Learn When to Seek Chronic Pain Treatment


There are thousands of Americans living with chronic pain who may or may not be seeking treatment due to a wide range of reasons including insurance coverage, availability, and perception. However, chronic pain can negatively impact every area of life, and there are many options in pain treatment to consider with your physician.

According to recent studies, nearly 40% of Americans with low back pain do not seek professional help. Instead, the muscle through the pain, limit activities that hurt too much, or chalk it up to aging. Lower back pain is one of the most common chronic pains reported by patients, which makes sense due to the amount of pressure you put on your back on a daily basis. Without a strong core, the back takes the brunt of all the body?s weight. Couple that with bad posture, and the lower back to trying to carry most of the body?s weight.

A study on lower back pain treatment options showed that over 55% of patients that were treated by a chiropractor reported less pain. This was a significantly greater level of satisfaction than reported by those that only sought help from a family physician. Some patients may be hesitant to see a chiropractor because it is seen as s form of alternative medicine. However, chiropractic care has been around for generations; it is hardly new or experimental.

Another common form of pain treatment is physical therapy, which helps to address the source of the pain and strengthen that area to avoid future injury. Physical therapy covers a broad range of different activities and exercises. Often times, when you seek help from a family physician, they may refer you to a physical therapist. Another pain treatment option is acupuncture. Many people may be scared off by the idea of using needles to treat pain, however acupuncture is one of the oldest known treatments for pain relief.

Some people may not even realize what they are living with is classified as chronic pain because they simply brush it off. Chronic pain is defined as pain that last for 12 weeks or longer. Additionally, chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts beyond the treatment of the acute pain caused by an injury. Simply put, if you hurt your back, you may experience acute pain, which is often described as sharp or intense.
The injury itself will likely heal in 4 to 12 weeks. If there is still ongoing pain after that, it is classified as chronic pain.

Despite the commonality of lower back pain, it is not the only form of chronic pain people are dealing with. There is an estimated 1.5 billion people living with chronic pain. That includes lower back pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, foot pain, hip pain, and more. Joints and areas of high pressure are common sources of chronic pain because they take the most abuse.

A recent study showed that foot pain was drastically more common in women than in men, and that was attributed to the shoes women wear. Studies show that shoes are responsible for the vast majority of foot pain, deformities, and other problems female patients report. Another study found that women who wore ?good shoes? were nearly 70% less likely to report foot pain. Foot health is vitally important because your feet are your foundation. Experiencing chronic pain in your feet will impact everything you do. Again, there are many options in pain treatment for foot pain.

Another very common form of chronic pain is shoulder pain. Two-thirds of all adults report having shoulder pain at some point in their lives. Surveys show that the highest reports of shoulder pain are among people ages 40 to 65. Shoulders are susceptible to repetitive motion injuries that are often related to work or recreational activities such as fishing, bowling, and golfing.

Similarly to the shoulder, the elbow is also susceptible to repetitive motion injuries. This particular injury is often referred to as tennis elbow because it was first identified in tennis players. However, the injury can come from a wide range of different repetitive activities such as swinging a hammer or painting a wall.

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