When the Pain Won’t Stop
If your back pain or neck pain has persisted despite a variety of treatments, and maybe even after spine surgery, you may feel frustrated and miserable. Pain can be exhausting and cruel, making it hard for you to function or enjoy even the simplest of life’s offerings.
It’s easy to accept that good can come out of suffering—unless you’re the one who’s suffering. It’s much harder to praise God when the pain won’t stop.
All pain is real
People with chronic back pain or neck pain are often treated as if their pain is either completely fabricated or greatly exaggerated. Friends, family, and co-workers may have a hard time believing you are in pain, since to them you look fine on the outside. Even doctors may make patients feel that the pain is all in their head. This is due to the fact that, in many cases, the physician cannot find an anatomical reason that explains this type of chronic pain. Ironically, chronic benign pain is probably among the most common of the chronic pain types.
The pain itself needs to be treated
Many patients with no clear anatomical reason for their back pain have been told that there are no more treatment options and they need to “live with it.” Other patients find that even after the original injury is treated, they are still in pain.
Fortunately, there is an emerging acceptance among the medical community that if pain is not stemming from an clearly established injury or disease, then the pain itself is the primary pathology and deserves to be the focus of treatment.
When pain just won’t go away
All eye care providers know dry eye signs and symptoms do not correlate. Patients reporting dryness, burning, itching, fluctuating vision and even redness could be diagnosed with any number of conditions, including allergic conjunctivitis; blepharitis; eye misalignment issues such as convergence insufficiency and vertical imbalance; epithelial basement membrane dystrophy; giant papillary conjunctivitis; conjunctivochalasis; and conjunctival concretions, to name only a few. Fortunately, point-of-care tests such as osmolarity and inflammatory markers may help you make the differential diagnosis.
Pain is a unique and personal experience
Everyone experiences and expresses pain differently. Two people with the exact same injury will feel and show their back pain in unique ways depending on a number of factors. The newest theories of pain can now explain, on a physiological level, how and why people experience pain differently.
Chronic pain is different than acute pain
Chronic non-cancer pain does not serve a biologic or protective function like acute pain does.
With acute pain, the severity of pain directly correlates to the amount of damage, thus providing you with a protective reflex (e.g. to immediately remove your hand if you touch a hot iron). Acute pain is a symptom of injured or diseased tissue, and after the underlying injury is healed then your pain goes away.
Multiple treatment options are available for spine pain
The first step to treating your chronic non-cancer pain is to find a great physician with special skill in this area. Talk to your family and friends, and conduct research on the Internet to find a doctor who has helped other people in a situation similar to yours. The great news is that there are many treatment options to help you with your pain. As you search for what works for you, keep in mind that you may have to try several different treatments. The frustrating fact with chronic back and neck pain is that what works for some people won’t work for others.