Reasons Not to Tolerate Pain
Untreated pain creates a downward spiral of chronic pain symptoms, so it is very important to treat pain early and avoid chronic pain. The earlier a person begins treatment, the less the pain will affect their day-to-day life.
Pain Affects Quality of Life
Chronic pain, a diagnosis including joint pain, back pain, and recurring headashes, can have a profound effect on a person’s day to day life when it goes untreated. People dealing with ongoing or long-term pain can become irritable, short-tempered, and impatient, and with good reason. Constant pain raises the focus threshold for basic functioning, which leaves the person in pain with a greatly reduced ability to find solutions or workarounds to even relatively mundane problems. Something like a traffic jam, which most people would be mildly annoyed by but ultimately take in stride, could seriously throw off the rhythm of someone who is putting forth so much effort just to get through the day.
Pain Affects Our Relationships
Pain wears a person down, draining their energy and sapping their motivation. Person suffering from pain vey often limit social contact in an effort to reduce stress and to decrease the amount of energy they have to spend reacting to their environment. Eventually, many people with chronic pain develop depression-like symptoms: lack of interpersonal interaction, difficulty concentrating on simple tasks, and the desire to simplify their life as much as possible, which often manifests as seeking isolation and quiet. Sleeping often makes the pain less intrusive, and that combined with the exhaustion that pain induces means that it isn’t uncommon for a person to start sleeping upwards of ten hours a day.
Pain is Linked to Depression
Some recent studies have also shown that chronic pain can actually affect a person’s brain chemistry and even change the wiring of the nervous system causing anxiety and depression. In fact, roughly one third of patients with chronic pain develop depression at some point during their lifetime. Furthermore, cells in the spinal cord and brain of a person with chronic pain, especially in the section of the brain that processes emotion, deteriorate more quickly than normal, exacerbating many of the depression-like symptoms. In addition to this, chronic pain often biologically creates a feeling of hopelessness and makes it more difficult to process future pain in a healthy way.
Pain Affects Our Ability to Sleep
Chronic pain affect our ability to sleep since the center regulating sleep cycle becomes smaller from dealing with ongoing pain. This is affecting our general health making us more prone to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke as well as sleep deprivation caused accidents.
Pain is Very Expensive
According to Johns Hopkins University study, the annual cost of chronic pain is as high as $635 billion a year, which is more than the yearly costs for cancer, heart disease and diabetes together.
According to this study that included 20,214 individuals 18 and older, pain negatively affects 3 components of productivity: work days missed, number of annual hours worked and hourly wages.
Persons with moderate pain had health care expenditures $4,516 higher than someone with no pain, and individuals with severe pain had costs $3,210 higher than those with moderate pain. Similar differences were found for other pain conditions: $4,048 higher for joint pain, $5,838 for arthritis, and $9,680 for functional disabilities.
Physical Therapy Can Help
Physical therapy, modalities, massage, exercise, balanced diet and life style modification can significantly reduce the consequences of pain in their lives. The earlier a person begins treatment, the less the pain will affect their day-to-day life and there is less physical, sociological, emotional and financial consequences.