More than 50 million people in the United States are affected by long-term, chronic pain. The length and severity of pain may vary from person to person, but any type of constant pain can still be crippling. While pain normally subsides once an injury heals, chronic pain lasts three months or more.
What Makes Pain Chronic?
Pain is a complex condition that has both physiological and psychological components. Following an injury, damaged tissues will send pain signals to the brain to prevent further damage. These signals then stimulate nerves that trigger a painful sensation.
In cases of chronic pain, the brain might fail to process pain signals and continues to feel pain even after an injury has healed. These nerves become more efficient at sending pain signals and increase the intensity of pain over time.
Conditions That Cause Chronic Pain
More serious medical conditions like cancer and diabetes can cause widespread tissue and nerve damage resulting in chronic pain. Many experience chronic pain after serious accidents ranging from automobile injuries to sports injuries or even from back pain as a result of poor posture. Mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and stress can be exacerbated by chronic pain.
Symptoms of Chronic Pain
Chronic pain often has a severe impact on a person’s mental and physical health. Common symptoms of chronic pain often include:
- Muscle aches
- Burning pain
- Sleep loss
- Mood changes
- Loss of energy and appetite
Managing Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can be challenging to cope with, but there are ways to manage and even treat it. Options may include anti-inflammatories, steroids, and muscle relaxers to help deal with day-to-day pain. Physical therapy and chiropractic care are more long-term treatments that can help increase range of motion and flexibility. Even though they don’t specifically target the actual pain, psychological and behavioral therapies can help patients more effectively manage pain and address its distressing mental side effects.
You don’t have to—and shouldn’t—manage chronic pain alone. Regular chiropractic treatment can help alleviate your pain and give you the tools to manage it. With years of experience in pain management and treating neuromusculoskeletal injuries, the doctors at Tracy Chiropractic are passionate about helping to improve the lives of patients in the Tracy area. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to begin managing your chronic pain.