September is Chronic Pain Awareness Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 50 million American adults live with chronic pain. It’s a physically and emotionally challenging condition, but understanding chronic pain and how to manage and treat your discomfort can improve your overall well-being.  

What is chronic pain?

Chronic pain can occur anywhere in the body and is persistent pain that lasts for three months or longer. It often affects a person’s ability to perform daily activities, including attending school and work. Chronic pain can develop suddenly or may grow more intense with time and can have numerous causes, such as injury or illness. 

People refer to chronic pain as an “invisible disease” because you can’t tell if someone has chronic pain by looking at them, and there are no objective tests to measure or quantify someone’s pain. However, just because you can’t prove you are living with chronic pain doesn’t mean you aren’t suffering or worthy of treatment. 

Tips for managing your chronic pain

Aside from surgery and medication to treat chronic pain, some people find various lifestyle changes or activities helpful in managing their day-to-day discomfort. 

  • Try incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your diet and reducing foods that may lead to inflammation. If your pain is because of inflammation, try eating more anti-inflammatory foods like berries and oily fish. You’ll also want to minimize foods that increase inflammation, which are heavily processed foods high in artificial sugars and trans fats. 
  • Get a massage with a licensed masseuse. Muscle or tendon-related pain may benefit from a massage with a licensed masseuse or massage therapist.
  • Stay active if you can. Some chronic pain may make it difficult to exercise, but finding small ways to move your body daily can help your body from becoming stiff or tight, leading to increased pain levels. If you are doing workouts, ensure you’re properly warming up and cooling down, including static stretches to prevent further discomfort.  
  • Find a care team that specializes in chronic pain. One of the best things you can do for your chronic pain is to find a care team that understands the latest pain treatment and management. A good care team can also help you understand the underlying cause of your pain and work with you to eliminate your discomfort. 

Treating Chronic Pain at Mocek Spine Clinic 

With an increasing number of newer and more complex medications, techniques, and technologies becoming available every year for pain treatment, Dr. Mocek and his staff are uniquely trained and constantly learning to provide patients with pain relief and a chance to regain their lives. 

To learn more about our chronic pain treatments, please call us at 501-224-4001.