Are you living with chronic pain that is affecting your ability to work and enjoy life? There is a lot of misunderstanding and stigma around pain and what causes it, but you don’t have to suffer in silence. Knowing the facts can help to provide relief and allow family and friends to better understand your condition. Here are seven facts to read and share:
#1: You are not alone.
Chronic pain is a very common problem. 100 million people in the United States alone suffer from chronic pain, according to the American Academy of Pain Medicine. In fact, pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined.
#2: Chronic pain can be caused by a wide range of diseases, conditions, and injuries.
Chronic pain can include low back pain, headaches, or arthritis, or it can occur after a surgery. It can be caused by diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, sciatica, cancer, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. While chronic pain is a symptom and not a disease in and of itself, it can still be disabling.
#3: You may have trouble with everyday activities.
It can be very difficult to take care of yourself when pain affects tasks like getting up in the morning, showering, and dressing. Even finding clothing that is comfortable enough can be a challenge. Chronic pain can interfere with your ability to do your job, perform household chores, be intimate with your partner, or get a good night’s sleep.
#4: Your loved ones and friends may not understand.
Because chronic pain is inside your body and not immediately visible, people may doubt you, become impatient, or say it’s “all in your head.” Learning more about chronic pain and its debilitating effects can help others understand what you’re going through. Share resources like this article or link to the American Chronic Pain Association’s website to educate your friends and family.
#5: Chronic pain can be diagnosed and treated.
Chronic pain can be hard to diagnose, but many doctors now define chronic pain as physical distress that lasts for six months or more. Your doctor may also check for evidence of any disease that could be the source of ongoing pain.
Many treatments are available that can help improve your quality of life. There are a wide variety of pain relief medications, both prescription and over-the-counter. Other approaches include physical therapy, wearable and implanted devices, surgery, massage therapy, psychological therapy, relaxation exercises, and physical exercise. Each therapy can be effective on its own, but since each patient is different, it might be necessary to combine multiple therapies to get the relief you need.
#6: Support and information is available.
It is important to consult with a doctor about your chronic pain. He or she may be able to offer new treatment options you are not yet aware of. Having an honest conversation with your health care provider is an important first step toward getting relief.
Visit the American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) website and share the information with your family and friends. The ACPA provides resources and pain management tools that can help you experience a better quality of life.
#7: It may qualify you for Social Security Disability benefits.
If you or someone you love is unable to work because of chronic pain, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. Please contact us today for a free consultation. Call 800-773-1300 or fill out this form for a free evaluation of benefits: