“Being able to be your true self is one of the strongest components of good mental health.” – Dr. Lauren Fogel Mersy
This quote touches at the heart of mental well-being and pain since it is difficult, if not impossible, to be your “true” self while living with chronic pain.
Pain as a Part of Life
All of us experience pain, some more often than others. This can be due to illness, injury, or an event such as a bee sting or overexertion. While not enjoyable, pain often serves a useful purpose. Consider that, when you experience pain, your brain is signaling you to stop whatever is causing the pain to prevent harm to your body.
Unfortunately, some pain is beyond our control or not a result of our own actions.
Pain should not normally last for a long time. Physical pain that lasts less than three to six months is known as acute pain, which most of us experience in our lifetimes. For some people, however, their pain can be constant or recurring, and last far beyond six months or so.
This is called chronic pain or persistent pain and negatively affects a person’s well-being. Put another way, chronic pain is pain that we continue to suffer from when we shouldn’t.
In 2016, approximately 50 million adults in the U.S. suffered from chronic pain, and close to 20 had high-impact chronic pain.
Chronic Pain and Mental Health
It has been clinically established that chronic pain can have adverse effects on one’s mental and emotional health and well-being.
As an article from Mental Health America points out,
“Chronic pain is often associated with other health conditions such as anxiety and depression, resulting in a low health-related quality of life.
Living with daily pain is physically and emotionally stressful. Chronic stress is known to change the levels of stress hormones and neurochemicals found within your brain and nervous system; these can affect your mood, thinking, and behavior. Disrupting your body’s balance of these chemicals can bring on depression in some people.”
The impact of chronic pain on our bodies and our mind can also interfere with our ability to cope with everyday life. The effects can disrupt our ability to function at work and at home. In addition, it can become so overwhelming that we might be unable to participate in social activities and hobbies, or simply avoid them.
People suffering from chronic pain have also been found to experience sleep disturbances, fatigue, decreased appetite, mood changes, and have trouble concentrating. All of these mental and physical issues can negatively impact your emotional well-being, as well.
For some people, the increased limitations in their lifestyle can actually serve to increase their pain, cause deepening moodiness, and even result in depression and anxiety. In fact, research has shown that individuals suffering from chronic pain are four times more likely to experience depression or anxiety than those who are pain-free.
The Dangers of Dealing With Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is one of the most common reasons adults see their primary care providers. And, along with being linked to activity limitations, anxiety and depression, and reduced quality of life, it is also a major contributor to dependence on opioids.
Understanding the dangers and risks of relying on narcotic-based drugs for coping with chronic pain is essential. Knowing that many instances of chronic pain can be successfully treated and that relief from pain is possible, is critical, as well. In fact, a drug-free alternative could literally be a matter of life or death for many people.
At Pain and Performance Solutions, our goal for you is reflected in our name: to bring the relief of suffering from recurring or chronic pain, and to restore your ability to perform normally in life.
We offer a variety of therapies and tools to deal with pain, and one approach we often rely on is known as Active Release Technique ® or ART®.
We begin by starting with a physical examination. And, once a diagnosis has been determined based on your history and our examination, a suitable treatment can be applied. ART® is generally performed with direct contact with the patient’s skin.
During the process, we will either have you actively move a body part, or we move the body part for you. What we are able to observe from these movements gives us the ability to identify and correct the specific problems causing the chronic pain in your body.
Living Pain-Free With Pain and Performance Solutions
When dealing with chronic pain, the first step in recovery and, ultimately, pain relief is when we get to know you and your pain issues. Once you make your first appointment, we’ll want to learn about your present discomfort as well as any history of pain.
After providing you with a full examination, we can determine which form of treatment is needed to help you on your road to recovery. Because our bodies will try to compensate for pain, you may find you can move on with your day. However, by shifting that pain around to compensate for your discomfort, this often leads to other areas of pain.
Getting chronic pain relief with therapies such as Active Release Technique® can only begin when we can understand where your pain started. That could mean it started previously with another injury you might have sustained.
Your trust in us is key, as is your honesty. Ultimately, getting your body working properly and healthy is the only way to achieve total recovery. So, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help and will answer any, and all questions that you may have.
You can reach us at (707) 636-4404 or by filling out our online contact form.