Over 10 million people in the US have daily pain.

Just because someone looks like they are not sick, not all disabilities are seen on the outside.

CAUSES of Pain

pain is entirely unique to each one of us and so is the treatment from one patient to another. One

treatment that works well for one individual may not work for someone else. People with pain often go

through a long process of tests to identify what is causing their pain. Frustration is certainly part of

trying to find the cause and what therapy option is going to work or not work for you, don’t give up.

You must remember that everyone is different and what works for one may not work for you so try all

therapies offered to you, do your homework and understand what is causing your pain. Usually a

multidisciplinary approach is the best, chronic pain causes other things to be off so treating mind body

and spirt seem to help the most.





There are many factors that can increase your risk of chronic pain. These factors can be environmental

or biological, and include but not limited to:

Genetics

Increased age

Being female

Having surgery

Being overweight or obese

Stress or mood disorders

Previous trauma

DIAGNOSIS

Doctors typically will do diagnostic tests to determine the cause of the pain, and to identify appropriate

treatments. Doctors also rely on the patient’s report of his or her pain and when it started for diagnosis,

which is why mutual respect and trust is essential. Some of the diagnostic tests that doctors may use to

determine where the pain is coming from include but are not limited to:

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Blood work

Imaging, such as MRI, X-rays, CT scans, ultrasound

Diagnostic injections

Electromyography (used to assess muscle health and function)

EMG-Nerve conduction testing (used to assess nerve health and function)

Neurological assessments

Mobility and strength assessments

Genetic testing


Accurate diagnosis is vital to effective treatment. Your type of pain will usually determine which

diagnostic tools are right for you.

PAINFUL DISEASES

 ​Chronic Pancreatitis

Sarcoidosis

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Arachnoiditis

Dermatomyositis

Multiple Sclerosis ​

Degenerative Disc Disease


Sickle Cell Anemia​​

Chiari Malformation

Gastroparesis

Veteran Wounds/Injuries

Endometriosis

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Fibromyalgia

​Crohn's ​​​​​


Interstitial Cystitis

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Lupus​​


Trigeminal Neuralgia​

Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome

Chronic Addiction and Other Co-Morbidities


Theses are just some of the painful diseases that people deal with.

TREATMENT OPTIONS

While an experienced pain specialist will have a lot of suggestions for treatment, it’s important to

educate yourself on the various strategies and techniques available for pain relief. The list of treatment

options in the next section is a great place to start. Keep in mind, too, that researchers are always

making headway in discovering new treatments. Don’t lose hope!


Here is a list of treatment options for pain by category. There are many things you can do to help your

pain, keeping an open mind and trying new things is part of it. Things that you wouldn’t usually think of

can often help.

Diet and nutrition

This is important because what you are putting into your body helps the body heal. You want to stay

away from processed foods and sugary foods as much as possible. There are also a long list of foods that

help with inflammation such as Ginger and Turmeric. The healthier you try and keep your body in the

better off you will be, this means you should try and stay moving even if you cant go to the gym and

work out try and take a walk every day.

Chronic pain patients fight for the right to take FDA  approved medications ( opiates ).

Self-management techniques-

A lot of pain patients have a hard time with this category, but it is very important to keep moving and

keep a good out look. These may not or may help the pain directly but by staying in a positive mindset it

will offset depression that can go along with chronic pain. Please keep an open mind and stay in the

moment when trying these.

Diet and nutrition

This is important because what you are putting into your body helps the body heal. You want to stay

away from processed foods and sugary foods as much as possible. There are also a long list of foods that

help with inflammation such as Ginger and Turmeric. The healthier you try and keep your body in the

better off you will be, this means you should try and stay moving even if you cant go to the gym and

work out try and take a walk every day.


A thoughtful, balanced diet is key to maintaining a healthy weight and getting important nutrients that

support your overall wellbeing. Some people find that certain types of diets lessen their pain, such as an

anti-inflammatory diet; a vegetarian or vegan diet; a paleo diet; a gluten-free diet; and so on. Explore

different diets to find out what works for you!


Regardless of whether you follow a specific set of guidelines surrounding food, here are some key

principals that hold true:


Eat as many fresh vegetables and fruits as humanly possible.

Limit extremely sugary and processed foods.

Avoid foods with “bad” fats, like trans fats and saturated fats.

Eat more foods that have “good” fats, like fish, avocados, nuts, and olive oil.


Stay hydrated. The Institute of Medicine recommends7 liters (15 cups) for the average adult male and

2.7 liters (11 cups) for the average adult female.

If you’re interested in extra help with your diet, consider meeting with a licensed nutritionist.

Self-management techniques-

A lot of pain patients have a hard time with this category, but it is very important to keep moving and

keep a good out look. These may not or may help the pain directly but by staying in a positive mindset it

will offset depression that can go along with chronic pain. Please keep an open mind and stay in the

moment when trying these.

