Pain that persists or progresses over a long period of time. In contrast to acute pain that arises unexpectedly in response to a specific injury and is usually treatable, enduring pain persists over time and is often resistant to medical treatments.
The enduring pain may be related to a number of different medical conditions including diabetes, arthritis, migraine, fibromyalgia, cancer, shingles, sciatica, and previous trauma or injury. And the pain may worsen in response to environmental and/or psychological factors.
There are a variety of treatment options for people. However, the goal of pain management is to provide symptom relief and improve an individual’s level of functioning in daily activities. Non medicinal treatments can include exercise, physical therapy, counselling, electrical stimulation, biofeedback, acupuncture, hypnosis, chiropractic medicine, and other treatments.
What causes chronic pain?
There are many possible causes. According to the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement, this type of pain can be grouped into four main types.
Neuropathic (nerve-related) pain—This is pain caused by damage to or malfunctioning of the somatosensory system. This is the system made up of sensory receptors and neurons (nerve cells) in the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. One example of neuropathic pain is sciatica (pain in the back, hip, and upper thigh related to the sciatic nerve).
Muscle pain—Problems with the skeleton’s muscles are a frequent cause of chronic pain. Myofascial pain (muscle tissue pain) can affect areas such as the lower back, hips, legs and feet, neck, shoulders, arms, and trunk of the body. It often occurs after an injury or following constant repetitive movements.
Inflammatory pain—inflammatory agents trigger main sensory nerves that send pain signals to the spinal cord. Causes include arthritis, tissue injury, or infection. It may also be due to conditions that occur after surgery. Symptoms may include redness, heat, and swelling at the site of the pain.
Mechanical/compressive pain—Mechanical pressure or stretching activates nerve cells that are sensitive to pain. Causes may include fractures, disc degeneration, or compression of tissue by tumors, cysts, or bony structures. A person may have multiple conditions that cause enduring pain (for example, cancer and osteoarthritis).
In some cases, people have this pain when there is no apparent underlying cause that can be found. This is known as psychogenic pain.
Psychogenic pain does not mean that a person is “making it up” or “crazy.” The pain is very real. However, psychological factors such as anxiety, depression, excessive stress, or environmental factors are the major explanations for this type of chronic pain.
Here are some self-management tips.
Learn how to relax through deep breathing and other stress management techniques, such as mindfulness meditation, yoga, Alexandra breathing technique and from instruction in biofeedback .
Set achievable goals and don’t overdo it on good days. Learn to pace yourself.
Focus on positive thoughts.
Set a daily schedule that includes time for rest, exercise, and relaxation.
Know your medicines, including expected benefits and side effects. When costs exceed benefits, ask your doctor if there’s a better choice. A medicine is working if it helps you have a normal mood and activity level. If the medicine decreases your desire or ability to be active, ask your doctor about other choices.
Ask if the medicine prescribed is to treat symptoms or to manage an underlying disease. If the response is not appropriate to your inquiry find out more about the efficacy of the medicine and the reason for taking it. Investigate means to uncover the cause not just related symptoms, or referral pains.
Decrease or eliminate alcohol consumption. Pain often disrupts sleep and alcohol can further disrupt the sleep cycle.
Quit smoking. Cigarettes can interfere with healing and are a risk factor for developing many diseases, including degenerative disc disease, which is a leading cause of low back pain.
The management of pain requires that all aspects of an individual’s physical and emotional health be considered. When chronic pain is managed effectively, a person can return to a more productive and fulfilling lifestyle. The patient and family should have a good understanding about the various aspects and nature of the chronic condition and the benefits of a multidisciplinary all-inclusive management plan.
The patient should avoid painful or stressful positions and bad posture. In addition, regular exercise, good sleeping habits, and balanced meals are essential in maintaining good health.
Pain and Fibromyalgia
The main symptoms of fibromyalgia are:
Deep or burning pain in your trunk, neck, low back, hips, and shoulders.
Tender on the body that hurt when pressed.
Anxiety and depression.
Sleep problems and tiredness.
Irritable bowel syndrome.
Fibromyalgia is an illness that causes chronic pain in muscles and ligaments. The vast majority of affected people are women in their mid-30s to late-50s.
In addition to muscular pain and stiffness, this ailment can also cause fatigue, sleep problems, depression, and an inability to think clearly.
While there is no known cause for fibromyalgia, recent research has revealed some new facts about the disease. There are differences in approach, however they do offer significant change for those who suffer from this condition.
