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

Psychological Effects of Chronic Pain

The fact of the matter is that chronic pain wears on you. It’s difficult to bear not only physically, but mentally. Since more than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, the psychological effects of pervasive pain are far reaching in our society. Understanding the psychological issues that accompany chronic pain is important for pain specialists and patients alike.

Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s five stages of grief have been used to break down and describe the experiences of people when they are grieving, giving a name and potentially helping people cope with feelings that seem all-powerful when you’re experiencing them. Chronic pain, both the diagnosis and experience, presents similar emotional upheaval. One PsyD, a Doctor Jennifer Martin, created the ‘7 stages of Chronic Pain and Illness’ to offer pain sufferers and physicians with a similar delineation. It’s important to remember that a person may experience these stages out of order or may circle back to an earlier stage. She describes them as follows:

Denial

When people realize that their pain may not be going away, it’s tough to swallow. They often experience shock and denial, which may prevent them from seeking out the help that they need to obtain proper treatment.

Pleading, Bargaining, and Desperation

Patients in this stage look for anything that may fix their condition or act as a bandage. They often bargain, either with themselves or a God, to make it better, all the while blaming themselves and experiencing tremendous guilt.

Anger

Once people understand that there’s no magical fix for their condition, they often experience anger. They may be mad at anyone related to their condition, including family, friends, care providers, employers, and anyone else they can tie their decline to.

Anxiety and Depression

Living with chronic pain can be scary and may bring on anxiety. It may also lead to depression. This occurs when a person feels hopeless, exhausted, and experience intense grief. This depression isn’t necessarily a mental illness, but an appropriate reaction to this type of change.

Loss of Self and Confusion

Chronic pain may lead to patients losing an integral part of their life. They may not be able to do the things they once did any longer, which can lead to an identity crisis of sorts.

Reevaluation of Life, Roles, and Goals

At this stage, people begin to come to terms with potential limitations and life changes. They begin to find a way to live their life within their new normal. Changing expectations of what things should be can help chronic pain patients find happiness despite their condition.

Acceptance

This doesn’t necessarily mean being alright with the way things are now. It simply means they’ve accepted the reality of their condition and are taking steps to live within that reality. It means choosing to move forward despite 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
Chronic Pain, Peripheral Neuropathy, Nerve Pain Treatment, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina

Optimizing Productivity with Chronic Pain

On average, employees that suffer from chronic pain undergo five hours of non-productivity in one week. When this figure is averaged over one year, it amounts to a loss of $5,000 in productivity for each employee.

5 tips to be more productive

1. Know your triggers and the way to deal with them

A majority of individuals with chronic pain have particular triggers. If you have been dealing with it for a long time, it becomes easier to figure out the things that worsen such pain. Using this information, you can stay away from all the triggers and work easily.

2. Never give up

You might think that living with pain for such a long time will definitely make you lose all hope. This is where you’re wrong! Ask your doctor for continuous treatment and try to find out the cause of the pain regardless of the time it takes. Instead of lowering your expectations, start raising them up.

3. Stand up for yourself

In order to work efficiently, while dealing with chronic pain, you need to advocate for yourself. Inform the people around you if you feel a migraine coming. Asking your employer for some time off for rest is better than doing a bad job and then having the people you work with question you. Remember, no one else can speak on your behalf.

4. Adopt healthy habits

Each case of chronic pain is different, and there are possible reasons for almost every ache that you feel. However, there are people that experience undiagnosed pains and aches. For such people, the best thing is to adopt a healthy style.

Try your best to maintain a balanced and healthy diet, and remove all processed foods. Remove harmful chemicals from you home, like household cleaners. Don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated.

Of course, leave bad habits like excessive drinking and smoking behind. Start exercising for half an hour each day. These simple changes in a lifestyle will help you feel mentally and physically better.

5. Look for an understanding employer

Having an employer that understands your condition is vital. Working for a person that has dealt with chronic pain also makes working with your chronic pain condition cope-able because they are likely to show understanding and compassion, as well as be ready to help you.

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, Pain Treatment, Peripheral Neuropathy, Carolina Pain Scrambler Center, Greenville South Carolina

Chronic Pain in the Workplace

Chronic pain conditions can have a negative impact on an individual’s career. Work days may be missed due to increased pain levels or physician appointments. Extra breaks may be needed, or employees may request to work from home. Production at work may decrease and stress may increase. Talking with supervisors and colleagues about a chronic pain condition may be uncomfortable or overwhelming for some individuals.

Developing a strategy to effectively communicate with managers and colleagues about chronic pain conditions may actually reduce pain levels. Communication in the workplace concerning chronic pain involves various factors.

Acknowledgment of pain

Financial obligations can cause individuals to dismiss their pain while at work; however, productivity often declines when pain symptoms are ignored. This may cause co-workers to wonder why the individual is less productive or frequently missing work. When an employee explains their chronic pain condition to supervisors and/or co-workers, tension in the workplace often decreases.

Privacy rights

Individuals with a chronic pain condition are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Information shared between an employee and their human resource department or supervisors is confidential, and individuals with chronic pain are not required to share details of their condition. However, documentation from a health care professional that explains their diagnosis and any limitations may be required.

