Pain. Whether it comes from a paper cut, a stubbed toe, or a back or neck injury, it is something we’d like to avoid if at all possible. When pain does occur, it is only natural to reach for immediate relief. This is what most of us do when we come face to face with a stiff or sore back or a tension headache. This may not seem like much of a problem, but it can be.
Chronic pain affects the lives of millions of people. It could be the stiffness and discomfort of arthritis in a hand, knee, or hip. Chronic pain could be associated with a neck or back injury that occurred so long ago that you don’t connect the dots. When your “normal” state is to be uncomfortable more often than not, there is a problem. Chronic pain may not only lead you to rely on over-the-counter or prescription medication just to get through the day but, according to research, living with pain could change every aspect of your quality of life.
Think about the last time you were uncomfortable due to your chronic condition. Were you engaged in the tasks at hand? Were you able to concentrate on your work, or enjoy your time with family? Chances are, your sense of being in the moment was diminished by pain. Studies indicate that chronic pain tends to make us, well, cranky. Rightfully so! Pain steals our focus, our tolerance level, and our energy. But it does even more than this.
Researchers have also discovered that when pain is a constant, brain chemistry is altered. One study noted that the degradation of brain cells associated with emotional processing occurred more quickly in individuals who lived with chronic pain. This may not sound like much, but the result of the shorter lifespan of these particular cells is an increase in depression-like symptoms. Not only that, but the neurological changes in response to an original discomfort also have the power to create additional symptoms, and to exacerbate the original affliction.
The Importance of Pain Management
If you have a back or neck injury, or arthritic condition in any joint, it is important to obtain a full examination and diagnosis. Treating pain appropriately is necessary to halt unwanted neurological responses, and to preserve your quality of life.
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If you suffer from chronic back pain Call our NYC orthopedic office to discuss your spinal concerns.