Over 20% of adults in the United States suffer from chronic pain. This can lead to limited mobility, disruptions to your daily activities, and high healthcare bills.
But where is the cutoff between acute pain and chronic pain? How do you know when it’s time to look for professional and specialized help?
Well, there are a few telltale signs that it’s time to seek chronic pain syndrome treatment.
Do you want to know what they are? Keep reading to find out!
Pain Has Been Occurring Long-Term
Chronic pain is pain that is long-term. Generally, if you’ve been experiencing pain for a few weeks or months, it’s time to see a pain specialist.
This doesn’t have to be constant, either. Many people experience pain that comes and goes. Oftentimes, they’ll hold back on seeing a professional because they believe their affliction will go away on its own.
However, this is still considered to be chronic pain, and you should make an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible.
You’ve Recently Sustained an Injury
Sometimes the reason you’re having pain isn’t obvious. If you’ve recently sustained an injury and the pain is not resolving, you should seek care for your pain immediately.
Even a simple fall can cause injuries, especially if you have osteoporosis. Oftentimes, problems can get worse if not treated quickly. So, make sure any underlying injuries are looked at by a professional.
You’re Constantly Taking Over the Counter Medications
What’s the first thing you do when you feel a headache coming on or wake up with back pain? If you’re like most, you probably grab for the over the counter pain medications.
While this is fine to do this occasionally, you should not be relying on over the counter medications to treat chronic pain. About 60,000 Americans are hospitalized every year due to acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol) overdose. In 2016, this even resulted in 360 deaths.
When you see a professional, they can better manage your pain through different types of therapies.
You’ve Tried Natural Remedies with No Luck
People with chronic pain often seek out alternative treatments when over the counter medications aren’t cutting it. This can include things like acupuncture, chiropractic care, massage, and even hypnosis.
These techniques are often used in conjunction with pain medication with great success. But if it seems like you can’t find relief no matter what you try, you should seek help.
A professional can better create a treatment plan for you that combines medication, natural treatments, and even a special anti-inflammatory diet to help manage your pain.
It Affects Your Work Performance
Do you often call out sick because of pain? Or maybe you drag yourself into work only to spend the entire day distracted due to your pain. Your boss may even have pulled you into their office to talk about your performance lately.
If you notice that pain is affecting your work performance, don’t hesitate to seek treatment.
You’re Canceling Plans
Most people look forward to spending time with friends and family. However, if you’re canceling plans or leaving early due to pain, you should consider seeing a professional.
The same is true if you decide to see your loved ones but end up not enjoying yourself because you’re in too much pain. This is another example of how pain can disrupt your daily life, and it’s a sign that you should seek treatment.
You Have Difficulty Sleeping
Sleep is a vital function for humans. This is the body’s chance to repair itself and let you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day.
Not getting enough sleep could result in increased stress, impaired memory, poor mood, and lack of alertness.
When you experience chronic pain, falling and staying asleep can be difficult. You may toss and turn and then find yourself waking up throughout the night because you’re in pain.
Your Range of Motion Is Limited
Do you experience pain every time you turn your head too far to the left or bend over to pick something up? If so, you know how difficult this can make things. In fact, daily tasks like cleaning or shaving your legs can become unbearable.
If you ever experience pain that is disrupting your daily life, see a doctor immediately. With the right treatment, your pain should be managed so you can continue to go about your life as normal.
Your Doctor’s Treatment Isn’t Working
If you’re experiencing pain, your first step will be to see your primary care doctor. They’ll likely put you on prescription medications and give you additional tips to help manage pain.
However, if you’ve been on your doctor’s treatment plan for a few weeks and it isn’t working, you should pay another visit to your doctor. They can refer you to a specialist who will have a greater understanding of your condition.
Depending on your individual situation, they may order tests, try a different medication, or suggest certain therapies to help manage pain or even prevent it completely.
When to Seek Chronic Pain Syndrome Treatment
Don’t settle for a life full of pain. Instead, follow the guide above to help you decide when it’s time to seek chronic pain syndrome treatment.
Are you ready to get help from a team of professionals? Then schedule an appointment today at our pain management center in Rogers.