Pain in bones, joints and muscles consistently ranks among the top five most common reasons for all healthcare visits in the US.
According to a recent literature review, chronic pain - which is pain that persists beyond the expected period of healing - affects the health of 100 million Americans every year and up to 80 percent of Americans overall at some point in their lives.
Given its widespread prevalence and the profound implications for healthcare costs and lost productivity, there is clearly a need for proper diagnosis and care of chronic pain.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) - the most commonly prescribed medications for chronic pain - are surprisingly ineffective in many scenarios. On the other hand, antidepressants and anticonvulsants seem to be remarkably effective in many instances of chronic bone and joint pain.
These are some of the ways health experts recommend you manage chronic pain in your daily life:
- Use safety precautions and common sense when performing everyday activities like driving, fitness routines such weightlifting or workplace routines like operating heavy machinery.
- Avoid tobacco use; control diabetes and any other health issues you may have to reduce your risk of developing chronic pain.
- Treat mood disorders such as depression or anxiety appropriately and on time.
- Vist your healthcare giver to understand the underlying source of your pain. Most chronic pain cases are related to slow, degenerative joint processes, nerve impingement, compression or damage.
Healthcare experts believe that better cooperation and information sharing between physicians and patients can point the way to the right therapy, which can be tailored to suit each individual patient’s needs.
Source: Managing Chronic Bone and Joint Pain.