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Category: Chronic Pain

How do you manage chronic pain

How Do You Manage Chronic Pain?

You got a small paper cut, put on some ointment and a bandage, and never gave it a second thought. Why? Because you knew the cause and that the pain would eventually subside. But what if you experience pain without injury or illness, and it lingers for months or years? How do you manage that pain? 

What is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is discomfort that lingers for more than three months. It can be pervasive, or it may start and stop. Chronic pain can occur anywhere in your body.

Chronic pain can interfere with your daily activities, such as working, having a social life, and taking care of yourself or others. It can lead to depression, anxiety, and trouble sleeping, making your pain worse. This response creates a cycle that’s difficult to break.”

Types of Chronic Pain

If you suffer from chronic pain symptoms, some of them can be managed with ketamine. They include headaches, post-surgical pain, pain after trauma, low back pain, cancer, arthritis pain, pain resulting from nerve damage, and pain not derived from disease, injury, or nerve impairment.

According to some estimates, more than 1.5 billion people globally experience chronic pain. It’s the most widespread reason for long-term disability in America, harming about 100 million citizens.

How Do You Manage Chronic Pain?

Some people manage chronic pain in various ways, some recognized by science, some not at all. But before you attempt to manage chronic pain, you need to know the symptoms. Common chronic pain symptoms may include moderate to very severe pain that doesn’t go away as you’d expect following an illness or injury. Everyone has a different experience with pain and different thresholds, but chronic pain is often described as:

  • a dull ache
  • soreness
  • rigidity
  • stinging
  • squeezing
  • pulsing
  • burning
  • shooting

What Causes Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain may be caused by injury, illness, psychological trauma, or something else not easily identified. There also could be an underlying health issue, such as:

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome, where you oftentimes experience intense, protracted tiredness that’s often escorted by pain
  • Endometriosis, which is an excruciating condition that happens if the uterine lining develops outside the uterus
  • Fibromyalgia, which is pervasive discomfort within your bones and muscles
  • Inflammatory bowel disease, a set of conditions that results in painful, chronic swelling in a person’s digestive tract
  • A chronic disorder (interstitial cystitis) characterized by bladder pressure and discomfort
  • Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, where a person suffers from uncomfortable clicking, popping, or jaw locking 
  • Chronic vulva pain happens but as no precise cause

Are There Pain Management Techniques?

Yes, some of which people have used successfully for years to control their chronic pain symptoms. Here are some things to try as needed.

  • Try whole-body stretches, soothing yoga, or tai chi in 10 to 15 minute stretches each day.
  • Follow an activity plan recommended by your healthcare provider to strengthen muscles, better your mood, and take your mind off the pain. 
  • Try passive or progressive muscle relaxation, relaxed breathing, or mindfulness. 
  • Engage in regular planning by balancing daily tasks, leisure, and other duties to foster structure and routine. Be sure to take regular breaks. 
  • Find out what else may worsen the pain. It may be beneficial to treat anxiety and depression to minimize pain and boost your quality of life. Talk with a doctor or therapist if you notice signs of anxiety or depression. 
  • Stay positive and do the things you enjoy, which may take some effort. Finding enjoyable activities has been known to reduce the impacts of pain indicators in the body.
  • Spending time with loved ones and friends in person or remotely can lessen your focus on pain. 
  • Try and get a good night’s sleep.

Final Thoughts

Chronic pain can be confusing and, sometimes, even depressing. By its very nature, but it can also result in other physical and psychological issues that may need treatment. If you suffer from chronic pain symptoms, contact us today to learn more about treatment options for chronic pain.


Chronic pain vs. Neuropathic pain

Chronic Pain Vs. Neuropathic Pain

Everyone thinks they know what pain is, and because it’s subjective, they often do. Some have a higher tolerance for pain than others and can plow through it, while others have more problems with everyday life. However, questions and difficulties arise when discussing chronic versus neuropathic pain, its causes, and how it can be treated.

According to the experts at Beaumont Health, there are five kinds of pain to be aware of.

