Pain is the most unpleasant sensation experienced by us. If it is momentary then its fine but if the pain persist trust me folks it ruins your routine life heavily.
Pain is the most common symptom which is experienced by all of us at various points of time in life. With the increasing lifestyle modifications and with the introduction of latest technologies the human body is very much exposed to disorders and diseases. Pain is probably the first symptom which most of the disorders exhibit.
Can you imagine the most common reason for people consulting physicians in America is pain!
America is known as the hub of pain because around 83 million people are living with pain that affects their routine lives. Besides this the Asian countries are also facing pain problems due to the latest lifestyle modes these days. Pain in itself is such a distressing symptom that it affects the general well being of the person.
The statistics state that this decade is known to be as a “Decade of pain relief and research” owing to its high prevalence.
Pain is defined as an unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony.
The word pain comes from the Latin word “poena” which means a fine or a penalty.
Lack of concentration, sleeplessness, anxiety, irritability, stress are all the feelings associated with pain. It not only affects the day to day life of the person but is a major hurdle in the professional lives, personal lives, and social lives and destroys the basic harmony of the person as the whole.
Pain can be of two types namely acute and chronic. Acute pain is of shorter duration, has an identifiable pathology and the prognosis for the same is known. I know when I hurt my knee; the pain will last for few days and will go once my knee is healed. The cause of concern is usually the chronic pain which is long standing, has no identifiable cause and the prognosis is unsure.
Chronic pain is a real trouble maker because it is tedious to find out the cause. It may be due to some functional disorders, some syndrome or some deficiency which is difficult to track and which takes time to heal even when tracked.
1. Pain is more prevalent in the younger age groups and older age groups. The basic reason behind this is that these two groups show more aggressive response to pain.
2. Women are more vulnerable to pain than men.
3. People who are weak emotionally are more prone to experience pain. For example those suffering from depression, anxiety disorders are the ones who experience pain most of the time.
4.Smokers experience more pain on account of nicotine intake. Nicotine affects the course of pain medication thereby giving less relief to them.
5. Childhood trauma and injuries have an effect on the person thereby making them prone to pain in adulthood.
6. Pain is felt more during the winter seasons.
7. Lack of sleep causes aggravated feelings of pain.
8. Hysterics can feel pain anytime and anywhere.
9. People with less of immunity feel more pain on account of frequent infections.
Why is pain important?
Pain is a very important sensation which helps us know the internal or external suffering of the body. With pain you get to realize that there is something definitely wrong in our body and which needs to be rectified.
Its unpleasantness is a blessing in disguise because if we had no symptoms like pain we would never realize the internal disorders of the body. Therefore pain is important as it signals us to take care and amend our body at the right time so that it is prevented from further damage.
How can pain be treated?
Pain can be treated by medications as well as pain therapy.
Medications for pain include:
- Pain killers.
- Anti convulsant drugs. These are used for management of chronic pain these days.
- Local anesthetics.
- Anti depressants are used to relieve pain as it is often observed that people in depression complain more of pain.
- Muscle relaxants.
To bring to your notice taking a pain killer is simple for once but with chronic long standing pain, the pain killer will alleviate your pain for some time and at the same time will affect your kidneys dramatically.
The above stated medications cannot be taken for long on account of the various side effects.
One more good option for pain is pain therapy which is rapidly gaining ground these days.
I, Dr. Ankita will take you through a very interesting aspect of pain therapy so that the next time you feel that pain you know what to do about it.
Pain therapy is a therapeutic approach to treat pain of any type. It involves using of other alternative branches of medicine. There is a huge variety of alternative natural therapies to cure pain which can be used solely or in combination to get relief from pain.
This therapy ensures the cure of person on all planes of life that is mental, physical, spiritual and psychological. Its aim is to take the person from the disease to health. Its aim is to treat as the person a whole and not only a single manifestation of disease.
Let’s move on to see what the goal of pain therapy is:
1. It minimizes the pain effectively.
2. It promises a better lifestyle.
3. It helps in proper functioning of body.
4. Rejuvenation by achieving peace of mind and making the person distress free and calm.
5. It improves the ability to perform well at professional front, social front, familial front and thereby improving the day to day lifestyle of people.
6. It helps in increasing pain tolerance.
7. It also helps in better understanding of pain including its causes, triggering factors, how to handle it in crises and how to cope up with emotional and physical distress when in pain.
8. Pain control techniques are taught so that the persons suffering from chronic pain can deal with it properly.
9. Judicious use of medicines is suggested so that there are minimum side effects.
10. A regime is designed for you on an holistic approach to relieve from your distress.
Before the therapy:
1. A complete evaluation of your pain, including its origin, duration, character and nature is defined so as the pain therapists knows in depth about it.
