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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

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, 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.

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

Neuropathy and Chronic Back Pain

As many as 10 percent of the world’s population currently have neuropathic pain. Chronic neuropathic pain, sometimes referred to as peripheral neuropathy or peripheral neuritis, is caused by nerve damage.

How Does Neuropathic Pain Develop?

Neuropathic pain differs from other kinds of pain. For example, when a person breaks a bone, the nerves located at the site of the break carry pain signals to the brain. But with neuropathic pain, the damage is contained in the nerves themselves.

In most cases, neuropathy is caused when a dysfunction occurs in the way nerves respond to trauma or injury. The nerves become hypersensitive and send false pain signals to the brain when the original injury or trauma has actually healed. Most injuries begin in the peripheral or central nervous system.

Back Pain May Result In Neuropathy

Any type of condition or injury that compresses a nerve can lead to neuropathy. A herniated disc is a good example of a back injury that can result in neuropathy. Other forms of neuropathic pain that originate in the spine or back include the following:

  • Sciatica or chronic pain that radiates down the leg
  • Cervical radiculopathy or chronic pain that runs down the arm
  • Failed back surgery or any pain that occurs after surgery and persists

Other forms of neuropathy may be caused by complex regional pain syndrome, diabetes, injections, injury, disease, substance abuse or exposure to toxins. However, the cause of neuropathy is not always apparent.

Early Treatment Is Critical

Treatment of neuropathy in its early stages offers the best opportunity for successful treatment. Exposure to chronic pain may cause the central nervous system to become hypersensitive over time. In rare cases, this can lead to central sensitization, when even the slightest touch causes pain.

Neuropathy may also lead to other health problems, such as mobility issues, sleep difficulties, anxiety, depression and social isolation.

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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, Pain Management, Chronic Pain, Pain Treatment, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina

What Is Peripheral Neuropathy?

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition caused by damage to the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system is the communications network that connects the central nervous system and all other parts of the body. Some 20 million people in the United States have some type of peripheral neuropathy. Symptoms can vary from numbness or tingling, to pricking sensations or muscle weakness. Severe symptoms include burning pain, muscle wasting, paralysis, or organ or gland dysfunction. In extreme cases, breathing may impeded, or your organs may fail.

Peripheral neuropathies may vary and follow distinct patterns. Symptoms may be experienced over a span of days, or for years. With acute neuropathies, symptoms may appear suddenly, progress rapidly, and resolve slowly. In chronic types, symptoms begin subtly and progress slowly. Though neuropathy may be painful and debilitating, it usually is not fatal.

Symptoms may be determined depending on which type of nerves are damaged. Motor nerves control voluntary movement of muscles. Sensory nerves deliver the feeling of a light touch or the pain of a cut. Autonomic nerves control organ activities that are automated such as breathing and digesting food. Some neuropathies may affect all three types of nerves while others only affect one or two types.

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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
CRPS, Pain Relief, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Pain Management, Pain Treatment, Carolina Pain Scrambler Center, Greenville South Carolina

10 Questions About CRPS

1. What is CRPS?

CRPS stands for Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. It may also be referred to as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome. It is a chronic pain condition. Chronic pain means lasting 6 months or more. With CRPS, your nerves are affected, sending pain signals to the brain without an easy to diagnose cause. It may be caused by a malfunction in your central or peripheral nervous systems.

2. Is Excessive Sweating a Symptom of CRPS?

Yes, many people who have CRPS have issues with sweating. This includes sweating too much or not sweating at all. It is very common to have both extremes come and go when you are diagnosed with CRPS.

3. I am Experiencing Memory Problems. Is this a Symptom of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?

Yes, many people with CRPS experience forgetfulness, cognitive impairment, and memory issues.

4. Will CRPS Spread to Other Parts of the Body?

While it is not guaranteed, it is common for CRPS to spread in many cases. If Complex Regional Pain Syndrome does spread, it is usually to nearby areas. For example, if you have CRPS in your arm, it may spread to your hand or shoulder. If you have pain in your leg, it may spread to your foot or buttocks.

5. Will CRPS Go Away on its Own?

Unfortunately, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome will not simply go away. This is why early diagnosis and treatment is critical. In some cases, people can go undiagnosed with CRPS for years; if there is a possibility that a person may have CRPS, going to see a doctor is imperative.

