Everyone feels pain at some point in their lives – from a cut finger to healing after an operation. Pain is a tool that your body uses to tell you that something isn’t right – as the injury heals, the pain subsides. Chronic or persistent pain is pain that continues for more than 12 weeks despite medical treatment and has a significant impact on your wellbeing. Chronic pain is persistent as pain signals keep firing in the nervous system.
Chronic pain can start after an injury or accident, but sometimes the cause can never be identified. Chronic pain ranges from mild to severe and comes in various forms from a dull ache to soreness and stiffness.
Chronic pain can also manifest into a loss of energy, mood changes and body weakness. What can start out as an isolated pain can affect the entire body and the quality of life.
With one half of the UK, around 28million adults in constant pain, as our population ages – this number is likely to increase. How the pain is managed is vital to ensure sufferers can have a good quality of life. Over 80% of chronic pain sufferers experience severe depression – with the cost to the UK economy running into billions each year due to low productivity or time off work caused by excessive pain.
To ease the huge impact of chronic pain, management of your condition is essential. Dr Dominic Hegarthy from Biowave, an expert pain consultant, gives his top 5 tips on how to manage chronic pain.
- Our sedentary lifestyle, where we sit for long periods of time in the same position, can cause stress on the body which can lead to chronic back, shoulder and neck pain. To reduce the impact of this make sure your work space is set up correctly. Your eye level should be centred on the computer screen and your chair needs to be ergonomic. This great video can help you make sure your work desk is positioned correctly.
- Gentle exercise can boost natural endorphins and can ease your pain. Most of us are too busy with everyday family life to give our bodies the care it needs – and once we start to suffer with chronic pain, the desire to keep active can reduce further. Check out these simple stretches, which can be done easily in the home to help improve flexibility and reduce muscle stiffness
- Using drug-free pain management devices, like BiowaveGO, can alleviate pain for up to 24hours at a time providng a long term viable way to manage pain – without any risk of becoming addicted to medication.
This revolutionary new device treats pain using electric waves, rather than chemicals. Unlike old-fashioned TENS machines that simply mask pain, BioWave’s high frequency, alternating current system blocks pain at its source for long-lasting relief. Using non-invasive pain relief pads, an active, electrical field forms beneath and surrounding each pad, so pads should be placed directly over the source of your pain. One 30-minute session can provide up to 24 hours pain relief for chronic, acute or post-operative pain. Small enough to fit in your pocket, BioWaveGO can tackle pain discreetly and effectively anytime you need it.
- Meditation and deep breathing exercises can help to ease the symptoms and improve function. Meditation and breathing exercises focus the mind on different parts of the body, which moves tension in muscles. Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) has shown to have positive benefits for people who suffer from chronic pain. Check out these breathing techniques to help reduce pain
- Eating a diet which is rich in anti-inflammatory foods e.g. fruits, whole grains and healthy fats, keeps the body strong and has been proven to reduce pain symptoms. Combining a healthy diet with regular exercise can support a pain management program. Healthy living can support positive wellbeing which reduces stress on the mind and body. Fatigue, which is very common with chronic pain, is debilitating and can exacerbate chronic pain.