  • Acute pain is normally short and often related to soft tissue injuries.
  • Chronic pain is more prolonged, lasts several months, and often happens because of a health condition.
  • Neuropathic pain is related to problems with the central nervous system.
  • Nociceptive pain is any discomfort related to damaged body tissue.
  • Radicular pain is related to spinal nerve compression or inflammation.

How Are Chronic & Neuropathic Pain Different or Similar?

Pain means something different to everyone. Everyone reacts to it differently, battling various symptoms unique to their condition as they try to live their lives as best as possible. When looking at chronic and neuropathic pain and deciding how they’re different or similar, let’s start with the obvious.

By its very nature, chronic pain is mysterious and long-term and doesn’t necessarily have an identifiable cause. You may think you know what’s causing your leg pain, but if you broke it years ago and nothing’s shown up on x-rays, why does your limb still hurt after all this time? And is a healed broken bone the cause of such long-lasting discomfort?

Chronic pain is normally much longer in duration than other pain and can be constant, occasional, mild, or severe. For instance, headaches can be regarded as chronic when they persist for many months or years – even in the absence of the pain at a particular moment in time. Chronic pain is often caused by a health condition, like arthritis, fibromyalgia, or a spinal problem.

Precise boundaries limit neuropathic pain. Yes, this kind of pain can encompass your entire body, but it’s always confined to problems with the central nervous system – meaning your brain, spine, and nerves outside of them. So, whereas your healthcare provider may work diligently to understand how your central nervous system was damaged or why it’s not working correctly, there remain deep mysteries about the whys and what not – especially related to the brain. 

One of the key goals of researchers everywhere is fully understanding the brain and chronic pain, outside of the fact they’re intimately related. The brain is responsible for sending pain signals throughout the body. How we perceive pain, so one line of thinking is that if medicine and science can figure out how to rewire the brain – teaching it to process pain differently – we may deal with various kinds of pain more effectively. The same, of course, applies to neuropathic pain.

Another way to think of differences and similarities is this. Neuropathic or nerve pain relates to inflammation, irritation, and other issues with the central nervous system not associated with a physical problem. Nociceptive pain, also considered chronic pain, relates to how your body reacts to physical stress, like a muscle strain or a broken bone. However, in both cases, the pain can be near-debilitating and severely affect the quality of life.

Diagnosis & Treatment

Diagnosing and treating pain from either condition follows similar but different paths.

For nerve pain, you can expect to undergo a:

  • Complete medical examination. This is to document your problem and symptoms when the pain happens and related details. You may also be asked about your personal and family medical history and if you know of any specific causes.
  • The neurological examination involves your healthcare provider checking tendons, muscle strength and tone, how you react to certain sensations, and posture and coordination level.

Diagnosing chronic pain is slightly different. A clinician will inquire about medical history and want as much detail as possible (where the pain is located, intensity on a scale of one to 10, how often it happens, its effect on your quality of life, and other information), and suggest using blood tests, x-rays, and other procedures to uncover the source of your pain.

In either case, the best form of treatment is normally an integrated approach. This may involve physical or occupational therapy, psychological counseling, prescription or over-the-counter pain medicine, self-help strategies, diet and lifestyle changes, and treatment like ketamine therapy.


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How To Deal With Chronic Pain Mentally

Chronic pain is a burden for millions of people regardless of age or gender. It’s a personal burden, harms personal relationships, and directly affects productivity. If you’re suffering from chronic pain, don’t know the cause or how to stop it, help is available.

Chronic Pain Definition

“While acute pain is a normal sensation triggered in the nervous system to alert you to possible injury and the need to take care of yourself, chronic pain is different. Chronic pain persists. Pain signals keep firing in the nervous system for weeks, months, even years.” You could’ve had a mishap – sprained muscle, bad infection, or another cause for pain – arthritis, heart disease, but you could have chronic pain without any of those.

