Pain that lasts more than 3 months is defined as chronic pain and modern medicine tries to consider it as a disease in itself and not only as a symptom, because its origin is often unknown or known, it is insoluble.
Nevertheless, medicine has made great strides in recent years in the treatment of chronic pain, especially through the integration of new technologies. In this article, we tell you about some of the most effective therapies available for its treatment.
Chronic pain profoundly affects the quality of life of those who suffer from it, especially elders. It affects self-esteem, the environment and personal projects that are postponed. It is an illness that sometimes the sufferer does not understand and that others do not accept. Being bedridden one day and in great shape the next is a very difficult thing to explain. It is normal to feel anger when pain prevents you from doing the activities you enjoy, participating in routine tasks and, of course, from leading your professional life or fulfilling yourself.
To help you navigate this difficult path, here are the resources that scientists and chronic pain experts recommend, which we’ve compiled in this list.
Some expert pain physician-psychologists view chronic pain management as a tripod. The first leg is that of techniques where the patient is passive (surgery, kinesiology, etc). The second leg is correct medication management: the patient must follow the dosage of the indicated medications. And the third leg, the one that not all patients use, and that is why the other two are not supported, is the attitude towards chronic pain and the position they take towards it.
In fact, specialists explain that viewing this disease as a “catastrophe” is what leads to failure in pain management. Patients who constantly tell themselves that this is the worst thing that could have happened to them, that there is no greater pain than this and that there is no way to relieve it, have a negative outcome for relieving it, no matter how many treatments they have access to. This is not to blame the patient for not being able to manage their pain either, but to teach them how to accept it and lessen their emotional struggle with pain. The emotional anguish and stress generated by not accepting the situation, as we will see later, increases adrenaline, which in turn lowers the pain threshold. In other words, you will feel more and more pain.
Learn a Relaxation Technique
Nature did not create pain for a sadistic mind to make us suffer. Pain exists biologically to warn us that something is wrong, that we are in danger (for example, burning) and that we can flee.
Everything is designed to ensure our survival as a species by warning us to “fight or flight”. Chronic pain patients are, therefore in a state of constant agitation and stress, which leads to a hormonal imbalance, especially of adrenaline, which makes us feel more pain. This mechanism has been extensively studied in fibromyalgia.
Therefore, relaxation therapy that balances these values will decrease our perception of pain, especially those that include diaphragmatic breathing like meditation or yoga. Studies have shown that with these techniques, the number of breaths per minute decreases by up to 50%, which activates the release of endorphins. These natural soothing substances counteract pain with a feeling of calm or pleasure.
There are many relaxation techniques available, which you can ask a yoga center or a physical therapist for. It’s a matter of finding the one that you like and that suits you.
Do you want more tips for dealing with chronic pain as an elderly person? Come back to check the second part of our blog.
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