One of the new discoveries is that people with fibromyalgia process pain differently. The level of chemical in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) called substance P, which transmits pain impulses to the brain, is three times higher in people with the disease than in those who do not have the condition. This likely causes someone with fibromyalgia to experience pain more intensely.
Other researchers believe fibromyalgia is caused by a lack of deep sleep. It is during stage 4 sleeps that muscles recover from the prior day’s activity, and the body refreshes itself. Sleep studies show that as people with fibromyalgia enter stage 4 sleeps, they become more aroused and stay in a lighter form of sleep. Even though they may sleep for a long period of time, they get poor quality sleep. Also, when researchers took normal volunteers and did not allow them to enter into stage 4 sleep, they developed symptoms similar to those of fibromyalgia.
THERE ARE ALSO SEVERAL STUDIES CONNECTING FIBROMYALGIA WITH PROBLEMS IN THE GUT. MANY PATIENTS WITH FIBROMYALGIA ALSO HAD DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS, AND WHEN TESTS ARE CONDUCTED ON THEM, IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT MANY PATIENTS HAD GUT INFECTIONS, DYSBIOSIS, SMALL INTESTINAL BACTERIAL OVERGROWTH (SIBO), AND LEAKY GUT.
A NEW APPROACH TO TREATING FIBROMYALGIA
If Gut Inflammation problems such as SIBO, dysbiosis, infections, and leaky gut are the underlying cause of fibromyalgia, it follows that healing the gut is the key to long-term improvement for fibromyalgia sufferers.
The most important steps to follow are:
Avoid foods, medications (e.g. antibiotics), and chemicals (e.g. BPA) that irritate the gut.
Eat plenty of fermentable fibers (starches like sweet potato, yam, yucca, etc.).
Eat fermented foods like kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, kim chi, etc.
Consume bone broth and glycine-rich foods (e.g. tougher cuts of meat like beef shanks, oxtail, brisket, and chuck roast).
Consider taking a probiotic and/or a prebiotic supplement.
Treat any intestinal pathogens (such as parasites) that may be present.
Manage your stress (with mediation, mindfulness yoga, biofeedback, etc.).
Get at least 7–8 hours of sleep each night.
The most prominent symptom of fibromyalgia is pain. Unlike arthritis, the discomfort is not in the joints but in the muscles and ligaments. The pain is commonly located in the neck, shoulders, back, and hips. The tenderness is worse in the mornings and has been described as flu-like, burning, throbbing, aching, or stabbing.
Another frequent complaint associated with fibromyalgia is fatigue. In fact, it occurs so commonly that some doctors think fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are the same disease. The severity of the fatigue can range from mild to incapacitating. In its worse form, fatigue can be so debilitating that some people have trouble keeping their jobs. No amount of sleep at night or rest during the day is helpful for relief.
Another common symptom is a mental haziness some people call fibrofog. This refers to the inability to concentrate, memory loss, and depression that occurs with fibromyalgia.
Other symptoms associated with fibromyalgia are insomnia, headaches, nervousness, numbness, dizziness, and intestinal disturbances.
Here are the top 6 supplements for relieving fibromyalgia pain and improving gut function.
The “sunshine vitamin” isn’t only good for building bones.
It can help fight pain and fatigue, too, according to a 2014 study published in the journal Pain.
For the study, 30 women with fibromyalgia – who were also deficient in vitamin D – were divided into two groups. The treatment group received oral vitamin D supplements for 20 weeks. The control group received a placebo.
Starting after just one week, the treatment group showed improved physical functioning, had less morning fatigue than the placebo group and reported a marked reduction in pain. The body produces vitamin D when skin is directly exposed to the sun – our best source. But some people don’t produce enough of the nutrient, according to the National Institutes of Health. These include women who are older, dark-skinned or obese.
2. Fish Oil
Thanks to its omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil has terrific anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce pain. It reduces the body’s production of inflammatory hormones (prostaglandins), and that may mean less stiffness or fewer tender joints.
Here are some of the known or suggested health benefits of fish oil:
Cholesterol and blood pressure – research has shown that taking fish oil can reduce levels of triglycerides by 20 to 50 per cent. High levels of triglycerides raise the risk of heart disease.
Preventing heart disease – Fish oil has been associated with keeping people with healthy hearts free of heart disease.
Treating heart disease – some research suggests that people who already have heart disease may be able to lower their risk of dying it if they take fish oil.
Rheumatoid arthritis – fish oil has been found to help people with rheumatoid arthritis get over morning stiffness faster. Some arthritis sufferers have been able to reduce their reliance on non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) by taking fish oil daily.