Chronic Pain Symptoms

If you have chronic pain, symptoms may include:

  • Moderate to severe pain that doesn’t go away as anticipated
  • Pain that can be labeled as aching, burning, electrical, or shooting 
  • Mild pain, discomfort, tightness, or stiffness

Chronic pain can affect nearly all segments of your life. Sleep cycle, activity, mood, and energy output can all be unsettled by pain. If you’re fatigued, depressed, out of shape, the pain can worsen and be harder to deal with.

The Cost Of Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a huge burden in the U.S. on medical expenses, lost income and productivity, insurance payouts, and legal charges. But there are other consequences of chronic pain:

  • Lower back pain is a significant health problem resulting in limited activity amongst millions of adults.
  • Pain affects most people suffering from advanced cancer.
  • Arthritis pain affects more than 50 million Americans each year.
  • Chronic headaches routinely affect millions, including migraines, cluster headaches, and tension headaches.

How To Deal With Chronic Pain Mentally

When you suffer from pain – a sprained toe, skinned knee, cut finger, etc. – you often know the cause and how to treat it. The physical discomfort normally goes away, but if it persists and becomes chronic, you could suffer just as much mentally as physically. Chronic pain and mental health have a deep connection, and while some pain can be treated in a conventional manner, how do you deal with it mentally? It can be treated successfully. Here are some tips and strategies for dealing with chronic pain.

  • Manage stress levels. Mental and physical pain are knotted together, and lingering pain can result in higher stress levels. Learning to deal with stress in a healthy manner can help you cope more successfully with chronic pain. A balanced diet, regular sleep cycles, and exercise or other physical activity are positive means to handle stress and discomfort.
  • Talk to yourself fruitfully. Positive thinking can be a powerful tool against depression and chronic pain. Focus on small improvement rather than setting unrealistic goals or becoming preoccupied with perceived failures. 
  • Stay active and involved. Distraction is one way to fight chronic pain, even if it’s only short-term. It also allows you to focus on the positive facets of your life.
  • Join a support group. Finding a group of people who’ve experienced chronic pain and understand what you’re going through is powerful medicine. It means you’re not in this journey alone and can talk with someone who understands your highs and lows.
  • Deep breathing or meditation is widely regarded as a great way to help you relax, which may soothe the pain. Tension and stiffness ooze from muscles when they intercept a quiet message to relax, giving your body exactly what it needs.
  • Boost chronic pain relief with the natural endorphins from exercise. Endorphins are brain chemicals that help improve your mood while also blocking pain signals. Exercise has another pain-reducing effect – it strengthens muscles, helping prevent re-injury and further pain.

Diagnosis & Treatment

In most cases, a medical doctor will diagnose chronic pain symptoms through different tests and diagnostic procedures. This may include an MRI, x-rays, other imaging tests, blood tests, bone density tests, and many others. As part of the diagnosis, you’ll be asked to provide as much detail about your pain as possible – frequency, triggers, intensity. If there aren’t any medical causes for the pain, you may need to see a mental health specialist for a psychiatric evaluation. 

In any case, your healthcare provider will then work to develop a treatment plan, which may include physical or psychotherapy or ketamine infusion.

Final Thoughts

Symptoms of chronic pain shouldn’t be ignored. Even if you think you have a high threshold for pain, chronic discomfort has a way of beating down even the strongest among us. Don’t wait until pain takes control. Contact us today to learn how we can help you find relief with our innovative chronic pain treatment.


When To Speak Up About CRPS

You went in for what seemed to be routine surgery for a broken foot and the prognosis for recovery was good. But now, weeks later, you not only have trouble using your foot, but you’ve noticed swelling, changes in skin color and texture, and other problems. You may have CRPS.

What Is CRPS?

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a brutally disabling condition that normally affects the limbs, after surgery or injury. The main symptoms are swelling, loss of range of motion, severe pain, temperature changes, and fluctuations in the skin. Although CRPS can happen anywhere in the body, it usually affects a leg, an arm, hand, or foot.

CRPS most often happens after a trauma, like an amputation or fracture. It can even happen after something minor, like a sprained ankle. In rare cases, CRPS will happen suddenly, without obvious cause. It’s more likely to happen during times of heightened emotional stress.

Who Does It Affect?

