Pain is a neurological response to internal or external pressure or stress due to injury or illness. Nerve sensitivity varies from person to person, making pain an unfortunately hard to diagnose condition.
As we can only experience our own individual pain responses, physicians have to use their best discretion to relate to your pain symptoms in order to assess your health. By evaluating all of your symptoms, conducting a physical exam and ordering advanced diagnostic scans (if needed), your physician can obtain a more complete understanding of the source and severity of your pain.
Through the results of your initial consultation and diagnostic tests, your doctor will put together a treatment plan to address your pain response. If your injury or ailment is clear and manageable, a series of treatments, rest and pain medications may be enough to mitigate your pain. However, for severe and/or chronic conditions, pain medication may feel like patching a breach in a damn with duct tape.
In order to limit the impact that your pain has on your day-to-day life, you may have to develop your cognitive health to give yourself more tools to manage nagging chronic pain. If left unchecked, pain can go beyond just causing you physical discomfort.
Chronic Pain And Depression
While pain is certainly not going to bring joy to your life, it’s also extremely common for people of all walks of life. When pain is so severe, or chronic, is when you should worry that it can begin to alter your quality of life. Pain that impacts your sleep pattern, energy level and ability to perform your regular daily routine (hobbies, work and social events), has the ability to grate away at your mental health. Whether it’s the social isolation that can accompany a chronic injury or the persistent, severe pain, there is a notable link between chronic pain and depression.
If you are suffering from both depression and pain, not only will both of these conditions be individually challenging, but both can compound upon one another. Depression will make it that much more difficult to perform the self-care to limit your pain symptoms and pain will add to your physical and mental discomfort.
This makes it imperative to acquire tactics and treatments that can actively improve both conditions simultaneously.
Biofeedback: Training The Mind For Chronic Pain
One extremely promising approach for improving the body’s reaction to pain is Biofeedback. The reason Biofeedback is gaining so much traction is that it is a training approach, that relies on the patient’s own cognition to minimize the impact of the body’s pain response.
The biofeedback process can present as a meditative (guided or unguided) training to slow down your breathing, heart rate and overall stress level, or a computerized feedback approach.
Computerized biofeedback involves attaching sensors to the body that are connected to a monitor that will register feedback to the body’s reaction to different stimulus. When patients can watch their bodies’ pain responses through biofeedback, they can then train themselves to cognitively control their response to pain.
Counseling Provides Support For Pain Patients
If you identify that your mood begins to lower following a severe sports injury or chronic ailment diagnosis, you shouldn’t ignore the impact that this physical condition can have on your mental health. Accounting for the connection between pain and depression, it’s critical to maintain a consistent touch-point with a medical or psychological expert. This helps you not feel alone with your pain management and provides a powerful resource for tips and information along every point of your recovery.
The teams at Advantage Healthcare Systems are always here to provide you with the multidisciplinary services to help you achieve an improved sense of self. Find the location nearest you to receive an elevated level of treatment and care.