“The greatest evil is physical pain.” – Saint Augustine
While this quote might seem to be a bit of spiritual hyperbole, those who suffer from chronic pain might be inclined to agree with it.
The tragic reality is that, just in the United States alone, researchers estimate that 50 million people are dealing with chronic pain. And a report that was published a few years ago by the CDC determined that an estimated 20.4 percent of U.S. adults had chronic pain and eight percent of U.S. adults had high-impact chronic pain.
Top Three Common Types of Chronic Pain
According to a health column posted by ABC News,
“The most common types of chronic pain are, in order of frequency: back pain, headache pain is number two when looking at both acute and chronic types of pain, pain in the joints comes next…”
Another source concurred and listed joint pain, back pain, and headache pain as three of the most common to afflict people in the United States. And Healthline.com states that some of the most common types of chronic pain include:
- Lower back pain
- Arthritis (joint) pain
There are other common types of chronic pain, of course, but many of these are caused by specific conditions such as cancer, or are the result of post-operative, surgical pain.
As a result, while not rare, these categories of chronic pain are either not so common or are not amenable to therapies and treatment techniques. However, what most people suffer from is sometimes referred to generally as chronic noncancer pain, or CNCP.
Some of the Causes of the Three Most Common Chronic Pain Types
Back pain, in all its varieties, together probably make up the most common type of chronic pain that people suffer in America and elsewhere in the world. And the causes can be numerous.
Common causes of chronic back pain include:
- Muscle deconditioning. Also called muscle atrophy, this is one of the most common causes of chronic back pain. It occurs when back muscles lack the strength and stability to support the body properly, leading to wear and tear over time.
- Improper posture. Bad sitting or standing habits can stress your spine and strain the soft tissue surrounding it. Over time, this continual stress can break down the structural components of the spine.
- Aging. As people get older, aches and pains can become more common. They lose muscle strength and disc space within the spine.
- Trauma. Car accidents, trip-and-fall accidents, and other high-impact events trigger chronic pain to flare. These events can also lead to compensating movements in response to an injury.
Headache pain that might be described as “chronic” is often more likely to be recurring as opposed to constant. One of the most familiar types of these are migraines. However, like most other constant or recurring headache pain, migraines are not well understood.
And, according to the Mayo Clinic,
“The causes of many chronic daily headaches aren’t well-understood. True (primary) chronic daily headaches don’t have an identifiable underlying cause.”
What is known is that certain conditions can be responsible, such as:
- Inflammation or other problems with the blood vessels in and around the brain, including stroke
- Infections, such as meningitis
- Intracranial pressure that’s either too high or too low
- Brain tumor
- Traumatic brain injury
When it comes to chronic joint pain, causes can range from the most common, being arthritis, to conditions such as lupus and fibromyalgia.
The most common causes of chronic joint pain, however, include:
- Osteoarthritis (OA), the most usual form of arthritis
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a chronic autoimmune disease
- Gout, a type of inflammatory arthritis
Uncommon Treatments for Common Chronic Pain Conditions
Depending on the type of chronic pain you may be suffering from and, subsequently, where and what the actual cause is for your pain, there are techniques and therapies that can be utilized to bring relief.
The traditional approach for the medical community to provide for some type of pain management. The idea being that the pain cannot be relieved nor resolved, so managing or mitigating the pain as much as possible may allow for a relatively positive quality of life.
According to the National Institutes for Health publication,
“Chronic noncancer pain (CNCP) is a major challenge for clinicians as well as for the patients who suffer from it. The complete elimination of pain is rarely obtainable for any substantial period. Therefore, patients and clinicians should discuss treatment goals that include reducing pain, maximizing function, and improving quality of life.”
At Pain and Performance Solutions we believe that many, if not most, occurrences of CNCP are treatable and even capable of being resolved completely with the application of proper therapies and techniques.
These can include using Anatomy in Motion (AiM) and the Selective Functional Movement Assessment, or SFMA to perform a movement and structural assessment. It may also mean separating muscle adhesions or eliminating peripheral nerve entrapments through the application of Active Release Technique®, or ART®.
In other words, medication and pain “management” need not be the final verdict for chronic pain.
At Pain and Performance Solutions, we want to help you achieve a pain-free life while restoring normal and healthy movement. In addition, we want to help you pursue your health and lifestyle goals without being constricted by unnecessary pain.
Your Solution for Chronic Pain Can Be Found at Pain and Performance Solutions
No one likes being in pain and no one likes having to live with chronic pain.
At Pain and Performance Solutions, we understand the problems with pain and how to resolve them. Part of this happens when we learn how your body moves through your pain and the compensation patterns and subsequent movement dysfunction, we can determine the best strategy for your recovery.
Pain and Performance Solutions would love to schedule a consultation with you so we can learn more about your pain and explain how our approach can help us diagnose the real cause of your pain.
As with any diagnosis of an injury or chronic pain, the first step is getting to know you. We can’t determine how to diagnose your chronic pain without understanding your history and what you’ve been through and where you are now.
By scheduling a consultation, you will take the first step in your journey to recovery. So, feel free to contact us at (707) 636-4404 or fill out our online contact form.