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Chronic Pain, Pain Management, Pain Relief, Nerve Pain Treatment, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina, Ignore

7 Types of Pain You Should Never Ignore

Though it may be tricky to know if your pain is normal or if it is serious, certain types of pain should not be ignored.

Pain, pressure or a feeling of compression in your chest is a typical indication of a heart attack.  Heart attack pain expands to other parts of the body including the shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, and back.  Women may ignore symptoms like sweating but women have more atypical symptoms that could be due to something else.

A severe headache worries many people who think they may have a brain tumor.  A lot of the brain lacks nerve endings, so most headaches will have other causes.  Though it is uncommon, a severe pain in the brain may indicate stroke or blood clot.  Be watchful for other symptoms including stiff neck, fever, confusion, weakness, or numbness as well as throwing up and fainting.

Lower back pain may be caused by regular wear and tear but in serious cases, it may be caused by infection, tumor, ruptured disc, and kidney stones.  Pain in the lower back may also be caused by heart disease, and it may also precede an aortic dissection which is a  serious problem in which the blood vessel to the middle and lower parts of your body bursts.

Pain in the abdominal region may be caused by a burst appendix.  In this case, you would need to go to the emergency room immediately.  Pain in the stomach may also be caused by pancreas issues, blocked bowels and ectopic pregnancy.

Calf pain may result when your leg is swollen, red and painful.  This could be caused by blood clot blocking a vein.  Deep vein thrombosis can move from your legs to your lungs and can be deadly.

Hand and foot pain may be caused by diabetes, a condition that can happen any place but is most common in hands, arms, feet, and legs.  The longer you have been afflicted with diabetes, the greater risk of suffering nerve damage.  Pain caused by peripheral neuropathy is often described as “pins and needles” or “shooting.”

Pain that cannot be identified may be caused by depression or anxiety.  Mood disorders may make it difficult to pin down the exact cause of pain.  Pain may be present in the joints, arms and legs, back, and head.

Article Provided By: Pain Scale

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If you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com
Chronic Pain, Peripheral Neuropathy, Pain Treatment, Pain Relief, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina

How Chronic Pain Affects Your Immune System

With so many questions right now about the dangers of the coronavirus (COVID-19), you might be wondering how chronic pain might affect the immune system’s ability to fight off disease.Since COVID-19 surfaced a few months ago, we’ve learned that certain people are more susceptible to it than others. Some of the factors that seem to increase severity of the illness include age, smoking, gender, co-existing chronic medical problems, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and underlying lung problems from diseases like COPD. This has led to a general view that those with more compromised immunes systems are more likely to experience the worst coronavirus episodes and a higher mortality rate.Both chronic pain and ongoing stress can impact immune function. According to past research done in laboratory mice at McGill University, chronic pain may reprogram the way genes work in the immune system. In fact, chronic pain seems to prompt changes in the way DNA is marked in special immune cells known as T cells. While it is unclear how much these changes affect the ability of these T cells to fight infection, there does appear to be a strong connection between chronic pain and DNA marker changes on these important infection fighters.

The experience of ongoing pain can certainly trigger a stress response, and if the pain remains chronic, this can lead to a state of long-term stress in the body. Think of the stress response as a combination of neurologic, endocrine, and immune system changes that come together to help the body ward off some type of perceived danger or threat. If the stress response persists, then levels of the hormone cortisol start to rise. Long-term elevations in cortisol levels are connected with a decline in immune system function. As an example, older caregivers have been found to have lower levels of immune cells like lymphocytes, slower wound-healing times, and are more susceptible to viral infections.

Patients with painful autoimmune disorders, like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, who are treated with immunosuppressive medications, are also at a greater infection risk. By their very nature, immunosuppressive agents inhibit the body’s natural immune response.

Chronic pain can also be associated with other chronic diseases that also impact the effectiveness of the immune system. Factors related to pain like the stress response and prolonged inactivity can lead to  changes in your body that elevate blood pressure and promote weight gain, which in turn become risk factors for developing heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. In fact, studies have found the incidence of cardiac disease to be significantly higher in those with chronic pain.To limit pain’s effect on your immune system, do what you can to decrease your body’s stress response. Consider calming down an over-anxious nervous system through simple relaxation techniques like breathing exercises, meditation, gentle yoga, or maybe learn special techniques from a psychologist or therapist. Other ways to lower stress include exercise, getting some fresh air, watching a funny movie, and just unplugging from your devices.Also, don’t rely only on your immune system – take steps that will minimize your risk of exposure to the virus in the first place:

  • Wash your hands – often – for at least 20 seconds with soap.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces in your home and car.
  • Practice social distancing. Stay at home as much as possible, away from public places and crowds.