6. Is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome a Life Long Disease?

There is no universal answer to this question. There are a variety of factors that may contribute to whether CRPS goes into remission or if a person will experience the symptoms for their entire life Chances may increase that a person achieves remission by having CRPS diagnosed by an expert as soon as symptoms are noticed.

7. Will Ice Help Alleviate the Pain?

In general, it is NOT recommended for those experiencing CRPS to use ice or hot and cold contrast therapy.

8. How Do I Find the Right Doctor?

It will be important to find a clinic that specializes or has a successful history or treating CRPS. Ask a primary care physician to provide a referral for a pain specialist who treats CRPS on a regular basis.

9. Can CRPS Be Treated with Medication?

Yes, there a variety of medications that can help with the pain that is experienced from CRPS. Since one medication is not necessarily better than the other, it will be important to get a proper diagnosis from a doctor.

10. Will a Nerve Block Help with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome?

Yes, nerve blocks have been shown to be successful in treating CRPS; however, they may not consistently work. An individual’s response to treatment depends on the person and the variables surrounding their specific case of CRPS.

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

Understanding Diabetic Neuropathy

Over time, your diabetes can cause nerve damage that can lead to neuropathy. The increased and uncontrollable levels of glucose (sugar) cause the neuropathy. Commonly, affecting the nerves in your arms, hands, legs or feet for some even problems are seen in the digestive system, heart, blood vessels, and urinary tract. Pain, tingling, numbness, disabling, and even death are some complications of diabetic neuropathy. Often, diabetic neuropathy develops gradually and signs and symptoms may not appear until major damage has occurred to your nerves. The neuropathy can often be prevented if glucose levels are under control along with maintaining a healthy diet and exercise. The four common types of diabetic neuropathy include:

The common form of diabetic neuropathy is first seen in toes, feet, and legs and then in hands and arms. The signs and symptoms such as pain, tingling, burning sensation, cramps, numbness, or reduced feeling to pain and temperature are often heightened at night. Peripheral neuropathy also presents with muscle weakness, loss of reflexes, and increased sensitivity to touch, loss of balance, coordination. It may also show ulcers, infections, deformities, bone and joint pain in the foot.

Autonomic Neuropathy

In this neuropathy, you will notice neural changes in your autonomic system that controls your digestion, bowel, heart, bladder, lungs, eyes, and sex organs. The signs and symptoms you should look for are hypoglycemia unawareness, difficulty swallowing, erectile dysfunction in men, urinary tract infections, urinary incontinence or retention. Other changes to notice include a change in perspiration, vaginal dryness, sexual difficulties in women, issues regulating body temperature, unable to regulate blood pressure and heart rate, increased heart rate while resting, and the ability for your eyes to adjust from light to dark. A few other issues are constipation, uncontrollable diarrhea, and the slow emptying of the stomach.

Radiculoplexus Neuropathy

This neuropathy is also known as diabetic amyotrophy, proximal, and femoral neuropathy that damages the nerves to the hips, thighs, gluts, or legs. This neuropathy is often seen in type 2 diabetics and older adults with diabetes. The signs and symptoms are often seen unilaterally, on one side of the body, and often worsen before you see any relief. Radiculoplexus neuropathy presents with abdominal swelling, weight loss, weak, atrophied thigh muscles and difficulty standing from a sitting position. You will also notice sudden, severe pain in hip, thigh, or gluts.

Mononeuropathy

Mononeuropathy is also referred to focal neuropathy that affects a particular nerve often in the head, torso, or leg. Usually occurs in older adults with diabetes, comes on suddenly without causing much long-term issues, and lasts for a few weeks to months. This neuropathy causes inability to focus on your eyes, double vision, aching behind one eye, or paralysis unilaterally known as Bell’s palsy. You may also notice pain in your lower back, pelvis, shin, foot, chest, abdomen, or front of the thigh.

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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, Pain Treatment, Nerve Pain Treatment, Pain Therapy, Carolina Pain Scrambler, Greenville South Carolina

How Chronic Pain Impacts Older Adults

Chronic pain can affect many aspects of life, such as sleep, mood and physical activity. This is especially true for older adults (>65).

