A holistic approach to pain management

Tania Erasmus

Pain is a complex sensation, and our bodies react differently to it.

People experience pain differently. Some pain is sharp and acute and comes on quickly. Other pain is more diffuse and chronic and develops slowly over time.
Pain can be debilitating. It can keep you from working, exercising, socializing, and enjoying the things you normally do. Athletes encounter pain on a daily basis during training. Pain management is a specialized field and should deliver evidence-based outcomes.

Pain management should be evidence basedAliaksei / Unsplash

Exercise and physical therapy are powerful treatments that can improve your mobility, strength, and endurance. However, when you push too hard, you can end up causing more pain, delaying your recovery, or even worsening your condition. When you first start an exercise program, it’s often a good idea to start slow. You don’t want to overexert yourself, and you don’t want an injury to set you way back. If you push too hard (or push through pain), you’re likely to give up. However, if you slowly increase the intensity of your exercise, you’ll avoid overexertion and injuries.

Everyone knows pain, but there are different types of pain. Acute pain is the type you might experience if you burn your hand on a hot stove. Nerve pain happens when your body sends signals to nerves in response to bodily damage, damage of tissue, or injury. Some arthritis, for instance, can lead to joint pain. Neuropathic pain is often experienced as burning or tingling sensations. Osteoarthritis, psoriasis, and shingles can cause bone and joint pain 

If you experience pain from exercise, it’s natural to want to get it under control as quickly as possible. After all, no one wants to be in pain, and the sooner your pain goes away, the sooner you can start exercising. However, this isn’t the best way to go about things, according to many physicians.
“As a general rule, you don’t want to be exercising too much, too fast, or too hard,” says Dr. Steven Shapiro, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. “Instead, you want to gradually increase activity.”

Exercise is something that many of us value. After all, who doesn’t want to feel energized, lose weight, relieve stress, or just stay youthful? But to get these benefits from exercise, you have to exercise correctly. That means gradually building up the amount of work you do. Unfortunately, most people can’t wait to build a level of fitness they achieve in a gym. They want the payoff immediately.

Pain management is about much more than just the physical. Effective pain management also takes into account the mental and emotional aspects of pain. But you can control your pain. With the right treatment, you can take back your life. At some point, almost everyone will experience a painful problem of some kind. The pain might not be severe, but it can still interfere with daily life. Pain can also affect our mood, productivity, sleep, work, and relationships.

“You may not think much about your pain after a procedure, and it could be months or even years before you notice how it impacts your life,” says Mark Goodman, M.D., a pain management specialist at Swedish Medical Center.
“However, chronic or severe pain can interfere with your quality of life.”

The field of pain management is rapidly developing.Romina Farías / Unsplash

To some people, the prospect of living with pain is excruciating. Fortunately, there’s a wide range of treatment options available, ranging from conservative approaches like physical therapy to surgical options like nerve blocks and joint replacement. But for many people, pain isn’t a temporary annoyance — it’s chronic. It lasts for months or even years, and in extreme cases, the pain never goes away.

Here’s a look at three basic types of treatments commonly prescribed for chronic pain — the three A’s:

  • Analgesics
    Analgesics are medications that relieve pain. They work by blocking the transmission of pain signals in the brain or by blocking chemicals called opioids. Opioids, in particular, reduce the sensation of pain in the brain, but they have unwanted side effects like drowsiness, constipation, and nausea.
    Opioids work best for chronic pain that doesn’t respond to other treatments, making them the cornerstone of treatment for chronic pain.
  • Anti-inflammatories
    Anti-inflammatories reduce inflammation in the body. When your body is inflamed, pain and other symptoms often appear. Anti-inflammatories can reduce inflammation in muscles and joints, which can relieve joint pain and stiffness. They may also relieve other symptoms such as headaches and migraines, and muscle and joint pain.
  • Anti-convulsants
    Anti-convulsant medications are sometimes prescribed for chronic pain. These medications work by blocking nerves.

If you have chronic pain, there are countless treatment options to help you feel better. But it’s important to see pain management holistically, treating underlying issues, treating the pain, treating its symptoms, treating the person.

The field of pain management is rapidly developing. The medical field is now exploring holistic approaches to pain management, which need to be investigated with greater interest. Holistic care psychology puts the focus on patients’ physical, psychological, and spiritual health. It means that medicine focuses not only on physical changes but also on both the positive and negative effects of medication or other professional treatments.

It is time to approach pain holistically.

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A writer with a strong focus on feel-good local stories in and around the San Jose area. Animal Lover, Physical Therapist, and Local Business Supporter.

San Jose, CA

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