There are approximately 1.5 billion chronic pain sufferers in the world. Chronic pain presents a challenge because the way in which a person is treated varies from the cause of pain, the problem is when the root cause of pain is idiopathic, that is to say, of unknown origin. In the United States, over 100 million people are afflicted by chronic pain which is more than cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus and cancer put together.
Some types of chronic pain such as neurogenic pain can last for years, months or weeks without a noticeable cause being discovered and finding the most efficacious way of treating the patient in these cases can be quite cumbersome.
Surprising Catalysts of Pain
The evolutionary reason we experience pain is simply to let our bodies know that something is wrong so pain is something we should be thankful for. Disability is mainly caused by chronic pain, particularly back pain since this affects one’s general mobility. Obviously, pain is not a pleasant thing for anyone to experience especially those involved in physically traumatic events. If your chronic pain’s origin remains a mystery to you, we recommend considering these surprising triggers:
- Emotional Traumatic Experiences
Not everyone is open to the idea that their chronic pain is in their minds but research strongly indicates the release of microglia in stressful situations. Microglia are molecules produced in our central nervous system that release chemicals that cause inflammation. This inflammation is believed to trigger conditions such as depression and of course chronic pain.
- Pain Medication
Long term, pain medication can have adverse effects on one’s pain sensors. After months of using pain medications, many patients describe being relieved of pain by only 70% compared to when they first began taking pain medication. Furthermore, there is a risk of developing hyperalgesia, a heightened sensibility to pain. The cascade effect is that patients increase their medication intake in hopes of completely relieving pain. When alcohol is brought into the picture, the results can be deadly.
- Lack of Sleep
The crucial aspect of sleep is that this is when the body repairs damaged tissue and helps it grow, both important goals when living with chronic pain. In fact, research suggests lack of sleep is a solid prognosticator for pain.
- Insufficient Magnesium
Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that attaches itself to neurons, making the person feel extra sensitive to pain. Magnesium actually blocks glutamate from coupling with neurons, thus preventing one from feeling this extra sensitivity towards pain
- Lyme Disease
The aftermath of infections caused by Borrelia Burgdorferi can leave pain reminiscences throughout the body. If someone has ever suffered from Lyme disease they should know that even after 10 years the lingering effects of Lyme disease can still be contributing to some of the chronic pain. In fact, due to the overlapping symptoms between Lyme disease and other such as, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease to name a few; Lyme disease can imitate other conditions that can further cloud appropriate treatment.
Chronic pain does not always have a glaring cause. Oftentimes, it is due to a combination of factors and not solely the consequence of just one condition. Your medical history will definitely help your healthcare professional in determining the best course of treatment for you.