3 doctor’s tips to prevent it from becoming chronic
- 3 out of 10 adults suffer from chronic pain in France.
- Pain is subjective. Nevertheless, tools allow to evaluate it. Pain questionnaires and scales offer the possibility of describing pain and measuring its intensity as well as its impact on quality of life.
- According to an Ifop/Inserm/Ensemble contre les rhumatismes survey carried out in 2016, more than 1 in 2 French people suffer from osteoarticular pain and 1/3 of 18-24 year olds suffer from joint pain.
Shoulder, knee, back, muscle, finger joints… Pain can settle anywhere, and especially stay there if it is not treated. Unfortunately, this often happens.
“People can overlook occasional sharp pain in association with age and learn to live with it”says Dr. Edgar Ross, a clinician at the Pain Management Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a Harvard facility.
“But ignoring any level of pain frequently leads to more serious problems that become difficult to treat and manage”laments the expert.
When do we talk about chronic pain?
Acute pain is usually the result of damage to body tissues. This can come from a physical trauma such as a sports injury, a fracture, a medical procedure or even a domestic accident such as stubbing your toe, cutting yourself. This pain usually disappears in a few days or a few weeks maximum.
We speak of chronic pain when it has been present for at least two months, long after the injury or disease has healed. Its symptoms and severity vary from person to person. It is similar to dull pain, burns, stab wounds, a feeling of electric shocks, tingling or numbness.
“Chronic pain can be related to ongoing tissue damage or inflammation, as in arthritis. However, more often than not, long-lasting pain signals come from the brain, even when nociceptive pain has disappeared. The brain itself has been rewired to feel pain even in the absence of active bodily tissue involvement.”says Harvard on its website.
How to stop the pain before it becomes chronic?
Without proper attention and care, acute pain can become chronic. Dr. Edgar Ross shares 3 tips to prevent it from persisting:
- Seek help: Injuries can turn into ongoing trouble because the patient has not dealt with the problem quickly. “People think they can live with it, or they change their lifestyle to accommodate the pain, so they don’t get proper treatment”explains the health professional.
- Overcoming fear of treatment: “Sometimes people need regular movement, exercise, or physical therapy as part of treating their acute pain, but because it can hurt or be uncomfortable to do, they avoid it. Which can make their pain worse. state”warns the doctor.
- Don’t ignore pain: The best way to prevent acute pain from becoming chronic is to confront it directly. “Don’t ignore it. Seek medical advice and follow proper pain management, whether it’s heat and ice therapy, physical therapy, medication, rest, or a combination. “advises Dr. Ross. “The longer your acute pain persists without proper treatment, the more likely it is to become chronic”he adds.
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