Chronic pain is defined as persistent pain that lasts for weeks, months, or years. It is one of the most common conditions found by healthcare professionals, especially in older patients. Chronic pain can come from one initial cause, like an injury or serious infection, or from an ongoing cause, like arthritis or cancer. However, some people also experience chronic pain without any known cause at all.
Chronic pain affects more than 100 million people in the United States. It affects every aspect of an individual’s daily life. Pain can disrupt an individual’s work and normal daily activities like sleep, causing stress, weariness, and emotional turmoil. Not only does pain have physical effects on the body, but it also impacts everyday living, relationships, and overall quality of life. It is a major medical and social issue, affecting the quality of life of individual patients, their friends and families, the workforce, and society in general.
Sometimes, chronic pain doesn’t go away and may stay with us for life long. That is why preventing and treating chronic pain are so important. Some chronic pain can be prevented through a healthy lifestyle. For example, exercise can help maintain muscle strength and prevent back pain.
Treatments for chronic pain focus on symptom relief and physical rehabilitation. Some treatments include physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, and heat and cold treatments. Medications can also be used to treat chronic pain, such as over-the-counter pain relievers. In more severe cases, opioid medications may be used; however, these medications have a higher potential for addiction and dangerous side effects.
Because chronic pain can also affect mental health, there are various treatments available for emotional support. Some of these include individual and group therapy, meditation, stress management techniques, and others.
At CCACC, we are committed to helping spread awareness about chronic pain and combating it. With support from Maryland Community Health Resource Commission, CCACC has developed a No Pain Initiative program to address chronic pain. The project provides an integrative approach towards chronic pain management, including increased understanding, knowledge, and skills, optimization of pain medications, psycho-behavioral and mental health interventions, and complementary medicine such as acupuncture treatments and physical therapy.
Participants can understand more about chronic pain and the various treatments by attending health education seminars. They can learn self-management techniques through an online structured program called Chronic Pain Self-Management Program. In this program, patients also learn mental health and coping skills via individual counseling and group discussions. They can receive a psychiatric referral for optimization of their pain medications, as well as acupuncture therapy to decrease pain and minimize or prevent the use of opioid medications.
Call us today for more information: 240-393-5950 (CCACC Pan Asian Volunteer Health Clinic)
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