And don’t forget to practice the practical steps that will keep your immune system working at its best: eat well, try to get plenty of sleep, and stay active.

Article Provided By: WebMD

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If you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com
Pain Management, Chronic Pain, Pain Relief, Peripheral Neuropathy, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina, Yoga

Can Yoga Ease Your Pain?

Have a pain problem and wondering if yoga can help? Yoga has many benefits other than improving chronic pain such as, bettering your mood, teaching you to better manage stress, and just plain helping you smile after a rough day. Yoga’s popularity in the U.S. has grown rapidly over the last decade. An estimated 36 million Americans now practice yoga regularly, and about one in three have tried it at least once. While it is most popular with younger and middle-aged women, the number of men practicing yoga has more than doubled in the last several years, and those 50 and older with a yoga practice has tripled during that same time frame. But how exactly does it fit in to building a better pain management strategy? 

Pain relief

There’s growing evidence that yoga may be helpful in a wide variety of pain scenarios – arthritic knees, aching necks, fibromyalgia, and headaches. Perhaps the strongest evidence of yoga’s effectiveness is in the treatment of chronic low back pain. A number of studies have found it to be effective in reducing back pain, and in at least one study, patients practicing yoga were able to reduce their use of pain medications. Recent evidence-based guidelines from the American College of Physicians strongly recommend yoga for treating low back pain.

Function

Research also seems to indicate that yoga has the potential to improve function with daily activities. A regular yoga practice can increase strength in the legs, upper body, and core, while also improving flexibility and balance, which are especially important for seniors. A number of studies have found that both low-back pain patients, as well as arthritis sufferers, become more active when engaged in a yoga practice.

Well-being
Yoga can also offer some indirect relief by boosting a better sense of well-being, helping reduce stress, and increasing optimism and resilience. Studies also suggest practicing yoga can be associated with other healthy lifestyle habits, like quitting smoking, eating healthier, and losing weight. It also holds mental health benefits; research shows that it can play a helpful role in treatment plans for depression and anxiety. But incorporating yoga into a pain management program can be a bit tricky, and it is recommended that you first talk to your physicians and physical therapists before getting started. There can be a lot of bending in many typical classes, which can be problematic for back and neck pain sufferers. Poses that require being on all fours, like a plank position or the traditional downward dog pose, can over-stress a symptomatic shoulder problem. And for those with knee problems, squatting and kneeling can be hard to handle. The good news is that most yoga movements and poses can be modified or altered in some way to avoid flaring up or aggravating a symptomatic part of the body. Some yoga studios even offer classes that can be done while sitting in a chair for those who need that type of accommodation. Yoga is something that is therapeutic for both the mind and the body, as opposed to just exercise. If you are a beginner, it may seem a bit intimidating figuring out where to start, especially since there are so many different types of yoga. Names used to describe practices that are more movement-based include Ashtanga and vinyasa, while other versions, like yin, iyengar, and restorative, are more focused on alignment and holding postures. Make sure to verify ahead of time if a class is going to be held at room temperature or will be heated, and always start with a class that is geared toward beginners. Seek out yoga teachers that like to give students personal attention and want to help them modify poses. And, if you have the means, you may want to start with a few private lessons.And above all else, make sure you have some fun!

Article Provided By: WebMD Blogs

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If you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com
Chronic Pain, Pain Management, Pain Treatment, Peripheral Neuropathy, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Caorlina

Navigating the Medical Maze

Approximately 100 million people live with chronic pain. Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts 3 to 6 months after the initial injury, surgery or physical trauma. In some cases, chronic pain has no known cause which makes obtaining a diagnosis and proper treatment plan a bit of a maze.

Here are some steps to take to help with the medical maze that often accompanies chronic pain:

Step one

When an individual feels pain and pain-related symptoms, such as tingling, throbbing, aching and swelling, medical attention is usually warranted, especially if the pain intensifies or worsens over time. The first step in obtaining a proper diagnosis (if the pain does not require immediate attention which would require a visit to an emergency department) is to make an appointment with a primary care provider (PCP). A PCP will take a medical history of past injuries, surgeries, medications and any other current or past conditions. An overall physical exam is typically performed to rule out any potential underlying illnesses that could be the cause of pain. Depending on the medical opinion of the PCP, a referral to a specialist may be provided. It is important to note that a chronic pain diagnosis requires that an individual has dealt with pain for 3-6 months or longer.

