Chronic pain is a very common condition and one of the main reasons people consider spine surgery, yet it remains one of the most widely misunderstood and under-treated diagnoses. In some cases, the cause of an individual’s pain can be attributed to one disease or another, but oftentimes, the source of the discomfort remains a mystery. Understanding the components that are involved in chronic pain is one of the first steps toward understanding it and handling it effectively.
Many patients’ symptoms are dismissed by their family members and healthcare providers when the results of their diagnostic tests are negative. Individuals may be accused of feigning illness or overreacting when, in fact, they are experiencing real discomfort. More and more practitioners are discovering that chronic pain stems from physical conditions that are, for now, undetectable by current technologies.
Most board-certified back doctors treat pain by targeting its source, but when the origin of discomfort is ambiguous or unknown, managing symptoms can become a challenge. Often, using a holistic approach and combining relaxation techniques, distraction, and other psychological methods with traditional treatments that focus on nerve analgesia can help many people find relief. Patients who connect with others who are struggling with the same problems can benefit from attending organized meetings or by joining online groups. Sharing with people who are in the same predicament can offer an emotional boost and allow patients to share coping strategies with each other.
Individuals who live day to day with little or no relief from their pain are at risk for developing other serious health issues. Insomnia can become a problem when discomfort keeps a person up at night, and the exhaustion that follows the next day can make coping an even bigger challenge. Facing each day knowing that discomfort will be the dominant theme can cause people to lose hope and put them at risk for falling into despair and depression. Depression itself takes a toll on the body and can exacerbate chronic pain.
If severe chronic pain is disrupting everyday life and conservative spine treatments have failed to provide adequate relief, call The Spine Institute in Beverly Hills at (310) 828-7757. Dr. Hyun Bae and his team of experienced professionals can help determine the root cause of your pain and identify treatment options right for you.