Updated: Oct 23, 2019
Suffering with chronic pain is no laughing matter.
Chronic pain has been linked to increased risk of major mental conditions including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. This translates into some startling statistics. In fibromyalgia patients, over 62% will experience depression, and 56% have increased anxiety (as compared to 7% and 18%, respectively, in the general population of the U.S.).
If you’re like me, and millions of others, you’ve probably suffered with chronic pain for a year or longer. Chronic pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined. It has been linked to increased risk of major mental conditions including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Science understands a body in chronic pain continually sends stress signals to the brain, leading to a heightened perception of not only the pain itself but also the perceived level of threat. It’s a vicious cycle that’s hard to break or control.
When a person is diagnosed with pain, the first line of treatment is typically pain medication. But while these medications may work for some people, in others, the side effects—ranging from nausea to heart complications—may outweigh the relief.
For patients looking to explore a holistic pain management program, whether alone or in tandem with traditional medicine, there are a number of options to consider.
In part 2 of this series we will explore a few of the more common holistic strategies available today along with some new treatments that are proving very effective in treating chronic pain.