Step two

The next step involves seeing a specialist. The type of specialist an individual is referred to depends on the location of the pain and any test results from the primary care physician. Some of the most common specialists an individual may be referred to include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Rheumatologists
  • Orthopedists
  • Neurologists
  • Doctors of internal medicine
  • Physiatrists (Doctors of physical medicine and rehabilitation)

A specialist also takes a medical history, often asking very similar questions to the PCP. They also typically perform a physical exam, which may differ from the PCP’s exam; an exam with a specialist is often more in-depth. Depending on the specialist’s findings, more tests may be ordered, such as a CT scan or MRI. The specialist may also refer the individual to another medical specialist.

After consulting with a specialist, the hope is to receive a diagnosis and a treatment plan. However, this isn’t always the case; oftentimes, individuals endure multiple appointments and undergo numerous tests before a proper diagnosis and treatment plan is secured.

Step three

Pain management is complicated and is often a process of trial and error. While medication is the most common treatment option for chronic pain, a multitude of other treatment options are available. Deciding on a treatment plan is a process that involves both the health care provider and the individual. Generally, six treatment categories for managing chronic pain are available:

  • Medications
  • Interventional procedures (nerve blocks or injections)
  • Rehabilitative and occupational therapy
  • Pain psychology
  • Complementary alternative medicine (acupuncture, massage, etc.)
  • Self-management (diet, exercise and lifestyle changes)

Useful tips while navigating the medical maze

Finding doctors, securing appointments, undergoing tests and receiving a proper diagnosis does not happen overnight; it can be a lengthy process. Until a pain management plan is in place, some tips to deal with the pain include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Learn stress management techniques
  • Practice pacing oneself, even on the good days
  • Set realistic goals
  • Try to keep moving
  • Use distraction
  • Eat healthy
  • Keep a pain log

Article Provided By: PainScale

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If you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com
Chronic Pain, Pain Management, Peripheral Neuropathy, Nerve Pain Treatment, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina, Stress

Stress and Chronic Pain

Stress can worsen chronic pain. Although the exact relationship between stress and chronic pain is not known, several theories exist:

Muscle tension

Stress causes tension in the muscles, which can cause or increase pain, especially pain in the neck, shoulders and back. Studies show that thinking or talking about a stressful event increases tension in the back muscles of those with chronic back pain. When stress is chronic, muscles are often in a constant state of tension. This tension can lead to other pain, such as headaches and migraines.

Pain signals

The brain is constantly trying to inhibit pain signals, especially if a chronic pain condition is present. However, when a person is stressed, the brain’s ability to hinder those signals is reduced, which increases pain.

Inflammatory response

When stress is experienced, the immune system’s inflammatory response is activated. This inflammation can cause pain, especially with chronic pain conditions sensitive to inflammation, such as arthritis.

Perception

Stress can also increase the perception of pain. When dealing with stressors, the perception of pain may become more intense and overwhelming.

Coping tools

Relaxation techniques (yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, etc.), practicing good sleep hygiene, or seeing a mental health professional, such as a pain psychologist or psychiatrist, can decrease stress, and therefore, reduce pain. These practices can boost mood and improve daily function in those with chronic pain conditions.

Article Provided By: PainScale

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If you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com
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How Is Chronic Pain Diagnosed?

Chronic pain is defined as any type of pain that persists longer than six months. The pain may come and go, or it may be present all the time. Getting diagnosed properly is an important part of developing the right treatment plan.

Valuable questions

In order to determine pain levels, a health care provider often asks important questions, such as the following:

  • When did the pain begin?
  • What does the pain feel like?
  • Where is the pain located?
  • What pain treatments have been tried? Did they help?
  • Does the pain impact everyday life?
  • How is the pain affecting the ability to function?
  • What activities make the pain worse?
  • Does the pain interfere with sleep?
  • Does the pain cause mood fluctuations?

Tracking this information at home and maintaining a pain log is an effective way to help a health care provider determine a diagnosis and find appropriate treatments.

What is a pain scale?

A pain scale is a tool used by health care providers to determine the severity of pain. There are different types of pain scales and the type of information the scale gathers often depends on the scale. Information gathered includes, but is not limited to: pain severity, duration, pain type, and emotional impact. Informing the health care provider of fluctuations of pain levels throughout the day is helpful for diagnosis and treatment. If certain things make the pain worse or better, be sure to label those activities with a pain number and tell the provider.

What other tests are done to diagnose chronic pain?