Chronic pain and sleep

Individuals with chronic pain often deal with sleep issues. Frequent waking can occur after experiencing a day of heightened pain. For some individuals, the natural act of turning over in bed can cause pain. Sleep issues are especially prevalent in the older adult chronic pain population. As people age, the body’s production of melatonin naturally decreases resulting in reduced sleep. Older adults are twice as likely to report difficulty falling asleep and increased time spent in bed. Due to lack of sleep, the body is not able to properly restore energy reserves, which leads to fatigue and inactivity the next day. A vicious cycle of bad quality sleep, lower pain thresholds and the reduced ability to cope with chronic pain may result.

Chronic pain and depression

The relationship between chronic pain and depression is complex. Chronic pain can cause depression, and depression can lead to heightened chronic pain levels. Older adults are more reticent to share any experienced mental health symptoms with a health care provider, which makes diagnosis and treatment difficult. Depression can disrupt cognitive function and create a lack of concern about healthy eating, which can result in malnutrition and low energy levels.

Chronic pain and physical activity

The idea of exercise can seem counterintuitive as a pain-reduction method. However, gentle exercise can actually decrease pain levels. Because the experience of chronic pain is highly individualized, the choice of exercise should be, also. Older adults may be hesitant to exercise due to the fear of falling. Walking or warm-water exercise is often recommended for older adults.

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

Chronic Pain Is Often Invisible

Because chronic pain often doesn’t show any visible symptoms, friends, colleagues or even family often have a difficult time understanding the impact that chronic pain has on an individual’s life. Also, because the cause of chronic pain is sometimes difficult to diagnose, physicians may not take an individual’s pain levels seriously. Since chronic pain is often invisible, these are some of the reasons it can be difficult to diagnose.

Various reasons for disbelief

Medical students only receive a few hours of training in pain management. This does not provide a sufficient understanding of the experiences of individuals with chronic pain. Unfortunately, this can lead to health care providers dismissing an individual’s pain if an identifiable cause is not apparent. Certain factors may play into the disbelief of an individual’s chronic pain, such as their young age or healthy appearance. Some health care providers may dismiss individuals with chronic pain as drug-seekers or individuals with a mental illness.

The effect of skepticism

Not only do individuals with chronic pain cope with physical symptoms on a daily basis, they often have to deal with skepticism from others, especially if their chronic pain is “invisible.” This can lead to doubting oneself, low self-esteem, isolation and depression. It is important for individuals with chronic pain to find support, whether among trusted family and friends, in a support group or with a medical professional.

Doctors who specialize in chronic pain

An individual’s chronic pain should be acknowledged and validated during a visit to a health care provider. Having an open dialogue about chronic pain with a health care provider builds trust. Asking for a referral to a health care provider who is specially trained in pain management, such as a physiatrist (physical medicine and rehabilitation physician) or an anesthesiologist, is a good first step in receiving a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

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

Lifestyle for People with Chronic Pain

Individuals with chronic pain can take an active role in leading healthier, happier lives by incorporating healthy lifestyle habits into their everyday routines.

Making self-care a priority

Oftentimes, family and work take precedence over self-care. This can lead individuals with chronic pain to put symptoms of pain and fatigue on the back-burner. Unfortunately, by doing this, pain levels and fatigue can increase and family relationships and work are ultimately neglected. Individuals should make self-care a priority to ensure that other aspects of their lives remain healthy, too.

Managing stress

Juggling work, family and personal obligations naturally creates stress which can easily become amplified during an intense bout of chronic pain. Unfortunately, chronic pain also tends to amplify stress. This can become a harsh, never-ending cycle. Enjoyable activities, such as taking a walk, reading a book, listening to music or watching a funny movie (laughter is good medicine) distract the mind from pain and ease stress.

Exercising and meditation

Gentle exercise, meditation and massage are valuable tools in an effective pain management plan. By staying active and focusing on breathing, the body and mind relax, which can have a positive impact on chronic pain.

Eating healthy

Individuals should eat “the rainbow” by incorporating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables into their diet. Fruits and veggies contain loads of antioxidants that promote the battle of free radicals (unstable atoms that can cause chronic pain and other health conditions).

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
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