Prevalence: Chronic pain compared to other major diseases

Pain may be uncomfortable, but it certainly isn’t pointless. It is the body’s alert system, activated when our nervous system senses that there is a problem. It may arise immediately or progressively become more apparent, occurring occasionally at a low intensity, or continually and excruciatingly. Short-term, acute pain will often gradually transition into long-term, chronic pain, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Chronic pain is particularly troubling since it’s the #1 cause of long-term disability. Here are the statistics related to diagnosis of chronic pain vs. other major diseases (American Academy of Pain Medicine):

·      Chronic pain – 100 million people

·      Diabetes – 26 million people

·      Heart attack/chest pain – 16 million people

·      Cancer – 12 million people

·      Stroke – 7 million people.

Acuteness vs. chronicity

If you want to understand your own pain condition, critical to determining appropriate pain relief methods, the initial question is whether it is the acute or chronic version:

Acute pain – This type of pain is experienced all of a sudden. It can last for a minute, for instance, when you stub your toe, or it could continue for a few weeks. Once you treat whatever is making you hurt (and even often if you don’t), the discomfort will subside.

Chronic pain – “Chronic pain is ongoing. It may result from an injury or infection or be psychogenic, meaning it’s unrelated to injury,” said Healthline. “Chronic pain persists for months or years and affects your physical and emotional well-being.”

Tactic #1 – Water

Perhaps the simplest DIY chronic pain treatment uses an all-natural substance that comes straight out of the tap. Hydrating can alleviate discomfort, said the Mayo Clinic.

Tactic #2 – Yoga & deep breathing

You can build up your muscles and make them more supple while lowering your stress levels with yoga. The stretches that are used during a yoga session (Asana) and deep breathing exercises both help with pain relief. “Stress makes muscles spasm,” explained Healthline. “Because muscle spasms are a part of acute and chronic pain, practicing asana trains your body to relax.”

Tactic #3 – Communication

Another way to reduce your stress, and in turn the intensity of your pain, is to use psychotherapy. According to the American Psychological Association, psychotherapy will often have the additional benefit of improving your sleep quality (helpful because poor sleep is often a contributor to pain conditions).

Tactic #4 – Professional chronic pain treatment

Finally, you can seek assistance from wellness and rehabilitation experts. Our nonsurgical Spinal Rejuvenation Therapy Program has proven effective at relieving the pain of sciatica, bulging and herniated disks, degenerative disk disease, and failed back surgery.