A better understanding of what pain is, what is the difference between acute and chronic pain will enable anyone to choose healthier options and have a better control over your body. Basic understanding of acute and chronic pain will empower anyone to seek treatment as early as possible so you can live to your full potential pain free.
What is pain:
Pain is a sensory indicator of tissue damage, as well as safety mechanism to prevent any further damage to our bodies. We have learned a huge amount about pain and how pain effects human beings on a physical, emotional and psychological levels.
Difference between acute and chronic pain:
Acute pain is the sharp pain at the moment on injury. For example, lifting a heavy box and suddenly having a sharp pain in the low back. Acute pain does not last longer than three month and pain is gone once the soft tissues heal.
On the other hand, chronic stage starts after 3 months of initial injury and can last for weeks, month or even years if left untreated. Patient may feel pain in chronic stage even after the injury has been healed or gone away. The reason being, pain receptors remain hyper active which, produce pain sensation without any soft tissue damage.
Treating Acute Pain:
First thing first, when there is an injury, it is wise to contact a chiropractor or a medical doctor to rule out fractures or other red flags. It is important to get to the root of the pain and not to treat the sore spot. Proper treatment plan starts with the correct diagnosis and elimination of negative factors that may aggravate current acute pain. It is important to start the treatment plan as soon as possible to avoid progression to chronic stage.
Treating Chronic Pain:
Pinpointing the cause of the chronic pain can be difficult, however, doctors of chiropractic are experts in musculoskeletal complaints. Usually, chronic pain is caused by underlying medical condition such as narrowing of the spinal canal, nerve compression or osteoarthritis. Chiropractors are educated to diagnose, assess, treat or refer patients to a proper specialist for chronic pains. Furthermore, vast majority of chronic pain patients suffer from the other comorbidities (co-existing conditions) that should be address in order to achieve positive outcome of the treatment.
Non-opioid treatment options for chronic pain:
- Chiropractic Treatment
Chiropractic care is the leading method of treatment for neck, low back pain, headaches, shoulder and wrist pains as well as sciatica. Chiropractors use hands-on, non-invasive methods of treatment and provide patient centered care.
Acupuncture’s benefits provide regulating effect of the central nervous system, bring in blood to the area and fast-tracks the healing process. Also, inserted needle stimulates release of hormones into the local tissue, which acts as an analgesic effect and provides pain relieve for the patient. Subsequently breaking a pain cycle and staring healing process.
- Therapeutic massage
Knowledgeable massage therapist can relax the painful trigger points, tendons, and joint. Additionally, massage therapist can help the patients with stress and anxiety of chronic pain.
Daily exercise routine can help chronic pain patients to return to pre-pain state. Proper exercise routine in combination with treatment have shown to drastically improve quality of life. Exercising can improve pain severity, physical function and psychological function.
- Physical therapy and occupational therapy
Physical therapy and restore, maintain and improve patient’s ability to enjoy activity of every-day living pain free.
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
TENS is the mild electrical stimulation of the nerves which, blocks the pain pathways to the brain.