Pain is different for everyone and can often be diagnosed. You fell and hurt your wrist, but the pain eventually went away. But what if, even after treatment or without knowing what happened, you experience continual, long-lasting discomfort? You may be having symptoms of something called chronic pain disorder.
What is Chronic Pain Disorder?
People experiencing constant pain often think they’re suffering from a specific illness, whether arthritis, leg pain, migraines, or another condition. But anyone who has lived through pain for several months or years also belongs to a club that includes millions of Americans with a condition known as chronic pain, sometimes referred to as chronic pain disorder. “Unfortunately, chronic non-cancer pain is often poorly understood by practitioners as it does not respond to pharmacological monotherapy.”
Who Does it Affect?
Generally speaking, chronic pain conditions primarily affect adults. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, few studies peg the prevalence of chronic pain between 11 percent and 40 percent. In 2016, an estimated 20 percent of U.S. adults experienced chronic pain, and eight percent of them suffered high-impact chronic pain. Both were more likely among adults living in poverty, low-educated adults, and adults who use public health insurance.
What is Ketamine?
Ketamine was first introduced in the 1960s as a pre-surgical anesthetic. It had a “baptism by fire” treating wounded U.S. combat soldiers in Southeast Asia. Since then, public and private researchers, plus some individuals, have discovered ketamine therapy as a valued option for relieving symptoms of many physical and mental health conditions, including chronic pain disorder. It’s a kind of therapy often recommended when experiencing pain, often long-term, when another treatment has failed.
What Causes Chronic Pain Disorder?
Sometimes chronic pain has an apparent cause. You may be suffering from a long-lasting ailment like arthritis or cancer, resulting in ongoing pain. But diseases and injuries can also result in changes to your body, leaving you more sensitive to pain. These changes can remain in place even after you’ve recovered from the original disease or injury. Something like a broken bone, sprain, or a brief infection can leave you suffering from chronic pain.
But it’s also possible that some people can experience chronic pain unrelated to a physical illness or an injury. Healthcare providers sometimes refer to this as psychosomatic pain or psychogenic response pain. It’s triggered by psychological factors, including stress, anxiety, and depression. Many scientists are convinced this connection is obtained from low levels of endorphins in the blood, which are natural chemicals that generate positive feelings.
It’s also possible there could be several overlapping causes of pain, like multiple diseases, injury, or a combination of migraines and psychogenic pain. A doctor can help diagnose its origins.
How to Describe Chronic Pain Disorder
No one knows pain better than the person experiencing it. If you’re suffering from chronic pain disorder, it’s not uncommon to describe the sensation with words like:
Your healthcare provider may recommend different therapy to manage the symptoms, including ketamine therapy.
Who Can Treat Chronic Pain Disorder?
Following diagnosis, often after blood tests, X-Rays, and other procedures, numerous medical professionals and licensed clinicians can offer treatment for chronic pain disorder. Many experienced professionals are members of a pain management rehabilitation team which may be tasked with helping you, including:
- Neurologists and neurosurgeons
- Orthopedists and orthopedic surgeons
- Physical therapists
- Occupational therapists
- Social workers
- Case managers
- Vocational counselors
Special pain management programs are headquartered in hospitals, rehab facilities, and specialized pain clinics. If you have questions about treatment, including ketamine therapy, ask your doctor and only agree to a care regimen you’re comfortable with.
How to Treat Chronic Pain Disorder
Besides using ketamine therapy, taking certain medicines, and making lifestyle changes, follow simple advice – take care of yourself:
- Avoid tobacco.
- Don’t over-exert yourself. Follow a daily schedule with a few goals and time for self-care and rest.
- Eat healthily.
- Exercise consistently.
- Get enough sleep.
- Join a support group specific to chronic pain syndrome or similar conditions.
- Limit alcohol, which disturbs sleep and may cause pain.
- Think positively.
- Use relaxation techniques (meditation and deep breathing).
Chronic pain affects millions of Americans of all ages, though most often adults. It’s something that people have trouble describing, something without a specific cause and, as a result, is often challenging to diagnose and treat. Pushing through pain to live an everyday life is typical. Still, if the pain is relentless and begins interfering with how you live and your quality of life, it may be time to consider a new treatment called ketamine therapy. Call us today to learn more!