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What is chronic pain, and what can be done about it?

Have you experienced pain lasting longer than 3 months? Have you been told by your medical providers that you have arthritis and there's nothing that can be done for that other than taking anti-inflammatories or having surgery?

Chronic pain is any pain that lasts longer than 3 months, whether it began with an injury or just came out of the blue. The most commonly reported chronic pain is low back pain. Most of us have experienced this sensation at some time. Why does the low back hurt in so many people? Is there something wrong with the tissues of so many people's backs? Why is the low back so sensitive to specific movements or prolonged standing? Some people report only having pain when they are trying to sleep at the end of the day. Why would this occur when the tissues of the back aren't even being stressed? Chronic back pain isn't about bulging or herniated discs, or scoliosis, or vertebral fractures!! It's about a sensitized nervous system that is stuck on protection mode.

The nervous system is amazingly complex and controls everything that takes place in our bodies. Each sensation that we experience is an interpretation of what the nervous system "feels" it needs to do to help us survive. Pain is just one sensation created by the nervous system to change our behavior when it perceives a threat; others are nausea, anxiety, fatigue, and dizziness. Consider a headache; many times we will get headaches if we are stressed, haven't eaten or drank enough, are sleep deprived, or have been overstimulated. Unless you've been hit on the head by something, a headache usually has nothing to do with the health of tissues in the head. Some of us get headaches every day, seemingly without cause. The nervous system may be trying to get our attention so we change something to reduce the stress in our environments. We may need to get out and have fun with friends, become more physically active, address struggles with personal relationships, or simply find peace within ourself and take a break from the everyday stresses that seem to be closing in on all sides.

If you are struggling with persistent pains, it is unnecessary and changes can be made. Transformative Pain Care and Physical Therapy is here to help. Contact us to schedule a time to begin your recovery journey!!

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