Effective communication

Requesting accommodations for increased productivity is important. Communication about accommodations with a supervisor or human resources department should be honest and straightforward without an air of entitlement. A positive, non-demanding tone of voice should be used. While it is a personal decision whether to share a chronic pain condition with co-workers, individuals may ease tension in the workplace by simply stating that they have a condition that causes a lot of pain. The proper balance of discretion and open communication is often complicated.

Accommodations

Proof of disability from a health care professional may be required by an employer when specific accommodations are requested. Employers need their employees to be productive; therefore, if accommodations will increase productivity, they should be requested. It is often helpful to begin with simple accommodations first, such as changing flight arrival or departure times; more significant requests can be made after a supervisor is made aware of the importance of accommodations. However, an employee should not attempt to perform any duties that could be harmful to their health. Individuals should note that employers are not required to make all accommodations that are requested. The Americans with Disability Act provides provisions to protect employers from “undue hardship” that may arise from accommodation requests.

Employee-assistance programs

Some employers and unions have employee-assistance programs that offer counseling. A counselor can recommend evidence-based treatments to reduce pain symptoms and suggest tools to increase work productivity.

Daily tips

Individuals should take a break and stretch every hour if their job requires sitting at a desk for several hours at a time. Gentle exercising or walking can be done during the lunch hour to avoid stiffness.

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

Psychological Stages of Chronic Pain

People with chronic pain may have a hard time understanding the psychological changes they go through. It may also be hard to explain these feelings to other people. Understanding the psychological effects of chronic pain is an important part of the healing process. Here are the seven psychological stages of chronic pain you need to be aware of.

Denial

Denial is often the first stage of pain. People who are in denial may think their pain will go away or that it is all in their head. They may also believe that their doctor is wrong about their diagnosis.

Desperation

During the desperation stage, a person begins to understand that their life is not the same as it used to be. The person becomes fixated on trying to figure out what they did wrong to cause the pain. Desperation is often accompanied by guilt or pleading to become a better person if the pain goes away.

Anger

Anger comes after despair as the chronic pain patient realizes that they cannot make their pain go away so quickly. This may be accompanied by thoughts such as, “I didn’t do anything to deserve this. This is not fair!” Anger is a necessary part of the healing process and should be addressed right away.

Depression and Anxiety

Once a person realizes they are going to be dealing with chronic pain permanently, they start feeling depressed or anxious. They retreat and do not want to go out in public or see loved ones. They may be bombarded by medical bills and don’t know how they are going to pay them. The depression and anxiety stage can be described as a sense of total loss of the life the affected person once had.

Confusion

Chronic pain may mean that a person has to give up the things they once loved doing, such as their career or hobbies. This can cause the person to become confused about who they are. Collective thoughts may include, “I don’t even recognize myself anymore.”

Forming New Life Goals

During this stage, the person affected begins to develop new goals that must be done to get through the day. This may include thoughts such as, “I may not be able to run every day anymore, but I can walk several times a week.”

Acceptance

Acceptance comes when the person has finally accepted their chronic pain as a daily part of their life. They may still have days when they are depressed or angry, but their focus now primarily lies in overcoming the pain. Common thoughts are, “I am not going to let this define me.”

Article Provided By: PainScale

Carolina Pain Scrambler Logo, Chronic Pain, Greenville, SC
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 Therapy, Pain Management, Nerve Pain Therapy, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina

Challenges of Living With Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is complex: the symptoms vary in duration, intensity and are highly individualized. However, individuals with chronic pain often share many of the same frustrations, difficulties, and challenges.

Getting out of bed may be difficult.

When living with chronic pain, it may be physically difficult to get out of bed. Many people with chronic pain report increased pain when they wake up in the morning.

Emotions are often affected.

Dealing with chronic pain often affects emotions. The mind and body are inherently connected. Depression may develop when chronic pain affects the ability to work, socialize and exercise. Chronic pain can lead to depression, and depression can worsen chronic pain; it is often a vicious cycle.

Sleeping may be difficult.

Symptoms of chronic pain can prevent restorative sleep. Lack of proper sleep can cause reduced energy and increased pain during waking hours. Practicing proper sleep hygiene can help.

Daily chores may be overwhelming.

On days when chronic pain is manageable, individuals may try to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. However, pushing oneself can cause fatigue and rebound pain. The practice of activity pacing can help create balance and manage pain levels.

The ability to concentrate may be impaired.

When pain is heightened, it may be difficult to accomplish tasks that require concentration. During these times, practicing mind-based coping techniques can calmly distract the mind.

Family and friends may not understand.

It is often difficult for others to understand the challenges of living with chronic pain. Even the most well-intentioned family and friends may need guidance to understand the daily difficulties associated with chronic pain. It may be helpful to share an open letter about chronic pain with friends and loved ones.

