Chronic Pain Is Very Difficult to Live With – Here’s Why
Pain. That is a word we are all familiar with. We all experience pain from time to time because it is a symptom of something being wrong. But whatever ails us eventually heals up and we move on. That is, most of us do. But there is a segment of the population that consistently lives with pain, day in and day out. These are the chronic pain patients whose lives are more or less dominated by pain management.
CDC data from 2019 suggest that approximately twenty percent of the U.S. adult population experiences chronic pain. Just over seven percent report it being serious enough to limit daily activities. Just in those two statistics alone, you can see that people experience pain differently. Yet that doesn’t necessarily make pain any easier to live with if it’s chronic.
It is also worth noting that chronic pain is defined differently depending on who you ask. For the purposes of their study, the CDC defined it as pain experienced either every day or almost every day for a minimum of three months.
Pain Is Not a Disease
Chronic pain patients have a lot working against them. Their first challenge is the fact that pain is not a disease. It is not an injury. It is not something that can be quantified with a structured test. Pain is a symptom of something else. Not only that, but the activity of a person’s pain receptors also contributes to their perceptions of pain. This is why some people seem to have a higher pain tolerance than others.
The fact that pain is not a disease or injury makes it difficult to convince doctors that a patient’s chronic pain is real. A doctor might perceive that their patient looks and acts quite healthy. They may have ordered a battery of tests and found nothing to attribute the pain too. So in their mind, the patient isn’t really sick. The pain is either made up or the result of some sort of emotional issue.
Pain Is Uncomfortable
Pain is uncomfortable by its nature. It is supposed to be that way. After all, pain acts as a warning that there is something wrong with the body. But for a chronic pain sufferer, the discomfort is ongoing. It is not like the pain hangs around for an hour or two and then subsides. It is constant.
Always being uncomfortable makes life difficult. You find yourself putting a lot of time and energy into finding ways to make yourself more comfortable. You find yourself planning your activities around how uncomfortable they might make you feel. It is a never-ending cycle.
The discomfort of chronic pain explains why. Indeed, according to Utahmarijuana.org, chronic pain is one of the most often cited reasons for using medical cannabis. Chronic pain patients just want to feel better. Most of them are not afraid to try just about anything to accomplish that.
Chronic Pain and Mental Anguish
In addition to discomfort and having to plan one’s entire life around pain management, chronic pain patients also must deal with mental anguish. It’s not unusual for patients to wonder if their pain amounts to a life sentence. And if that’s the case, patients may begin wondering how they will manage to live the rest of their lives in suffering.
It is easy for those of us who don’t experience chronic pain to think little of others’ complaints. It’s easy to assume they should be able to just suck it up and move on. But it is not that easy. Chronic pain is extremely hard to live with. Consider yourself lucky if you have never experienced it.