There are many people who believe that as they age, chronic pain is inevitable. They believe that it’s normal to wake up every morning in constant pain for the rest of their lives. They have convinced themselves that’s simply “the way that it is.” This could not be further from the truth. Yes, we agree that over time, occasional aches and pains can be normal, typically occurring in joints like the knees, hips and feet that are used the most often. General wear and tear of our bones can cause them to slowly deteriorate as we age. But when talking about chronic pain, defined as a constant pain felt every day for six months or more, this is not normal for people who are growing older. There are many factors that can affect why you may be feeling chronic pain, none related to age. To manage chronic pain, you must first understand what can contribute to it. There are both triggers and risk factors that can increase your chances for experiencing chronic pain. Chronic pain triggers include:
- Chemical – Pain can be triggered when brain chemicals are not properly suppressing the perception of pain.
- Psychological or Psychogenic – Some psychiatric illnesses, personality traits or emotional issues can increase feelings of pain.
- Neurogenic – Damage to the central nervous system can trigger pain.
Chronic risk factors for pain include:
- Health conditions – Certain health conditions like fibromyalgia, arthritis, diabetes, depression or anxiety, injuries and surgery can increase the risk for chronic pain.
- Diet and lifestyle choices – Poor diet and health habits such as excessive drinking, unhealthy eating habits, lack of sleep and lack of exercise can increase your risk for chronic pain.
- Immune system – An immune system that has difficulty fighting disease can increase your risk for infections that may cause chronic pain.
- Emotional stress – Emotional stress brought on by work, family or relationship issues can lead to chronic pain.
- Smoking – Smoking can stimulate pain and reduce responsiveness to treatment, not allowing your body to heal itself.
To help manage your pain, be sure to drink lots of water, avoid processed foods that can cause inflammation and maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine. If you have been experiencing chronic pain, contact the pain experts at Pain Management and Injury Relief today at (877) 724-6349.