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, Peripheral Neuropathy, Carpal Tunnel, Nerve Pain Treatment, Pain Management, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina

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

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

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
Chronic Pain, Pain Relief, Pain Management, Pain Therapy, Pain Relief, Peripheral Neuropathy, Carolina Pain Scrambler Center, Greenville South Carolina, Exercises

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

Facts About Neuropathy Symptoms

Neuropathy occurs when there is a problem with the peripheral nerves, which are responsible for transporting signals from the central nervous system to the rest of the body. Symptoms may vary depending on what nerve is affected. Here are some common symptoms.

1. Numbness or tingling

Body numbing or tingling may occur when there is neuropathy or pain in a localized area of the body. It occurs when nerves that carry sensation messages (touch, pain, temperature) do not perform correctly.

2. Localized pain

Localized pain is caused when there are sharp or shooting pains that occur randomly in the body (especially in the legs). It may even occur from something as simple as a light touch.

3. Imbalance

People with peripheral neuropathy may lose their balance. It occurs when tissues in the body deploy receptors called proprioceptors to respond to stimuli. Loss of balance happens when these receptors become affected by neuropathy.

4. Abnormal walking gait

Neuropathy pain may cause people to develop an abnormal gait due to the dysfunction of the motor or sensory nerves. Symptoms may include dragging feet, a stooping walk or a lopsided shuffle when walking.

5. Muscle cramping

Peripheral neuropathy may cause dysfunction to motor nerves, which results in muscle cramps even with the slightest exertion, such as during daily activities.

6. Muscle weakness

Muscle weakness may occur along with muscle cramping. It occurs when patients have a hard time performing small movements that require precision, such as buttoning a shirt or picking up an object.

7. Gastrointestinal disorders

Digestive disorders may occur when neuropathy affects the autonomic nerves in the body, which control involuntary actions. Symptoms may include bloating, flatulence, constipation, and heartburn.

8. Low blood pressure

Autonomic nerves also control blood pressure. When neuropathy occurs, it may cause the affected person to develop hypertension. Symptoms may include blurred vision, fainting, dizziness, heart palpations, and fatigue.

9. Bell’s Palsy

In some cases of neuropathy, a very specific nerve may be affected. Bell’s Palsy may occur when the nerves that control the facial muscles are affected. Symptoms may include mild muscle weakness with loss of movement in the face that varies depending on the progression of the disease.

10. Miscellaneous symptoms

Other symptoms of neuropathy may include eye pain, sweating, heat intolerance, loss of bladder and bowel control, double vision, difficulty concentrating, and weakness in the fingers.

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 Management, Pain Treatment, Peripheral Neuropathy, Back Pain, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina

Why You Can’t ‘Fix’ Your Pain

Being a positive person is obviously a good quality to have, but sometimes an overly optimistic attitude or misguided belief about what’s possible can actually get in the way of healing. One example of this is the notion that there is a cure or fix for everything that hurts.
Quite understandably, many patients go to their doctors with the goal of getting fixed. They want to find out what the problem is, get it fixed, make the pain go away, and then move on with their lives. But humans are not machines – you can’t just replace or repair a broken part and then everything runs as good as new. The pain you experience is often the product of many interconnecting factors and not just one simple cause. Human beings simply don’t come with an easy-to-read owner’s manual.
Back pain is a prime example. Back pain or sciatica may indeed start with a trigger, like a herniated disc or a lifting injury. But a single targeted tissue injury can quickly lead to a train of events that include back muscles tightening up, joints stiffening, and nerves to malfunction. As this happens, the back gets harder to move, the legs get weaker, and it becomes increasingly difficult to sleep, get comfortable, or go to work. If this situation continues, then a person can easily become anxious, depressed, withdraw from friends and family, and feel the pinch of lost income.
Expecting that all of these complex and interconnected problems will get solved simply by undergoing back surgery to “fix” something structural can turn out to be a recipe for disaster. Recovering from an extensive back surgery like a fusion can mean months or years of recovery without a guarantee of substantial and lasting pain relief. Regardless of the treatments you choose, it helps to adopt the mindset of healing from what hurts as opposed to focusing on a quick fix or cure. Muscle imbalances, inflamed joints, herniated discs, and injured nerves can all go through a recovery process, and the more time and attention you put into that, the better the outcome.
And it’s not just the body that needs to heal. The psyche and soul of the person in pain need a path to ease uncomfortable mood changes and provide relief from overwhelming stress. Continuous pain can trigger a “flight or fight” response, which leads to changes in the nervous system, endocrine system, and immune system that keep us constantly on edge and in panic mode. One surgery or treatment won’t necessarily restore emotional balance and make all of this disappear.
Healing can also mean acceptance of what is, with all of its imperfections. For instance, a natural part of how the body heals is to lay down scar tissue. A broken bone or torn tendon can heal, but it won’t look exactly the way it did before the injury. We can’t go back in time and look, move or feel exactly the way we did years ago, so it’s better to focus our time and energy on making today the best it can be. Acceptance is not giving up, but rather reaching an understanding of how we can be the best version of ourselves after all that we have gone through.
Both the human body and the human spirit are designed to heal, repair, and restore itself when injured. Shifting from a “fix it” mindset to one focused on healing can open up new doors toward better pain management and well-being.
Article Provided By: WebMD

Carolina Pain Scrambler Logo, Chronic Pain, Greenville, SC
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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