Acute pain is easy to understand. Chronic pain is more complex and affects each of us differently. However, recent research shows that a multi-faceted approach is most effective for long-lasting relief.
Acute pain: the hot stove
Pain is an important part of how our bodies operate. It lets us know that we could be damaging ourselves. For instance, the moment your finger hits a hot burner on the stove, a rapid-fire neurochemical response is set in motion that results in pain that forces your hand away from it before any further injury can occur. In other words, an immediate desire for pain relief is a natural instinct.
The scenario of accidentally touching a hot object is an example of acute pain. There’s an easily identifiable reason behind that response: physical preservation.
Chronic pain: men vs. women
Another type of pain is less easily understood and can lead to long-term suffering: chronic pain. 100 million Americans suffer from pain disorders of this type, with women experiencing more than their share of the suffering. In fact, if you are a woman, you are 150% likelier to suffer from chronic pain than men are.
Studies have shown that women perceive pain in a broader manner than men do, making pain-free living more difficult for them to achieve. "Women simply have a more effective pain-detection system than men do,” explains University of Florida pain researcher Roger Fillingim, PhD, “meaning that they tend to feel pain with greater depth and intensity."
Beyond the difference between the sexes, the experience of pain is actually individualized because it is processed within the context of our memories.
Tactics to relieve pain
No one should walk around in a sea of never-ending pain signals. What can you do to achieve pain relief?
Trust your body and get help. If you experience pain that doesn’t go away after three weeks, make an appointment with a pain management clinic so that the issue doesn’t become any worse.
Find a team to help you. You don’t just want to work with one specialist but with a team in a multidisciplinary environment. When a clinic is multidisciplinary, that means you are benefiting from the perspectives of experts from a variety of healthcare fields.
Diversify for pain-free living. You want to target a chronic pain disorder from numerous angles to get real and lasting results, notes Florida State University neuroscientist Karen Berkley, PhD. "Looking for a single solution to get rid of your chronic pain is a near-impossible goal," she says. "Instead, search for the right combination of answers." Studies have found that effective lifestyle solutions for pain-free living include meditation, dietary changes, exercise, and even adopting a dog.
Pain management expertise
Are you suffering from chronic pain? As you can see, the way that we experience pain is far from simple. However, a diversified approach can deliver long-term relief. At Envista Medical, we combine chiropractic, physiotherapy, and interventional medicine to provide you optimum care for a safe and speedy recovery.