Sensatori Space Cyprus

Decoding Chronic Pain: Understanding the Complexities of Persistent Discomfort

If you’ve ever suffered a painful injury, even if the discomfort only lasted for a short time, you’ll know the toll it can take on your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

Pain has a way of depleting our energy, leaving us feeling miserable and robbing us of any joy and patience until our bodies begin to heal, and then life goes back to feeling the way it once did.

However, for some people, the intense discomfort they feel in their bodies doesn’t go away.

In fact, it may worsen, leading to chronic pain syndrome, a condition where an individual experiences physical pain that lasts for months or years even after their body heals.

2016 study revealed that chronic pain impacts around one-third of UK citizens, with figures set to increase due to an ageing population.

Fortunately, there is a silver lining for chronic pain sufferers.

For example, medical research shows that those with chronic pain syndrome significantly benefit from a thorough diagnosis and personalised treatment plan from their physician or health provider.

A combination of the following treatments are usually recommended for chronic pain sufferers:

  • Healthy lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise
  • Nerve stimulation therapy
  • Physiotherapy or physical therapy
  • Natural therapies such as medical marijuana
  • Chiropractic care and treatment
  • Medication to relieve your pain
  • Nerve block treatment to interrupt specific pain signals
  • Psychological therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to help you manage your physical symptoms

This article explores the complexities of persistent discomfort.

In the meantime, if you or a loved one suffers from chronic pain syndrome and would like to explore ways that you can learn to cope with your condition, the Sensatori Space team is here to help.

We provide various psychological therapies to individuals with a wide range of physical and mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, trauma, and chronic pain, such as:

While psychological therapies may not take away your physical pain, studies have shown the effectiveness of mental health treatment on chronic pain sufferers’ mood and well-being, so these therapies are worth exploring.

Contact our friendly team at our recovery centre in Cyprus to learn more about our mental health treatment programs.

We will happily discuss your options and develop a personalised treatment plan to suit your unique needs and preferences.

Help and support are just a phone call away.

Decoding chronic pain: Understanding the complexities of persistent discomfort

It’s vital to consider the whole picture, not just the physical presentations of an injury or disease.

Lorimer Mosley, a prominent researcher and pain scientist, is renowned for his phenomenal work in chronic pain.

Mosley explains the significance of chronic pain as:

“A complex and multifaceted experience influenced by biological, psychological and social factors.”

The above illustration denotes the importance of a holistic approach to chronic pain treatment and recovery, challenging traditional methods of treating pain, such as drugs and physical therapy.

Of course, medication and physical therapy are vital aspects of chronic pain treatment.

However, Mosely’s interpretation of persistent pain warrants a more integrated approach to healing, emphasising the need for psychological therapies and social and community support in the recovery process.

Perhaps Mosley’s most significant contribution to helping us understand and decode chronic pain is his explanation of pain as an output of perceived threat rather than a reflection of tissue damage.

Pain is just our brain’s opinion of what’s happening in the body, meaning intense discomfort doesn’t always signify significant damage to our tissues.

In one of his talks, Lorimer gives a real-life example of a man walking around the casualty department of a local hospital with a sledgehammer sticking out of his right shoulder.

The man appears to be in no pain; he can be seen talking to other patients, cheering them up, and telling them jokes.

Meanwhile, there is a sledgehammer impaled in the top half of his body!

As the gentleman goes to the water cooler to get himself a drink, he accidentally bangs his knee against a wooden table and lets out a loud scream, to which the nurses come running out from behind the station.

‘’Is it your shoulder?’’ asks a concerned nurse.

“No,” replies the gentleman, “I just banged my knee against that table over there, and the pain is killing me!”

Understandably, the nurse is bewildered that a relatively mild injury seemed to cause her patient more significant distress than a sledgehammer to the shoulder!

You may be wondering the same thing.

woman's hands holding a model of the human brain

Moseley explains that if our brains conclude that our muscles are in danger and we should do something about it, then it will hurt.

In the above scenario where our friend bumps his knee against a thick wooden table, his brain has somehow concluded that sending pain signals to the body is the most helpful thing to do.

Pain will jumpstart him into action; perhaps he’ll take medicine for his discomfort or exercise more caution around misplaced furniture!

Either way, the brain sees the relevance of sending these pain signals to the body as a way of protecting him against further physical trauma.

But what about the sledgehammer sticking out of his right shoulder? Why doesn’t the brain appear to be sending out the same signals as it does with his knee? Indeed, he should be doubled over in pain, right?

