Chronic pain is relatively common, affecting about 1 in 5 adults in the United States. This condition also has an impact on the families, friends, and acquaintances of people with chronic pain. If you live with someone who has chronic pain, you might already know that this condition can have unpredictable effects from day to day. In observance of pain awareness month, we wanted to share the following facts about the impact of chronic pain.
1. Pain can influence mood.
People with chronic pain are more likely to experience depression than the general population, and when you feel depressed, your pain tolerance may decrease. Depression and chronic pain can become a worsening cycle.
2. Pain can interfere with daily activities.
People in chronic pain often struggle to complete daily tasks – even simple actions, like getting out of bed or getting dressed. When pain is at its worst, a person may avoid doing much of anything, which can lead to weakness, joint stiffness, and an increased risk of falls or other health consequences associated with sedentary behavior. It can be difficult to strike a balance between a healthy amount of physical activity and rest.
3. A person in pain may downplay how much it affects them.
People may try to hide how much pain they have or how significantly it affects them. They may feel like a burden on loved ones, or feel embarrassed by how little control they have over their pain. The problem with ignoring or downplaying pain is that it could delay appropriate treatment and cause even more pain in the long run.
4. They may need encouragement to seek help.
If your loved one has chronic pain, let them know you’re prepared to help them find treatment from a provider who will listen to their concerns. You want to find a doctor who understands how to treat the underlying causes of chronic pain, rather than simply treat the symptoms.
At Integrated Pain Solutions, we understand the challenges of living with chronic pain. Please call us to make an appointment: (614) 383-6450.