Pain Awareness Month

Since 2001, the ACPA declared the month of September as Pain Awareness Month. Considering pain is something I have lived with for many years, I thought it would be a good time to explain more in-depth what I go through daily and raise awareness for others suffering from it. Pain is something you can learn to deal with, but it does not mean that it gets any easier. For myself, the pain has become part of me, and I thought it was best to embrace it because it seems like it is never going to go away completely, and I do not think dwelling on things we do not have control over is a healthy way to live. Even though some days are worst than others and some parts of the days are more intense, I refuse to allow the pain to dictate my life. Throughout this post, I am going to explain the different types of pain there are the causes of these types of pain, and ways to discover relief.

Acute pain comes on suddenly due to something specific, such as surgery, broken bones, dental work, burns or cuts, labor, and childbirth. Typically, this pain lasts between 3 and 6 months. Acute pain tends to be a sharp, throbbing, burning, stabbing, tingling, weakness, and numbness pain.

There are several ways acute pain can be treated including resting the part of the body in pain, apply heat or cold to the area, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, or acetaminophen, physical therapy, massage, and relaxation practices that can help with acute pain.

Chronic pain is continuous and long-standing pain that lingers past the typical recovery time or is accompanying by a chronic health condition. This pain normally lasts longer than six months, which sometimes may be on strongly, then off with no pain felt, or incessant. This pain can affect people to the point they are unable to work, eat properly, partake in physical activity, or enjoy life. The areas of pain can include the back, joints, mouth and face, muscles and bones, or neck. The pain might feel like pins and needles through the body.

Approximately, 25% of people suffering from chronic pain will go on to another condition, referred to as chronic pain syndrome (CPS). When people end up enduring CPS, their symptoms are more than just pain and may experience other issues, like depression and anxiety that interferes with their daily life. Treatments for chronic pain include nerve medications, acupuncture, stress management, and relaxation techniques, electrical stimulation, cognitive behavioral therapy, and massages. Personally, with the pain I deal with daily, stress management would be very useful because stress only intensifies the pain.

Neuropathic pain is commonly felt as shooting, burning, stabbing, tingling, numbness, and the pins and needles sensation. The pain can be felt in the feet or hands and can extend into the legs and arms.

The common causes of this pain include nerve pressure or nerve damage after surgery or trauma, viral infections, cancer, vascular malformation, alcoholism, neurological conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis, and metabolic conditions like diabetes. The ultimate goals for treating neuropathic pain are to treat the underlying disease, provide pain relief, and improve the quality of life. There are some common medications used to help this pain that includes anti-seizure drugs such as Gabapentin, Pregabalin, Topiramate, Carbamazepine, and Lamotrigine. There are also topical treatments available such as lidocaine or capsaicin.

Nociceptive pain is caused by damage to body tissue. This can occur when there is something that caused harm to the body, such as chemicals, hot or cold temperatures, or physical force. Nociceptors can sense physical damage to the skin, muscles, bones, or connective tissues in the body. This type of pain can feel sharp, aching, or throbbing.

A few common causes of nociceptive pain include bruises, burns, cuts, fractures or broken bones, pain created by repetitive or muscle overuse, and joint damage. There are also several conditions that can cause this pain such as alcoholism, diabetes, HIV or AIDS, Multiple Sclerosis, and joint problems in the spine.

The treatments for this pain include physical therapy to assist in strengthening and stretching affecting the muscles and joints, over-the-counter medications (OTC) such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, hot and cold therapy, and surgery.

RADICULAR PAIN AFTER CAR COLLISION

Radicular pain is a form of pain the radiates from the back and hip into the legs through the spin The leg pain can also include numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness. The pain that radiates down the back of the legs into the foot is known as radiculopathy or sciatica. The pain can be deep and consistent but might worsen with certain activities like sitting or walking.

There is various cause for spinal compression that can lead to radicular pain, which includes herniated disc, foraminal stenosis, diabetes, nerve foot injuries, and scar tissue from spinal surgery. Treating this pain involves treating the underlying condition or discovering the best-suited combination of pain management strategies. A few non-surgical treatments include physical therapy and epidural injections.

Pain is not easy to deal with and if you are experiencing pain, please know you are not alone. One in five Americans suffers from pain issues in the United States. Pain can be isolating and make us feel alone and misunderstood, but there is help for everyone. Of course, I have had Multiple Sclerosis for twenty years, but I have not experienced pain the entire 20 years. Yes, during the last fifteen years the pain has been increasing steadily, but I will never surrender to the pain, and I will defeat it someday.

Thank you for taking the time to visit my site and read this post. I hope this was helpful and gave you a sense of comfort because I can understand the pain and what I struggle it can be to handle. I wanted to let you know if you ever need someone to vent the pain to or need anything, I am here for you! I am only a message away and will respond to all as quickly as I can. Please remember that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

9 thoughts on “Pain Awareness Month

  1. Thanks for the great post. I am always asked about pain when I go to the doctors; I’m always in pain so it is hard to answer their questions well. I deal with constant chronic and neurological pain but tend to just forget about it and tell them about acute shooting pain. I will be more mindful about what type of pain I am experiencing and will communicate better after reading this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are very welcome and I am glad this post was helpful for you. I do hate that you have to live with pain as well because I know it is not easy. I have a hard time remembering exactly what I want to say with the pain doctor and my neurologist, so I write everything down ahead of time so I won’t forget anything. I am always available if you need anything at all!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have tried to do that, but the truth of the matter is I tend to just adjust and forget about most of my sources of pain because… everything hurts, but not the same things from day to day. In the past I’ve had doctors disparage my complaints, but that has all changed with the new docs that I acquired this year as every single MRI or Xray shows extreme damage to joints and tendons even though my inflammation blood work is normal. Crazy, huh. I’ve just been referred to a neurologist which I hope will help as right now I can’t have anything for pain.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I understand completely. I mean considering the pain seems never-ending it does seem easier to just adjust and try forgetting about it. I often wonder why some doctors because a doctor because they have a lack of empathy and hardly listen. I hope you are able to find a neurologist that can help. Unfortunately, I have found most of them have the personality of a flea. Why can’t you have anything for the pain? I hope someone can do something to help you!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, dear. Let’s hope that my new neurologist has more empathy than a flea!! They won’t give me anything for pain because 1) severe gastritis, 2) chronic kidney disease, 3) family history of opioid addiction. Hopefully after my heart issues get sorted out they will be able to do more for me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I hope your new neurologist is kind and empathetic! My first neurologist was amazing and I LOVED him, then he retired and the 2nd one was pretty great as well. I have seen a couple that were not nice at all and had an ugly personality, but there are good ones out there and I hope yours will be! I understand about one of the reasons doctors cannot do much for the pain. I have a family history with addiction issues and have learned a little too much about it. I wish you nothing but luck with what you go through in life because you are a sweet and kind person that deserves relief from pain!!

        Liked by 1 person

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