Chronic Pain: Types, Treatment Options And Scientific Breakthroughs

From traditional medicine and natural remedies to fascinating scientific findings and wearable pain relief technology, developing the right pain management plan is the ultimate key to winning the battle.

According to the National Geographic report ‘A World Of Pain’ [1], “Nearly 50 million people in the United States and millions more around the world live with chronic pain. The causes are diverse, from cancer to diabetes to neurological illnesses and other ailments. But they share a common source of suffering: physical agony that disrupts their lives, intermittently or all the time.”

Indeed, if you suffer with chronic pain of any kind, you know how it is: pain puts limitations on what you can and cannot do, prevents you from participating in your favorite activities, and sabotages the overall quality of your life.

Whether you still suffer from a car accident or sports injury or you live with daily pain due to an illness such as arthritis or fibromyalgia, one thing is true for all chronic pain sufferers: Living in pain restricts one’s ability to live life to the fullest.

 

The Problem with Conventional Pain Treatments

Would you trade your pain for other problems? Traditional pain treatments such as prescription medications come with a long list of negative side effects, and many of them are highly addictive.

Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, the author of the National Geographic report “A World of Pain”, explains, “The misuse of opioid pain relievers⁠—which are ideally suited for short-term management of acute pain⁠—has become rampant across the United States. In 2017, an estimated 1.7 million Americans had a substance abuse disorder, stemming from having been prescribed opioids, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Every day in the U.S., about 130 people die from opioid overdoses – a grim statistic that includes deaths from prescription painkillers as well as narcotics like heroin.”

In other words, many heroin addicts and substance abusers have reported that their addiction started with a prescribed pain medication from their family doctor.

The reason why people develop an addiction to opioids such as prescription painkillers Oxycodone and Hydrocodone (Vicodin) is because opioids block both physical and emotional pain. Opioids relieve the sensation of pain while also creating a sensation of euphoria. Due to the risk of addiction and fatal overdoses, opioids should only be prescribed in very severe circumstances, or only when all other options for pain management have been exhausted.

If someone becomes addicted to prescription painkillers, they’ll start to feel dependent on the drug to feel good, or to even feel normal. Many people become willing to pay any street price for the drug once their doctor stops prescribing it and, over time, this addiction will start to ruin their life.

Opioids are addictive, there’s no doubt about that, but even non-addictive prescription painkillers come with negative side effects that could affect your memory, mood, energy levels, productivity, sleep, and the list goes on.

Even some seemingly safe, traditional painkillers such as Advil and Tylenol, can be dangerous if overused. Taking Tylenol everyday could lead to liver damage, and too much Advil can cause stomach ulcers.

It’s no wonder why so many chronic pain sufferers are in search of alternative and natural treatment methods.

Why Do We Feel Pain?

Essentially, we feel pain because the sensation of pain saves lives. Pain sensations signal to the brain that we might be hurt or in danger. Without pain, we wouldn’t go to a doctor with complaints that would lead to the diagnosis of what could have been a life-threatening illness if left untreated. Similarly, without pain we would all be accidentally burning our hands from hot surfaces, or exacerbating injuries and strains because we wouldn’t have an indicator to let us know we’d hurt ourselves.

In other words, as unpleasant as it is, we need pain for self-preservation; but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t treat pain symptoms once we start experiencing them.

The thing is, many chronic pain sufferers are not sure what exactly is causing their persisting pain.

On the one hand, the list of things that can cause chronic pain is extremely long. Kasey Nichols, ND, naturopathic doctor and health expert, confirms: “Often, chronic pain stems from a combination of factors such as inflammation, injury, stress, food intolerances, nutrition deficiencies, psychological trauma, an ailment or illness, a sedentary lifestyle, or wear and tear on the body over time.” Examples of ‘wear and tear on the body’ are poor posture, muscle overuse, or a career that involves a lot of heavy lifting – they can all lead to chronic pain over time.

Eric Owens, the co-founder of Delos Therapy and with a master’s degree in biomedical science, adds, “Among the many different root causes of pain could be neurological, structural, myofascial, infectious, or inflammatory issues.”

On the other hand, there is a difference between healthy pain and pathological pain. Healthy pain is pain that lets us know we’ve been injured, or that something might be wrong with our bodies. Pathological pain is what many chronic pain sufferers refer to as ‘unhealthy pain’ because your brain gets those pain signals even though no injury occurred, or an injury did occur but has already healed, and you don’t have an illness that would explain the pain symptoms.