Exercise and strengthening programs

Meditation and mindfulness

Sleep

hygiene

Support groups

Stress reduction techniques, including visualization or body scanning

Stretching and mobility programs

Restorative therapies

Complementary and alternative medicine.

Mind-body approaches

Acceptance and commitment therapy

Biofeedback or neurofeedback

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Group therapy

Meditation and mindfulness

Psychiatric care

Stress reduction techniques

Support groups

Talk therapy

Virtual reality technology


As a pain patient myself I know I feel better when I take a shower and get in the sun rather then not

taking a shower and sitting around feeding into negativity.

Sleep

An estimated 50 percent to percent of people with chronic pain have ongoing sleep difficulties.[1]

Studies show that inadequate sleep, however, can exacerbate pain.[2] Here are some tips for ensuring

you get a good night’s rest despite pain.


Establish a routine.Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day—even on the

weekends—reinforces the natural sleep-wake cycle in your body. You can also help reinforce bedtime by

establishing a wind-down routine, e.g. by taking a bath, meditating, reading or listening to soothing

music.

Create a restful environment. Turn on white noise, use ear plugs, invest in comfortable bedding, and

keep the room temperature cool. Exposure to light is especially important: dim or turn off the lights in

your house 30 to 60 minutes before going to bed. The light from cell phone and TV screens can also

interfere with circadian rhythms, so shut down all devices as you prepare for bed.

Watch what you eat and drink. Caffeinated products—like tea or coffee, chocolate—anything containing

nicotine, or any other stimulants should be avoided for at least four to six hours before you plan to go to

sleep. Even alcohol, which initially makes you feel tired, makes it harder to get high-quality sleepy.

Furthermore, heavy meals and too many fluids before bed might keep you up because you are

uncomfortable or need to use the bathroom.

Get tired! Napping during the day can interfere with sleep at night. If you must, limit your snooze to 30

minutes, and give yourself at least four hours between the nap and bedtime. In addition, exercising

during the day helps tire out your body and can foster better sleep at night. Try to work out at least a

few hours before bed, if possible.

Still struggling? Ask your doctor about meeting with a sleep specialist.

REDUCE STRESS

Pain increases stress, and stress increases pain. But you can break this cycle by proactively trying to

reduce stress wherever possible. Multiple studies have shown that reducing stress and relaxation

techniques can improve overall health and well being, and may even reduce pain or improve the

perception of pain.


Some examples of stress reduction techniques and strategies include:


Meditation

Relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, visual imagery, and

mindfulness

Music, art or dance therapy

Journaling

Exercise

Support groups

Counseling and cognitive behavioral therapy

Generally speaking, reducing stress with chronic pain also requires:


Pacing yourself to allow for sufficient rest and recovery;

Learning to say no and putting your health first;

Focusing on the things you can do and not what you can’t;

Communicating clearly with your loved ones about your needs and challenges;

Letting go of guilt and shame surrounding pain.

Chronic pain hurts, but suffering is optional. For more advice on managing stress when you have pain,

find a psychologist, counselor or life coach in your area.

Chronic pain patients tend to have Brain fog due to the lack of sleep due to pain.

EXERCISE

As difficult as it is to get yourself moving when you have chronic pain, it’s also extremely important.

Here are four key reasons to get moving.


Maintaining a healthy weight. Excess body weight puts extra strain on your joints, muscles and organs.

Cardiovascular health. Too little activity can result in disabling cardiovascular conditions, from

orthostatic intolerance to heart disease. Your body already has enough to deal with with chronic pain –

don’t add heart, circulation, and lung problems to the list!

Strength, flexibility, and stamina. Chronic pain can negatively impact your strength, flexibility, and

stamina, which in turn increase your pain and level of disability.


Endorphins! Aerobic exercise produces endorphins, the feel-good chemicals that act as your body’s

natural painkillers.

Start small and increase the intensity of your workout as your body allows. Remember that any exercise

is better than nothing at all; just do the best you can. Here are some ideas for exercise to get you

started:


Yoga or tai chi. Some types of yoga are directly tailored to individuals who have physical limitations. Try

searching for a YouTube video for “Restorative yoga,” or “chair yoga.” Tai chi is also a fabulous, gentle

way to encourage flexibility and stability.


Aquatic exercise. Pool therapy is great for those with musculoskeletal problems. It provides a gentle,

low-impact way to get a workout. You can try your own exercises, find a group class, or a physical

therapist who specializes in designing one-on-one aquatic exercises. Some pools are heated, to make it

even easier on your joints and muscles.


Even a short walk is good! Turn on your headphones and listen to a podcast or audiobook to help

distract and encourage yourself.


Short bursts of cardio. Science has shown that even one minute of all-out exercise has benefits. The key

is to get your heart rate up and your blood bumping. Start small with a few minutes of exercise and build

up slowly. Chronic pain-friendly cardio ideas include using reclining bikes and elliptical machines.


Please note: we recommend checking with a clinician before beginning any exercise program to ensure

it is safe for you.