CRPS affects people of all ages, though it usually hits its high point around the age of 40. The condition rarely occurs in children and the elderly and happens more in females than males. According to three studies reported in Sage Journals, “the incidence risk of CRPS in adults is between 3.7% and 14% using the Budapest criteria, with an observation of lower rates in conservatively managed fractures.” Many symptoms are treatable with ketamine therapy.

Talk To Someone About Your Condition

If you suffer constant, severe pain that harms a limb and makes moving or touching that limb seems unbearable, you should see your doctor as quickly as possible. It’s critical to treat CRPS early. You also should speak up if you experience any of the following symptoms of CRPS:

  • Uninterrupted throbbing or burning pain, usually in your arm, hand, leg, or foot
  • Sensitivity to cold or touch
  • Swelling of the affected area
  • Variations in skin temperature — varying between cold and sweaty
  • Variations in skin color, changing from blotchy and white to red or blue
  • Changes in skin texture, with tenderness setting in; shiny or thin in the affected area
  • Changes in nail and hair growth
  • Joint stiffness, damage, and swelling
  • Muscle spasms, weakness, tremors, and loss (atrophy)
  • Reduced ability to move the involved body part

CRPS has three stages, each getting progressively worse. Many of these symptoms are treatable, including with innovative ketamine therapy.

Are There Any Complications?

CRPS can result in complications you should watch for:

  • Your bones, skin, and muscles may start to fade and weaken if you stop or have trouble moving because of stiffness or pain.
  • You also may experience tightening of your muscles, where hands, fingers, or toes contract into a fixed position.

What Are The Causes of CRPS?

It is believed that CRPS happens due to damage to the nervous system. It can happen if the nervous system crashes. In most cases, it is sparked by a trauma or injury including:

  • Fractures
  • Sprains/strains
  • Burns, bruises, or cuts
  • Surgery
  • Trivial procedures, like a needle stick

CPRS affects all ages and is more common in women. It peaks around age 40. It’s uncommon in children and infrequent in the elderly. Some studies indicate that the condition has an “incidence between 5.5 and 26.2 cases per 100,000 people per year. The variation may result from the use of different diagnostic criteria.”


During an examination, a medical doctor will ask about medical history, the location and severity of the pain, and whether it happens at any time. Early on, before any symptoms develop, CRPS is difficult or impossible to diagnose. You may undergo X-Rays, bone scans, and electromyography and nerve conduction studies, and many others.

Treatment Options

Once diagnosed, CRPS can possibly be treated in many ways. Common methods include physical and occupational therapy, ketamine therapy, mirror therapy to trick your brain, desensitization, psychological therapy, and certain medications. Everyone responds differently, and your doctor may recommend more than one kind of treatment, though the decision is always yours.

Ketamine For CRPS

Decades of cutting-edge research with patients suffering a variety of conditions including CRPS have uncovered tantalizing clues that many symptoms – physical and psychological – can be managed with medicine that originated as anesthesia in the 1960s. Ketamine, tested on the battlefields of Vietnam to treat wounded U.S. soldiers, has found therapeutic uses beyond a pre-and post-operative setting and is now widely used to treat chronic regional pain syndrome, depression, bipolar, and other illnesses.

Final Thoughts

CRPS often happens after surgery and can be debilitating if its symptoms are left untreated. While your healthcare provider may recommend medicine and therapy, another possibility is a referral for ketamine therapy. This painless procedure is a possible option for your condition, especially if you suffer through symptoms when other treatment fails.

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What Can I Take For Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is mysterious and often lasts for years. If you experience its symptoms but ignore them because you’re “tough” or think they’re just in your head, you’re doing yourself a grave injustice. Talk to a doctor, get diagnosed – and learn about treating symptoms to regain control of your life.

What is chronic pain?

Chronic pain is long standing pain that persists beyond the usual recovery period or occurs along with a chronic health condition, such as arthritis. Chronic pain may be ‘on’ and ‘off’ or continuous. It may affect people to the point that they can’t work, eat properly, take part in physical activity, or enjoy life. Chronic pain is a major medical condition that can and should be treated.”


