Chronic pain sufferers are everywhere. Your coworker, friend, spouse or even you could be tackling each day with the added hindrance of chronic pain. It can deter or prevent you from doing activities you once found pleasure in. It can grab a hold of your day-to-day life and make even the simplest tasks difficult to execute.
Chronic pain doesn’t just affect individuals. According to a recent Institute of Medicine Report, pain costs society at least $560-$635 billion annually. In recent years, physicians and scientists have begun seeing chronic pain as a disease entity, rather than just a symptom of another disease. There is also growing evidence of increasing mortality and morbidity that is associated with uncontrolled chronic pain.
One study in particular used Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to measure the overall brain size in those suffering from chronic pain. The study showed as much as an 11 percent reduction in the overall size of the brain. This significant loss of brain matter exemplifies how detrimental severe chronic pain can be to the human body.
One of the hardest concepts to grasp with chronic pain, is that there is no “cure all” treatment. Everyone experiences pain differently and at a different severity. The goal of practitioners that treat chronic pain is to identify the root cause of the pain and create a comprehensive plan to treat it. Some treatments include medications, acupuncture, massage, chiropractic and psychological regiments.