Michael Morse, ND, explains the difference: “Healthy pain is pain that we would expect to be there after an injury such as a sprained ankle or bruise. We expect it to heal and for the pain to go away with time. Pathological pain, however, is pain that continues to remain once the expected amount of time passes after an injury. Most often this is caused by our sensory nerves misfiring telling our brain there is something amiss when there is no longer any physical injury. This type of pain is the kind most often treated with strong narcotics that often lead to addiction.”

 

Types of Chronic Pain

Chronic pain comes in many forms and it is pain that persists. Doctors often define chronic pain as any ongoing, long-lasting pain that recurs for longer than three months. Here are a few of its many types:

  • Musculoskeletal pain (e.g. lower back pain, tendonitis, joint pain, muscle pain, and bone pain.)
  • Nociceptive pain (e.g. arthritis, fibromyalgia, and headaches.)
  • Visceral pain (e.g. endometriosis, IBS pain, and prostate pain.)
  • Psychogenic pain (e.g. tension headaches from stress or stomach pain from anxiety.)
  • Neuropathic pain (e.g. sciatica, shingles, carpal tunnel syndrome, post-mastectomy pain, phantom limb pain, and trapped nerve pain or other nerve damage pain.)
  • Referred pain (pain that you feel in one part of your body caused by pain or injury in another part of your body.)
  • Chronic pain from illness, ailment, or disease (e.g. cancer-related pain, alcoholism, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, etc.)
  • Chronic pain from sports injury (e.g. knee injury from skiing, pulled muscles, torn ligaments, etc.)
  • Chronic pain from trauma or injury (e.g. whiplash injury from a car accident, leading to chronic neck pain.)
  • Chronic pain from overuse or misuse of muscles and joints (e.g. pain related to poor posture, pain from repeated motions at work, or work-related back pain).

Chronic pain symptoms usually fall under more than one of the above categories. For example, joint pain from arthritis falls under the category of musculoskeletal pain, nociceptive pain, and illness-related pain.

 

The Importance of a Customized Pain Management Plan

Developing a customized pain management plan that works for you is key, as it will typically involve a combination of treatment methods that suit your unique preferences and your personal lifestyle. For example, if you’re against taking prescription medication, your pain plan might involve more natural treatment methods; bi-weekly massages, weekly active rehab sessions, and natural remedies (heat therapy, frequency therapy, CBD oil, etc.)

Amy Baxter, MD and pain researcher, is the founder of Pain Care Labs which focuses on drug-free pain solutions. Baxter explains, “People feel better when they create their own pain plan, because it gives them a sense of power over their pain. And there needs to always be another option, because when you’re out of options, fear increases the perception of pain.”

Indeed, learning about different pain management methods and knowing your options can be incredibly empowering. When it comes to managing and reducing your pain, the goal is to have power over it, not feeling like you can’t escape from it.

Some trial-and-error is often required in order to develop a pain plan that works for you, but that’s okay. Trying out different options before settling on a pain plan (and, even then, still being open to new options and technologies) is important. What’s even more important is incorporating natural remedies and alternative therapies into your pain plan, rather than sticking with solely traditional or conventional pain management solutions.

But what’s wrong with traditional pain management methods?


The Problem with Conventional Pain Treatments

Would you trade your pain for other problems? Traditional pain treatments such as prescription medications come with a long list of negative side effects, and many of them are highly addictive.

Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, the author of the National Geographic report “A World of Pain”, explains, “The misuse of opioid pain relievers⁠—which are ideally suited for short-term management of acute pain⁠—has become rampant across the United States. In 2017, an estimated 1.7 million Americans had a substance abuse disorder, stemming from having been prescribed opioids, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Every day in the U.S., about 130 people die from opioid overdoses – a grim statistic that includes deaths from prescription painkillers as well as narcotics like heroin.”

In other words, many heroin addicts and substance abusers have reported that their addiction started with a prescribed pain medication from their family doctor.

The reason why people develop an addiction to opioids such as prescription painkillers Oxycodone and Hydrocodone (Vicodin) is because opioids block both physical and emotional pain. Opioids relieve the sensation of pain while also creating a sensation of euphoria. Due to the risk of addiction and fatal overdoses, opioids should only be prescribed in very severe circumstances, or only when all other options for pain management have been exhausted.

