Why is treating chronic pain like back or neck pain such a challenge? What are the missing pieces in the puzzle many practitioners overlook?
There are many reasons treating chronic pain can be difficult. If solving persistent pain were easy I’d give you the cheesy ‘5 easy steps’ routine for effective treatment. Unfortunately, persistent pain is far more complex so we’ll explore how to solve this puzzle over several posts. These posts will provide a fuller picture of why chronic pain is so difficult to eliminate and what you and your practitioner may need to do to for successful treatment.
Here a few points to help you understand why eliminating chronic pain requires a different approach:
- Persistent or chronic pain is not acute pain that didn’t go away. The physiology of chronic pain is different to acute trauma and requires a different treatment approach.
- Persistent pain will simply not go away by waiting long enough. There are reasons why you have pain and doing nothing about those reasons will mean the pain never really goes away. The pain will be either constant or episodic but the problem basically persists.
- Pain is a liar. Just because it hurts in one area doesn’t mean that area is the cause.
- Minimise symptomatic treatment – treat the causes instead. Too many practitioners get caught up in treating your symptoms, which at best provides temporary relief. The only logical reason for this is they may lack a broad enough skill set to see the full spectrum of causes for your pain.
- Persistent pain is multifactorial in origin. This means your treatment may require addressing multiple issues at once in order to make a full recovery.
- Persistent pain involves multi-system dysfunction. It’s not just muscles or joints which cause musculoskeletal pain. Irritation of arteries, veins, lymphatics and organs also frequently refer pain. This means massaging or cracking your spine is not going to help these types of dysfunction. A skilled practitioner can treat all of the different problems along with recognising any need to refer to another specialised medical professional.
Chronic pain can be debilitating and effect your life and wellbeing. Remember you don’t have to live in pain but rather find the right practitioner to help you overcome it.
Stay tuned for our second post that will help you solve the puzzle of persistent pain.