Chronic pain management: Living with pain every day
28 million adults in the UK are affected by chronic pain.¹
Everyone suffers from pain, it’s the body’s normal reaction. But when pain lasts for longer than three to six months, and long after its cause has gone, it’s known as chronic pain. Chronic Pain Syndrome (CPS) is when people develop symptoms beyond pain, such as depression or anxiety, that start to interfere with their lives.
What is Chronic Pain?
Put simply, it is pain that lasts longer than three months, despite medication or treatment. When pain signals don’t stop or seem to have no underlying cause, the term ‘chronic pain’ is used. This might be pain that comes on without any history of an injury or operation, or persistent pain that affects people living with long-term chronic conditions like diabetes, arthritis or endometriosis.
Find out more about the differences between acute and chronic pain.
Symptoms of Chronic Pain Syndrome
Aside from the effects of the pain itself, chronic pain can have a knock-on effect on a person’s mental health and wellbeing. The body sees pain as a threat and when it’s persistent, it can make us stressed or depressed, which in turn can lead to Chronic Pain Syndrome – it’s a vicious cycle.
The symptoms of Chronic Pain Syndrome include anxiety; depression; poor sleep; lack of energy; irritability; guilt; relationship issues and loss of libido; drug or alcohol abuse; and suicidal thoughts.
Chronic pain can occur throughout the body, but some of the most common sources include:
Chronic pain from arthritis – The source of chronic pain throughout the body, arthritis – encompassing osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis – can be incredibly sore. It causes inflammation of the joints, which leads to pain and stiffness.
Chronic neck and shoulder pain – Severe pain in the shoulder or neck is usually the result of a soft tissue injury to the muscles, tendons or ligaments. But chronic pain here can have its roots in more serious conditions that involve the spinal cord, heart and lungs.
Chronic knee pain – Long-term pain, swelling and sensitivity in the knee is all too common and is usually the result of several causes. These might include conditions like arthritis, which causes inflammation, or injuries to the knee’s ligaments or cartilage.
Chronic back pain – The most common source of chronic pain in the UK is lower back pain, caused by an injury or that develops progressively due to a condition like osteoporosis, arthritis or general wear and tear.
Living with Chronic Pain
When pain is persistent, it’s important to learn how best to live with it. Slowing down and spending weeks or months in bed may in fact cause the pain to last longer because inactivity can make muscles and joints stiffen up. On top of that, your mental health can suffer if you continue to live with chronic pain without treatment.
When trying to deal with chronic pain, doctors recognise that the best approach is a combination of the following:
- Exercise – Light movement that won’t cause too much strain, like walking, swimming, yoga or most hobbies and activities.
- Working – Going to work will encourage you to be active, will distract you from the pain itself and improve your mental wellbeing.
- Physical therapy – a short course of physical therapy from a physiotherapist or similar can help teach you positive ways to stretch and keep moving.
- Painkillers – Many use over-the-counter painkillers as a way of staying active, although it’s important to use them properly due to their side effects.
Managing Chronic Pain Naturally
As well as exercise and physical therapy mentioned above, there are other methods you can use to reduce your pain levels and stay active without the need for drugs.
Many people suffering from chronic pain find that meditation is a helpful tool. There are free guided meditation courses online that have been proven to help people cope with persistent pain.
100% drug free and available without prescription, BioWaveGO also falls into this category. Placing the electrodes at the source of your pain for a 30-minute session will actually block pain at the nerve, giving you deep relief for up to eight hours.
Find out more about natural pain relief.
How BioWaveGO can help those living with chronic pain
- Our revolutionary pain-blocking technology uses electric waves to block pain at the nerve
- To use, simply place our non-invasive electrodes at the source of your pain
- Turn on your device for a simple 30-minute treatment session
- Our patented electrode technology provides pain relief for up to eight hours, so you can get on with being you
- BioWave has an immediate effect, but there is also a cumulative effect on the nerve signals so prolonged used might have additional benefits