In addition to using a pain scale, a doctor may also order an MRI, a CT scan, and/or an X-ray to determine a proper diagnosis. Other diagnostic tests include, but are not limited to: muscle function tests, nerve conduction tests, bone scans, and blood tests.

Article Provided By: PainScale

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If you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com
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Emotions and Chronic Pain

Living with chronic pain can cause resentment, frustration and anger. These emotions can be directed toward health care professionals, friends, family members, co-workers or even the individual who suffers from chronic pain. Anger is the one of the most prominent emotions when dealing with a chronic pain condition. Although anger is a natural emotion, too much anger can interfere with pain management.

Uncontrolled anger can increase pain levels, affect physical functioning, disrupt sleep patterns, interfere with social connections, and lead to a loss of emotional support. Anger has also been linked to increased inflammation and muscle tension. Learning how to effectively deal with anger does not mean giving in to the pain. Emotional awareness is the first step in processing anger.

Honest, open communication with friends, family, and health care professionals about chronic pain-related anger is extremely important due to the impact anger can have on others. Becoming mindful of anger provides the opportunity to reframe thoughts and find alternative ways to respond.

Article Provided By: PainScale

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If you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com
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Lifestyle Tips to Control Neuropathy

There are many complications due to diabetic neuropathy. Here are a few lifestyle and home remedies to help manage diabetic neuropathy.

Watch your blood pressure

Hypertension, high blood pressure, is commonly seen in people with diabetes which increases the complications of diabetic neuropathy. The damaged blood vessels reduce blood flow. Always check your blood pressure to avoid any future complications.

Eating Healthy

The best way to control your blood sugar levels is watching what you eat. Focus on eating a well-balanced healthy diet full of fresh, unprocessed, whole foods. Reduce simple carbohydrates, and any added sugar or additive. Limiting your saturated and trans-fat intake and sticking to unsaturated fats. Eating lean proteins, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids help lower or maintain complications. Triglycerides are high risk factors for diabetic complications. In place of table sugar, use stevia to avoid spikes in your blood sugar levels. Drink lots of filtered water and avoid soda, juices, and other sweetened drinks. Always read the nutrition label to know what is entering your body.

Staying active

Daily exercise and activity is the best way to control your diabetic symptoms, blood sugar, high blood pressure, healthy weight, and flexibility. According to the American Diabetes Association, about 30 minutes of moderate-intense exercise should be performed at least 5 times a week. If severe neuropathy is present, you might be recommended to non-weight-bearing activities such as bicycling or swimming.

Quit Smoking

If you have diabetic neuropathy, you are more prone to develop kidney problems. Therefore, reducing additional stress on the kidney from the toxins in smoking can help. Smoking is a risk factor for diabetic neuropathy and developing circulations issues in your feet. You have a higher chance than a nonsmoker to die of a heart attack or stroke.

Contact your healthcare provider if you need further assistance in controlling your diabetic neuropathy.

Article Provided By: PainScale

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If you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com
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10 Tips to Cope With Chronic Pain

1. Practicing meditation or deep, controlled breathing

Deep breathing and meditation guide the body and mind into a state of relaxation. Deep breathing involves slowly inhaling through the nose (so the belly expands), holding for a few counts and slowly exhaling through the mouth (so the belly deflates). Meditation involves the repetition of a positive word or phrase (mantra) while deep breathing in a comfortable position.

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2. Easing stress in daily life

Undesirable feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, sadness and stress can escalate the body’s pain response. Reducing everyday stress triggers helps reduce chronic pain symptoms.

Chronic Pain, Peripheral Neuropathy, Pain Management, Nerve Pain Treatment, Cope, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina

3. Finding a support group

Engaging with other people who have chronic pain helps individuals feel less isolated and better understood. Individuals may also be introduced to new coping methods or treatment options by other members in the group.

Chronic Pain, Peripheral Neuropathy, Pain Management, Nerve Pain Treatment, Cope, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina

4. Exercising to release natural endorphins

Exercise releases endorphins, which are brain chemicals that support mood while simultaneously blocking pain signals. Exercise, when done in moderation, can help reduce chronic pain.

Chronic Pain, Peripheral Neuropathy, Pain Management, Nerve Pain Treatment, Cope, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina

5. Keeping a daily journal of pain level and activities

Keeping a daily journal not only helps express feelings and emotions, it also provides insight into chronic pain trends and effective coping mechanisms. Sharing a pain journal with a health care professional helps them better understand how an individual’s chronic pain is managed between visits, which leads to better treatment.

