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A Practical Guide to Managing Chronic Pain

Dealing with pain of any kind can be both physically and mentally exhausting, but knowing which type of pain you are dealing with can be a good first step in getting the treatment you need for relief. Pain is typically classified in one of two ways:

  • Acute Pain: acute pain may be caused by injury, tissue damage, inflammation, or illness. Acute pain is a warning signal from your body to tell you something has been damaged or is on the mend. Acute pain typically lasts less than three months and lessens as you heal.
  • Chronic Pain: chronic pain persists for months or years, coming or going, or continuously, long past the usual time for the body to heal from trauma. Chronic pain often exists with an underlying chronic condition such as arthritis and can significantly impact a person’s quality of life.

Finding Relief For Chronic Pain

Approximately 25% of adults in the U.S. report having chronic pain, making it a very common condition. Although common, chronic pain comes in many forms, each requiring a different course of treatment. According to the Cleveland Clinic, common types of chronic pain include:

  • Arthritis, or joint pain
  • Back pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Neck pain
  • Headaches, including migraines

Here are 5 ways you can manage chronic pain without medication:

  1. Stress Management: stress increases the body’s sensitivity to pain. Managing your stress and working to decrease it should be one of your first steps to managing your chronic pain. Practicing meditation and yoga promotes physical and mental relaxation, helping reduce stress and anxiety.
  2. Cut Back on Substances: although people frequently turn to smoking or drinking to alleviate their chronic pain, smoking can negatively impact circulatory conditions, and drinking can worsen your existing condition, as well as impact your sleep cycle. Avoiding or limiting substances is a must when managing chronic pain.
  3. Get a Massage: massages can reduce stress and tension. While some surface-level massages may feel good, deep tissue massages or massages geared toward improving your chronic pain will likely feel intense in the moment but result in pain relief afterward.
  4. Track Your Pain: when living with chronic pain, the days and symptoms you’re experiencing may blur together. Tracking your pain and additional symptoms at the end of each day will be helpful for you to identify triggers and will provide your doctor with additional information.
  5. Join a Support Group: experiencing chronic pain alone can be overwhelming and isolating. Joining a support group allows you to meet others experiencing similar difficulties and learn additional coping mechanisms you may not have thought of or heard about.

How Functional Medicine Can Help

According to The Institute for Functional Medicine, “functional medicine is a systems biology-based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease.”

Unlike traditional medicine which is disease-oriented, doctor-focused, and specialized, functional medicine is health-oriented, patient-focused, and holistic in approach.

While chronic pain is typically managed with various medications and painkillers, there are safe, effective ways to relieve back, neck, and knee pain through functional medicine. Depending on the source of the pain, non-invasive nerve testing may be utilized to pinpoint the source of the pain. Once the pain source has been identified, safe treatment options will be recommended and implemented.

For example, should nerve testing show your back pain comes from your intervertebral disc, the most common source of chronic low back pain, effective lumbar decompression may be recommended, and/or epidural injections without steroids as other treatment options. Treating your chronic pain with non-invasive functional medicine eliminates the need for painful and lengthy surgery and recovery period, and your exposure to addictive painkillers.

Are You Suffering From Chronic Pain? Relief is Possible.

At HooverHealth and Wellness we have safe, drug-free, and non-surgical pain management solutions. Our chronic pain treatment helps patients who suffer from the most common forms of chronic pain including neck, shoulder, knee, and leg discomfort. Pain often goes beyond one area, and we can help with different treatments for these conditions. Many patients suffer from conditions like arthritis, chronic low back pain, fibromyalgia, phantom limb pain, post-herpetic neuralgia, myofascial pain syndromes, pain after surgery, and TMJ pain. At HooverHealth and Wellness we aim to alleviate your chronic pain so you can return to an active lifestyle.

Call our office today at (205) 627-6974 to schedule your comprehensive evaluation or fill out this short form.