If someone becomes addicted to prescription painkillers, they’ll start to feel dependent on the drug to feel good, or to even feel normal. Many people become willing to pay any street price for the drug once their doctor stops prescribing it and, over time, this addiction will start to ruin their life.

Opioids are addictive, there’s no doubt about that, but even non-addictive prescription painkillers come with negative side effects that could affect your memory, mood, energy levels, productivity, sleep, and the list goes on.

Even some seemingly safe, traditional painkillers such as Advil and Tylenol, can be dangerous if overused. Taking Tylenol everyday could lead to liver damage, and too much Advil can cause stomach ulcers.

It’s no wonder why so many chronic pain sufferers are in search of alternative and natural treatment methods.

The Naturopathic Way: Natural Pain Treatments and Remedies


Prescription painkillers should be a last resort for pain relief. This means that if you can alleviate your pain using natural treatment methods, you should. The quality of your life shouldn’t be impacted by any negative side effects, and you shouldn’t risk developing a potentially fatal drug addiction.

Naturopaths around the world are helping chronic pain sufferers treat pain in safe and all-natural ways. Rather than advocating for prescription medications, they look to see if the problem can be solved holistically, without drugs or invasive surgeries, often by suggesting dietary changes, lifestyle changes, and natural remedies to develop a natural treatment model that works.

Alternative, natural pain relief methods are known to be safe, non-invasive, non-chemical, and carry few (if any) side effects. Here are a few natural treatments used for chronic pain:

  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Acupuncture
  • Acupressure
  • Massage Therapy
  • Hypnosis
  • Psychotherapy
  • CBD
  • Herbal Supplements
  • Botanical Medicine
  • Electromagnetic therapy
  • Frequency therapy

 

Michael Morse, ND, explains how we can use technology as a natural remedy for pain: “Depending on the type and location of pain, there are many ways to treat pain with technology naturally. If there is one thing the nervous system responds to very consistently, it is electricity. It is how the nervous system communicates after all. Many of the most popular alternative pain management methods use electricity to induce healing in the affected tissues. Treatments such as TENS, electroacupuncture, and Pulsed Electromagnetic Therapy (PEMF) are highly effective at treating certain types of chronic pain. Cold laser and therapeutic ultrasound are also very popular and highly effective with minimal if any side effects.”

 

Scientific Findings and Discoveries Towards a Pain-Free Future

For decades now, scientists seek to not only uncover new treatment methods for pain management (and especially methods that are not addictive, i.e. safer than prescription painkillers), but also understand what causes pain, how pain works, and how the human brain perceives the sensation of pain.

This ongoing quest has led to some significant scientific breakthroughs.

Clinical studies have shown that frequency therapy, the lesser-known practice of introducing a subtle electromagnetic field into an area of damaged tissue (i.e. where an injury or strain took place), produces incredible pain-reducing results. A more advanced form of frequency therapy, Vital Fields, can be used in wearable pain relief technology (or else, the future of pain management), which means that anyone, anywhere, can take advantage of non-invasive, all-natural, and non-addictive pain relief.

The Energy Cell, WaveLife’s groundbreaking wearable pain relief technology, is the result of over 30 years of research and development in the scientific labs of Switzerland, Germany, and Austria. A team of renowned Austrian scientists have developed the Cell’s patented composite material that can charge and retain electromagnetic frequencies (EMF). The wearable, placed directly on the skin, enhances cell communication and regeneration, and thus not only reduces pain, but also helps naturally heal your body. Now that’s a good deal.

The WaveLife Energy Cell is not just a scientific breakthrough; it’s a game changer for chronic pain management. It can reduce any type of chronic pain, from arthritis to trauma-related pain and from chronic back pain to fibromyalgia, in the most natural, non-invasive, 100% safe way.

If you suffer from chronic pain and you don’t just want to trade your pain for other problems such as dependency and possible addiction, the WaveLife Energy Cell might be the answer. To reduce discomfort and live a more fulfilled, pain-free life, especially if nothing you’ve tried so far has worked, try this groundbreaking wearable pain relief technology today. And feel for yourself.

[1] Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, January 2020

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