Chronic Pain, Peripheral Neuropathy, Pain Management, Nerve Pain Treatment, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina

6. Limiting alcohol intake

The consumption of alcohol often disrupts sleep. Because sleep issues are often a symptom of chronic pain conditions, cutting back alcohol intake or nixing the habit altogether can increase the quality of sleep which promotes pain reduction.

Chronic Pain, Peripheral Neuropathy, Pain Management, Nerve Pain Treatment, Cope, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina

7. No smoking

In addition to the many negative health consequences of smoking cigarettes, smoking also causes circulation problems which can aggravate pain levels.

Chronic Pain, Peripheral Neuropathy, Pain Management, Nerve Pain Treatment, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina

8. Scheduling a massage

Massage therapy can both lessen muscle tension and reduce stress. Getting regular massages can help reduce pain levels.

Chronic Pain, Peripheral Neuropathy, Pain Management, Nerve Pain Treatment, Cope, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina

9. Eating a healthy diet

Eating a healthy diet can help reduce the risk of heart disease, aid healthy digestion, improve blood sugar levels and maintain a healthy weight. Choosing anti-inflammatory foods is especially helpful for individuals with chronic pain conditions.

Chronic Pain, Peripheral Neuropathy, Pain Management, Nerve Pain Treatment, Cope, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina

10. Taking the focus away from the pain

Focusing on positive things or engaging in an activity that keeps the mind busy diverts attention away from chronic pain. While pain may not be fully alleviated, distraction is a powerful pain-reduction tool.

Chronic Pain, Peripheral Neuropathy, Pain Management, Nerve Pain Treatment, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina
Article Provided By: PainScale
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If you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com
Chronic Pain, Pain Relief, Pain Treatment, Pain Management, Peripheral Neuropathy, Pain Therapy, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina

Accepting a Chronic Pain Diagnosis

Receiving a diagnosis of chronic pain can be devastating; yet a clear diagnosis can also bring peace of mind to those who have internally questioned why they are in pain. As with any chronic health condition, chronic pain requires individuals to actively make changes in their lives to reduce the severity of the condition. This usually involves a combination of medical treatments, lifestyle changes and psychological help.

After receiving a chronic pain diagnosis, individuals often go through stages of emotions similar to the Kübler-Ross model of grief. They are grieving life as they once knew it. Emotions that may be experienced include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Shock and denial
    In the beginning, individuals in chronic pain may resist going to needed doctor’s appointments because it may be difficult to face the truth. Even after a diagnosis, individuals may be in shock or denial and not agree with the diagnosis or treatment plan(s).
  • Anger
    After the initial phase of denial, anger usually arises. Not only can the experience of pain cause angry feelings, but receiving a diagnosis of chronic pain can lead to frustration and irritation. Individuals may ponder, “Why me?” or “How could this have happened?”
  • Bargaining, fear and anxiety
    Individuals with chronic pain may experience fear about the future. “What if” thoughts often creep into the psyche. Struggling to find the “meaning of life” after a chronic pain diagnosis is common.
  • Depression
    Thirty to fifty percent of individuals with chronic pain also deal with depression. Chronic pain can cause depression, and depression can increase chronic pain; it is often a vicious cycle.
  • Acceptance and hope
    While most individuals with chronic pain eventually gain acceptance of their condition, some individuals never reach this stage as they are stuck in anger, fear or depression. Accepting a chronic pain diagnosis does not mean giving into it. An individual may experience pain for the rest of their life, but they can always control their reaction to it with treatment(s) and lifestyle changes. Acceptance takes time. Adjusting to a major lifestyle change is a process. Psychotherapy, group therapy or simply family support are all important factors in finding acceptance of and hope for a chronic pain diagnosis. Anti-depressant medications are available for those diagnosed with clinical depression.

These emotional stages do not follow a strict schedule nor are they always sequential. People with chronic pain may experience many emotions at once or their emotions may fluctuate among the stages.

Individuals with chronic pain experience a plethora of emotions in relation to their chronic pain: anger, frustration, anxiety, depression, etc. These are common emotional reactions; however, when they affect daily living, they should be shared with a health care provider. Talking with a trusted family member, seeing a mental health counselor or joining a support group can help an individual properly deal with the emotional aspects of chronic pain.

Article Provided By: PainScale

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If you would like to discuss what Carolina Pain Scrambler do to help relieve your chronic pain symptoms or receive more information on our treatment process, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-520-5011 or you can email us at info@carolinapainscrambler.com
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