Many of its symptoms are treatable with ketamine.

How is chronic pain diagnosed?

If you’re experiencing chronic pain, talk with your doctor or therapist. They may recommend any number of diagnostics and test procedures. Before agreeing to anything, ask your doctor about health risks, and know the benefits of each test. For chronic pain relief, you could be expected to first undergo lab tests, musculoskeletal or neurological exams, imaging tests (magnetic resonance imaging and X-rays), or electrodiagnostic procedures. Diagnosis may also happen after a thorough mental health evaluation.

Who can treat chronic pain?

Besides your primary care doctor or mental health professional, there are a number of experts specializing in pain management whom your doctor may work with on your behalf or refer you to directly for care. These may include:


  • Pain medicine specialists
  • Orthopedic specialists and surgeons
  • Osteopathic doctors
  • Rheumatologists
  • Physiatrists or rehabilitation specialists
  • Physical or occupational therapists
  • Acupuncturists or chiropractors


You also may be referred to a doctor or clinician who specializes in treatment using ketamine.

What can I take for chronic pain?

The best kind of therapy for chronic pain is one you’re comfortable with, doesn’t interfere with other medication or conditions, and has a proven track record of success. Once a doctor has offered a diagnosis, and possibly identified the source of the pain, it may be recommended that you try:


  • Analgesics for pain relief
  • Topical products
  • Antidepressants
  • Exercise
  • Hot or cold patches
  • Massage therapy or relaxation techniques
  • Various kinds of behavioral and mental health counseling
  • Music, art, or pet therapy


Each of these could work differently over several months, and your doctor may recommend using ketamine to treat chronic pain.

What causes chronic pain?

Chronic pain is different from acute pain. It doesn’t have a known cause, and rarely goes away on its own or with basic care. The original cause may have been an injury or infection. The pain could also result from arthritis or cancer. This underscores the importance of diagnosis.

Who does chronic pain affect?

According to the National Health Interview Survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention:


  • In 2019, 20.4% of U.S. adults experienced chronic pain and 7.4% of adults suffered chronic pain which regularly restricted life or work activities (this is called high impact chronic pain) in the previous 3 months.
  • Chronic pain and high-impact chronic pain went up with age and were most prevalent among adults 65-years old and older.
  • Non-Hispanic white adults (23.6%) were more likely to have chronic pain compared with non-Hispanic black (19.3%), Hispanic (13.0%), and non-Hispanic Asian (6.8%) adults.”
  • The survey also showed that the percentage of adults who experienced chronic pain and high-impact chronic pain went up as wherever they resided became more rural.


Chronic pain isn’t just a U.S. problem, but a global health risk. According to Boston University and the CDC, an estimated 1.5 billion people experience chronic pain symptoms annually.

The prognosis for chronic pain

Many people experiencing chronic pain can be helped if they recognize the causes and the numerous and different steps which can be taken to negate what chronic pain has done. Scientists believe that innovations in neuroscience can lead to more and improved treatments for chronic pain in the years ahead.

Ketamine for chronic pain

Ketamine has been around for more than 60 years. During most of that time, it was used as a pre- and post-surgical anesthetic, first gaining acceptance among injured U.S. soldiers in Vietnam. Since then, its psychotropic properties have kicked off numerous studies where doctors and scientists have uncovered evidence that it can treat symptoms of anxiety, depression, other mental illnesses, and chronic pain and other physical ailments. Ask your doctor if it’s right for you.

Final thoughts

Ketamine, a prominent anesthetic known across the globe and used for decades, is also a powerful pain reliever. Ketamine is especially useful as a pain treatment because of its unique ability to possibly bring relief to pain symptoms within hours or even minutes, rather than the weeks or months traditional medication can take for some people.


Research into ketamine for mood and pain disorder treatment is still ongoing, but it is believed that ketamine helps foster new connections between synapses and restore damaged nerve connections. This, in essence, rewrites the parts of your brain contributing to your symptoms.


Contact us today to learn more about this innovative new treatment option.


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