This September, Remember those Suffering Chronic Pain
Life, like it or not, comes with pain. From childhood skinned knees to teenage broken hearts, we tend to rate our day by its presence or absence. Waking up and going to work is a headache. Noisy neighbors are a pain in the neck. Carry too many groceries in one trip and ‘oh, my aching back!’… But according to recent studies, one in five Americans lives with chronic pain and nearly 20 million suffer so badly it interferes with daily life. Relief from chronic pain can become an all-encompassing goal.
If you or someone you love deals with pain like that, don’t add more pills or sit out another event. Consider chiropractic treatment with Dr. Chani Henderson. She’ll work to find the underlying cause and hopefully tailor a solution making each day a little brighter.
Understanding the Severity of Chronic Pain
September is Pain Awareness Month. Organizations like the American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) work with a simple mission “to facilitate peer support, education, and hope for individuals living with pain conditions. We strive to raise awareness among the health care community, policymakers, and the public at large about issues of living with physical and emotional pain.”
Healthline reports “Researchers estimate that 50 million adults in the United States are dealing with chronic pain. Chronic pain causes $80 billion in lost wages every year…Back, hip, knee, and foot distress were the most common sources of pain reported.”
By definition, chronic pain lasts for more than 12 weeks despite medication and/or treatment. The CDC defines it as being “caused by a disease or condition, injury, medical treatment, inflammation, or even an unknown reason.”
Seeking Relief from Chronic Pain
Living this way is more than just limiting. Alcohol and drug abuse are all too common escapes and patients may feel ignored by doctors unable to diagnose the root cause. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) explain that “the experience of pain reaches beyond its physical sensation. The pain circuits in our bodies are built to protect us from harm—for example, moving away from a hot flame, or building long-lasting memories/reflexive actions that prevent injurious behaviors. Simply put, pain circuits have a component that senses injury, and this is integrated in a complex way with circuits for mood, fatigue, reward and many others.”
When added to the fact that “persons suffering with severe chronic pain frequently suffer from multiple medical conditions,” NIH doctors and researchers “are striving to develop more effective treatments for chronic pain that can reduce the suffering of millions of people from all walks of life.”
Raising Awareness for Chronic Pain
For September’s Pain Awareness Month, support organizations are spreading the word through initiatives like #LifeWithPain and #PainCounts. The ACPA’s toolkit stresses raising national awareness and has done so since they started their first Campaign in 2001.
The U.S. Pain Foundation agrees with this passion for advocacy. “Pain is the number one reason that Americans access the health care system, and the leading cause of long-term disability in the United States. Estimates suggest pain costs the nation at least $560-635 billion a year in direct medical costs and lost productivity.”
“And yet,” they continue, “we know very little about the epidemiology of chronic pain, including why acute pain sometimes becomes chronic or how many Americans are living with various causes of chronic pain. Nor do we have much data on what treatments work for the array of conditions that cause pain—and what does not. We also have scant information about the impact of pain on quality of life, especially its long-term effects on mental health, ability to work, and families at large. Without this knowledge, it’s hard to convey the true scope of the problem of chronic pain in America. It’s even more difficult to try to solve it.”
Share Your Story or Take Action to Raise Awareness
This is where everyone can do their part. Tell your story online or forward stories from ACPA’s Facebook page. Every humble hashtag shares the important mission and provides vital hope. And consider looking into—or recommending to a loved one—complementary therapies like chiropractic services with Dr. Henderson.
For new patients, she’ll take a complete history and discuss your concerns during the consultation phase. X-rays and an examination may also be done, as needed. “At the end of your first visit, you will be scheduled for a report of findings visit,” she explains. “This follow-up visit is a second consultation in which I go over the results of your examinations and tests. More importantly, I will also explain exactly what you have and how I can help.” And that’s about as pain-free an experience as you can expect! Contact her office today to get started.