2. The diagnostic tests are performed beforehand if the cause is unknown.
3. The extent to which the pain has hampered your day to day lifestyle is noted.
During the therapy:
1. This is the phase when various approaches to deal with pain are been used.
2. Inclusion of injections and spinal cord treatments may be done to relieve pain.
3. Physiotherapists are consulted for effective pain management.
4. The pain triggers are studied and patient is recommended to avoid them.
5. The therapy will ensure that your ability to function and move well is returned back so that you can start your daily chores again.
6. A counselor is also included to deal with symptoms of anxiety, depression, and nervousness in times of constant pain. Pain can alter one’s attitude and make that person irritable, sleepless and cause problems in relations. Thus this can be dealt well with the help of psychologists or counselor who can teach him relaxation techniques.
7. Energy psychology also comes into picture to relax the mind and body with techniques like yoga, meditation, reiki, pranic healing to name a few.
8. Stress management techniques are taught so that it adds to the feeling of well being and health.
9. A healthy diet program is designed because many a time’s food rich in nutrition helps in coping up with pain. Besides this if deficiency is the cause of pain, it can be dealt with proper nutrition only.
10. An exercise schedule will be given which will act as essential aid in maintaining good health.
After the therapy:
1. Follow ups are essential to check whether the recommended measures are being followed or not.
2. Maintaining a stress free lifestyle with proper diet and exercise is mandatory to keep pain at a bay.
3. Patient as a whole is benefited owing to the holistic approach of this therapy.
What pain therapy includes:
Pain therapy may include all the various therapies which can be used for reducing pain. Some of them are listed below:
1. Physiotherapy which helps in developing, maintaining and restoring a person’s functional abilities.
2. Exercising which includes everything from brisk walking to the exercises of various parts of body to keep it supple.
3. Acupressure and acupuncture: These therapeutic measures work on the principle of stimulating the meridian system in the body by applying pressure on specific points on the body. This is a Traditional Chinese Medicine theory.
While acupressure consists of applying pressure with hands and other instruments, acupuncture uses fine needles to relieve pain.
4. Massage therapy: Medical massage therapy is getting grounds these days as it is been used widely to palliate pain.
Massage therapy relaxes the muscles by reducing the muscle tension, increasing the circulation and thereby improving the suppleness and mobility of the joints of body.
5. Heat therapy: This includes application of heat on the body to get pain relief. It is also known as thermotherapy.
6. Psychotherapy: Effective counseling of the person is required to combat stress, anxiety, sleeplessness on account of pain.
7. Magnetic therapy: This is very useful in subsiding pain as well as swelling of the body.
8. Aromatherapy: This is often used in adjunction to rejuvenate and release stress.
9. Chiropractic treatment : This treatment is a type of spinal adjustment or manipulation which helps in pain relief. The chiropractors manipulate the spinal cord with hands to adjust and realign the vertebra which in turn releases the pressure on nerve thereby giving relief in pain.
10. Tai Chi: This is a traditional Chinese martial arts which is supposed to have numerous health benefits. It helps in fine tuning of body by its slow movement techniques. It helps in gaining inner strength and therefore it is also included in pain therapy.
11. Yoga : It is very effective in managing chronic pain and is a source of physical and mental relaxation. It aims at holistic approach of treatment. It not only relieves pain but also helps in relieving ailments like stress and depression to name a few.
Yoga not only helps in curing chronic pain but is also known to be effective in preventing it in the first place. It helps in gaining strength to the muscles and is very effective in reducing the strain on the muscles.
12. Prayer in pain therapy: The healing power of prayer is been controversial and is yet being studies these days. Studies show that people on prayer recover faster from anything as their outlook is changed from pessimism to optimism.
13. Homeopathy and ayurvedic medications are helpful for relief from pain and since they do not have side effects they can be beneficial for the body.
14. Nutrition and herbs: These can be used to combat pain and also to increase the immunity of the person. By including diets which are rich in energy giving substances the muscles will gain strength and will not ache on account of deficiencies.
Who is a pain therapist?
Pain therapist can be anyone who can manage pain.
Anesthesiologists are gaining ground as pain therapists these days as they have profound knowledge of pain pathways, anatomy and physiology of body and they excel in preventing the sensation of pain.
By clubbing their knowledge anesthesiologist along with a network of counselor, physiotherapists and other alternative therapist’s pain management can be performed well.
The pain therapist should be well searched for his credentials before enrolling for a session.
With this I would like to end this session of pain therapy.
Before taking your leave I would like to highlight on one thing; pain is inevitable but suffering from it is optional. Choose your path towards recovery and that too choose it judiciously. Pain therapy is a boon to get rid of your pains.
Try it and feel the difference!
Author Brief bio: Dr. Ankita Thakker is a practicing Homeopathic Consultant and is specializing in the field of psychology. She is also a Child Health Specialist, Reiki Healer, Acupressure Therapist, Clinical Research Scientist and Medical Coder and is currently working into the field of psychology.