problems sleeping
  • Low energy
  • Reduced appetite, weight loss
  • Bigger appetite, weight gain
  • Agitation, restlessness, anxiety
  • Slowed speaking or thinking
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixation with past failures or self-blame
  • Trouble with decision making, problems thinking or concentrating
  • Persistent thoughts of suicide attempts, death, or self-harm
  • Baffling physical illnesses, such as headaches, back pain, nausea, diarrhea

The Connection Between Depression and Alcoholism

Depression and alcoholism often coexist in the same body with devastating consequences. In fact, about 30 percent of people with depression also abuse alcohol. In many cases, the depression appears first, though both conditions seem to take their time before fully gaining control. Studies prove that depressed kids are more susceptible to have problems with alcohol within a short time of the first symptoms. Teens with major depression are two times more likely to start drinking compared to those who are not depressed. The numbers for women are as significant, especially if there is a history of depression among blood relatives.

When you consume too much alcohol, you are at greater risk of making bad decisions or acting impulsively. This can lead to ruinous decisions, financial disasters, unemployment, or broken relationships. All of this means you are more likely to feel sad, especially if your genes are hard-wired for depression.

How To Treat Alcoholism

The best-known methods to treat alcoholism are multi-day rehabilitation or 12-step programs that get pitched on cable television, but there are others:

  • Behavioral programs built to alter drinking behavior with therapy. Sessions are led by health professionals and confirmed by studies proving they are helpful.
  • Medications “prescribed by a primary care physician or other health professional and may be used alone or in combination with counseling.”
  • Lesser-known and local mutual-support groups and other similar programs.

Treating Depression

The symptoms of depression and its effects are routinely ignored for one reason or another, often due to lack of healthcare, shame, or the belief that it is a sign of weakness that will go away on its own. But it will not, and many people who suffer from it enjoy productive lives thanks to getting help when needed – either professionally or through self-help groups. Treatment options like – ketamine infusion therapy to control symptoms, psychotherapy, self-help – should only be decided on after research, assessing risks and benefits, and talking to a doctor or mental healthcare provider for guidance.

Will Ketamine Help With Depression?

The benefits of using ketamine or ketamine derived drugs to treat symptoms of depression are entering the mainstream, as infusion therapy and recently introduced nasal sprays are shown to be effective in helping patients manage their symptoms. Now, the drug is showing promising results for treating alcoholism because one of its side effects is making the brain forget that it is addicted to alcohol. The drug, however, is most effective when combined with traditional psychotherapy in many cases.

Conclusion

Alcoholism affects up to 14.4 million Americans, but depression even more – about 15 million people every year. When combined, the damage is disastrous. In certain patients, one condition can lead to or make the other worse. People who are prone to anger, sadness, health, and personal problems can be hit by both concurrently. If you experience symptoms of either, contact us today to learn more about the innovative new treatment options we can offer.

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