According to Mosely, in significant injury or tissue damage, the brain concludes that we don’t need to take much action; there’s nothing to protect, as essentially, the damage is done.

“We no longer think of pain as a measure of tissue damage,” explains Mosely. ”It doesn’t actually work that way, even in highly controlled experiments. We now think of pain as a complex and highly sophisticated protective mechanism.”

Moseley’s interpretation goes a long way in helping us decode and understand the complexities of persistent discomfort and pain.

But is there a way to manage chronic pain, and if so, how?

Let’s explore further.

Understanding and managing persistent discomfort and pain

Although research can help us make sense of chronic pain, decoding persistent discomfort is a complex process.

Fortunately, there are various steps we can take to help us understand and manage this condition.

Let’s explore some of them.

1. Identify your triggers

Researchers say that to understand and manage chronic pain, patients must pay attention to what exacerbates and alleviates their discomfort.

You may find it helpful to keep a diary, tracking your emotions, activities, sleep patterns, and diet changes. By keeping a journal, you can recognise potential patterns or triggers that worsen or improve your pain.

Once you understand your triggers, you can practise healthy coping skills and cultivate a more balanced lifestyle to help you avoid or manage potential flare-ups of your condition.

2. Educate yourself

Another way to understand and manage the complexities of persistent discomfort is to educate yourself about chronic pain and its underlying causes.

Working closely with a healthcare professional who can help you understand the specific condition(s) contributing to your pain may be helpful.

It may be that various factors, as well as injury or illness, are involved, such as unresolved trauma, grief, or chronic stress.

Lorimer states that because stress lives in the brain, people with chronic pain often find their discomfort increases the more stressed they become.

Stress is also linked to nerve sensitivity, so you must learn how to manage stress effectively to avoid pain flare-ups and exacerbations.

3. Explore alternative treatments

As well as medication and physical therapy, you may also want to consider complementary and alternative therapies, including:

The above therapies can complement traditional treatment approaches, giving you a more comprehensive approach to chronic pain management and recovery.

4. Cultivate patience and persistence

Living with chronic pain can be profoundly challenging and often requires trial and error when it comes to managing your pain and finding the proper treatment solution for you.

However, you mustn’t lose hope.

You must continue working with your doctor or healthcare professional, who can help you explore various options as you navigate the path to healing and recovery.

Chronic pain symptoms

adult female with muscle pain on gray background. Elderly woman having back body ache due to Piriformis Syndrome, Low Back Pain and Spinal Compression. Office syndrome and medical concept (adult female with muscle pain on gray background. Elderly woma

Symptoms of chronic pain can vary in duration and intensity but typically include the following:

  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Pain in the joints
  • Fatigue
  • Burning pain or sensations
  • Sleep issues
  • Low mood, anxiety, depression and irritability

Causes

Various physical conditions can cause persistent pain and discomfort and are often linked to chronic pain syndrome.

These conditions include:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Back pain
  • Various types of cancer

The bottom line

Persistent discomfort and pain can be challenging to live with, impacting various aspects of your life, including work, family, and social interactions.

However, with the right care, support, and treatment, you can learn to understand your pain and manage it, which is vital to lasting wellness and recovery.

Remember, we can’t separate mind and body; we are unified beings, so treatment approaches for chronic pain syndrome must embody this belief system for individuals to get the ideal outcomes.

Sensatori Space can help

Sensatori Space provides comprehensive, personalised addiction and mental health treatment to clients in Cyprus and the United Kingdom.

Our clinical team treats and diagnoses various emotional and physical conditions.

We use a holistic approach to long-lasting recovery, blending different techniques and modalities to ensure you get the most out of your treatment.

Each team member at Sensatori Space has a highly specialised skill set, and we work collaboratively to empower our clients to improve their quality of life, reduce their pain, and help them regain balance and independence.

Contact our team today to discuss your treatment options and begin living the life you have always imagined but never thought possible.

We are here and ready to help.

Additional resources

  1. Prevalence of chronic pain in the UK: a systematic review and meta-analysis of population studies, National Library of Medicine, A Fayaz, P Croft, R M Langford, L J Donaldson, and G T Jones, 25 May 2016
  2. What Is Chronic Pain Syndrome? Healthline, Donna Christiano, 1 December 2018
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

GET IN TOUCH

We treat all of our clients with the utmost care, dignity and respect. Call now for a totally confidential, no obligation conversation with one of our professionals.

Whether you’re calling for yourself or someone you know, you needn’t suffer alone.

If you or someone you know could benefit from our services please do not hesitate to contact us.

Full_Res_Jpeg
Sensatorispace