Period pain (dysmenorrhoea) – some women who experience acutely painful periods have reported that taking fish oil alone or in combination with vitamin B12 can reduce the pain.
Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children – some research has linked taking fish oil with improved thinking skills and behavior in 8 to 12 year-old children with ADHD.
WHAT IS SAME?
SAMe, also known as s-adenosylmethionine is from the amino acid methionine inside the body. It may be useful in supporting joints as well as liver health; however, it is most notable due to reports on its positive effect on mood and brain health.
Normal brain function involves chemical messengers between cells, and it is believed that SAMe may enhance the effectiveness of mood-boosting messengers such as melatonin, serotonin, dopamine and adrenaline.
S-Adenosyl methionine, more commonly known as SAMe, is a synthetic form of a compound the body naturally produces.
“We need it for proper immune function, and it plays a role in forming cartilage and our DNA”,Dr. Solomon says.
As we age, our bodies produce less of it, Taking a SAMe supplement not only lessens chronic pain, it also can boost your spirits.
Tight muscles are a common cause of Fibromyalgia pain. To relax and release, muscles need energy, Dr. Teitelbaum says. And that’s where ribose supplements come in.
Ribose, a simple sugar, can increase energy by an average of 61% – and cut the pain experienced by fibromyalgia sufferers by an average of 15.6%, according to a 2012 study Dr. Teitelbaum led, published in The Open Pain Journal.
D-Ribose is a naturally occurring simple sugar found in all living cells. It is the fuel that mitochondria use to produce adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP), which provides the body’s cellular energy. Studies show that patients with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and congestive heart failure are low in D-Ribose.
Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome affect twice as many women as men and typically first appears at middle age. It still isn’t clear what the cause is but studies indicate that people with fibromyalgia have lower levels of ATP and a reduced capacity to make ATP in their muscles. Recent studies show that Ribose supplementation can reduce muscle pain and enhance quality of life for those suffering with fibromyalgia and/or chronic fatigue.
This mineral is a major player in every part of our body. Not only is it credited with keeping the heart, kidneys and bones strong, it also helps us avoid muscle spasms, weakness and back pain,
Magnesium’s benefits can include reduced symptoms from conditions such as chronic pain, fatigue and insomnia. Magnesium may also provide protection from a number of chronic diseases, especially those associated with aging and stress.
Women with fibromyalgia may be deficient in magnesium, studies suggest. And magnesium may help relieve fibromyalgia pain and other symptoms. Magnesium is found in green leafy vegetables, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, 100% wheat bran cereal and raw spinach. But these foods are a good source only if you eat them raw. Half of the minerals’ benefits are lost when cooked.
Essential to life, necessary for good health, and a vital component within our cells, magnesium’s benefits help our bodies maintain balance, avoid illness, perform well under stress, and maintain a general state of good health.
Brown Seaweed Extract
Brown Seaweed Extract provides iron, energizing B12, and dietary fiber, along with foliate and riboflavin.
That nutritional profile suggests that seaweed could help raise energy levels. Researchers examined the health effects of brown seaweed and the results revealed that it delivered anti-inflammatory effects.
Why Natural Supplements Work For Chronic Inflammation?
Research has shown that anti-inflammatory herbal supplements can provide real effective relief with virtually no side effects to control chronic inflammation. To begin with, anyone suffering from long term pain should concentrate primarily on diet. Avoiding excess sugar, starches, and most grains is essential to begin with. Limiting vegetable and seed oils, as well as lectins found in vegetables like peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes.
You can reduce the inflammatory response in your body to protect your immune system by eating fermented foods rich in antioxidants. Such as yogurt and sauerkraut to kefir and kombucha. These will boost your immune system and ease digestive problems.
It is also vital to use oils, like raw, organic and high-quality omega-3 fatty acids to fight inflammation.
Vitamin C offers two added bonuses: it helps the body deal with stress, and it boosts the activity of another outstanding anti-inflammatory, vitamin E.
Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory, it is the active ingredient in turmeric. Research has shown that curcumin is as effective as cortisone for treating arthritis of all kinds. In addition, curcumin lowers cholesterol and improves circulation and digestion.
Ginger: This herb is anti-inflammatory and offers pain relief and stomach-settling properties. Ginger has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries, particularly in fighting inflammation. Many arthritis sufferers swear by ginger supplements.
Chronic inflammation is a complex topic, so its very important to remember to take your recommended supplements, eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, spices, and wild-caught fish — these are best inflammation preventive’s to use. Remember to use all natural and highly effective herbs that target inflammation and provide relief from long lasting pain.