Whether it’s the result of an underlying health condition or an unexpected injury, pain is an undeniable part of life. Because of this, many people have accepted the role chronic pain plays in their day-to-day interactions as unavoidable.
While this is understandable, it can lead these same people to ignore their chronic pain or leave it untreated. Unfortunately, this can have implications on one’s health and quality of life. This is evidenced by these risks of untreated chronic pain you should not ignore.
Pain’s main purpose in our lives is to act as a messenger. If there is something wrong in our bodies, pain sends out the distress signal, informing us to take evasive action. For example, if someone was in an accident and sustained a minor neck injury, muscle soreness would be one’s cue to visit a chiropractor.
Therefore, ignoring pain can mean ignoring warning signs that something is wrong, allowing small health issues to grow into something worse. What was an inconvenient muscle irritation one day can become a debilitating pain the next.
One of the hardest parts of dealing with chronic pain is the way it makes simple tasks more challenging. Climbing stairs, lifting objects, and even walking can become more difficult. This hampered mobility can force patients into a more sedentary lifestyle.
While this can seem merely inconvenient on the surface, it has deeper implications for one’s overall health. Many health conditions are worsened by this kind of lifestyle, such as:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
Dealing with chronic pain allows patients to increase mobility to get the exercise they need to fight underlying health conditions.
Deteriorating Mental Health
A sedentary lifestyle does not only impact one’s physical health. According to a study done in 2018, a sedentary lifestyle is linked to poorer mental health, while increased activity can help reduce mental health problems.
Beyond the decreased mobility caused by the pain, the pain itself can also impact one’s mental wellbeing. Being in pain, especially for long intervals, can trigger problems such as depression and anxiety and can lead to feelings of helplessness and despair in patients.
What To Do About Chronic Pain
Clearly, there are risks associated with untreated chronic pain. But knowing how to address them can be challenging. A few key steps you can take include:
- Seeing a physician
- Seeking out physical therapy
- Making healthful dietary choices
- Balancing rest with physical activity
Taking steps to manage one’s chronic pain is also necessary. Medications, chiropractic treatments, and hot and cold therapy are all effective. In addition, utilizing a TENS therapy machine is also highly effective in reducing chronic pain symptoms.