Fairly obvious statement I know but do you realise that 80% of people who visit a health care provider do so because of pain? So pain is much more than just being annoying. It is a a significant issue in society.
You know I had a chronic shoulder problem in my early 20s for about 18 months and I have to say it changed me. I almost felt as if had become possessed. I became someone I didn’t recognise and it was pain that did this to me. If you have experienced chronic pain which is noted as pain lasting longer than 3 months then you will have some idea about what I mean.
So what additional effects can pain have:
- Activity – for those of you who love the active life pain can significantly reduce your ability to engage in the activities you love.
- Mood – over sustained periods pain can have untold effects on your mental health leading to anxiety and depression in particular
- Fatigue – pain uses large amounts of energy as does your coping mechanism leading to fatigue that over time can become a spiral for further mental health issues.
- Sleep – constant pain can lead to poor quality and in some cases lack of sleep which over sustained periods will affect your mental function, moods, digestion and energy levels.
What are areas of pain management that require help?
- Lower back, neck, shoulder, knee pain
- Sports injury
- Joint degeneration
- Trigeminal neuralgia
- Frozen shoulder
- Carpal tunnel
- Plantar fasciitis
What can you do to help with pain management?
- Lifestyle – addressing the factors that cause the pain in the first place help to reduce and prevent its return. This can be things like posture, lack of activity, overuse or repetitive actions. Getting advice about these potential causative factors can help make sure you have the tools you need to return your physical body to optimum health.
- Diet – In all cases pain relates directly to inflammation, which is the role of the immune system. The birthplace of our immunity is in the digestive system so the diet can have a massive impact on degrees of pain.
- Sleep – Poor sleep quality also directly impacts the levels of inflammation in the body so making sure you have good sleep practices can help reduce pain dramatically. Reduce the use of backlit screens into the evening as they mess with your diurnal rhythm making it harder to go to sleep at a reasonable hour.
- Acupuncture – it’s been proven time and time again that acupuncture has the ability to improve reduce tension, improve blood flow and regulate inflammation and therefore pain (see references below for more information)
- Chinese herbs – different types of pain are treated differently when using Chinese herbs and there is a host of evidence showing the benefits of using them in pain management.
- Nutrition – Making sure your body has the right nutrients to do it’s job means the immune system can be kept in check reducing the intensity and frequency of pain. If your diet has allowed deficiencies in nutrition then supplementation can correct these imbalances.
- Exercise – Having the appropriate exercise regime for your specific situation will ensure you get the best outcomes for pain reduction and elimination as opposed to the shot gun approach which in many cases can make things worse.
- Li, L., Li, N. J., Xin, D. M. & Zhao, L. (2014). Tongbi Zhitong Decotion Combined with Acupuncture Treatment on 60 Patients with Sciatica of Nerve Roots. Chinese Journal of Experimental Traditional Medical Formulae. 20(20).
- Han, C., Sun, Z. R. & Yue, J. H. (2014). Efficacy of Acupuncture Treatment on Nerve Root Sciatica. Liaoning Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 41(2): 324.
- Hoang et al. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012, 12:14. Electro-acupuncture on functional peripheral nerve regeneration in mice: a behavioural study. Ngoc Son Hoang, Chamroeun Sar1 Jean Valmier, Victor Sieso, and Frédérique Scamps.
- Xiong XQ, Li FY & Qian JH. (2014). Acupuncture Combined with Chinese Massage in the Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis. Journal of Clinical Acupuncture and Moxibustion. 30(6).
- American College of Rheumatology Subcommittee on Osteoarthritis Guidelines. Recommendations for the medical management of osteoarthritis of the hip and knee. Arthritis Rheum, 2000, 43: 1905 – 1915.
- Hong, H. P., Wang, T., Xie, Y., Wei, X. E., Wang, J. L., Cao, Y. L. & Zhan, H. S. (2015). Combination therapy of Shi’s acupuncture therapy and oral application of Yishen Juanbi Wan for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis. The Journal of Traditional Chinese Orthopedics and Traumatology. 27(5).
- The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, An International Journal of Comparative Medicine East and West. Efficacy of Electro-Acupuncture in Chronic Plantar Fasciitis: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Wipoo Kumnerddee and Nitsara Pattapong. Volume 40, Issue 06, 2012.
- Sampath P, Bendebba M, Davis JD, Ducker T. Outcome in patients with cervical radiculopathy: prospective, multicenter study with independent clinical review. Spine (Phila Pa 1976), 1999, 24(6): 591-597.