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50 Million Americans Live with Pain


The pain is . . . Stabbing? Throbbing? Dull but relentless? Constantly aching? You feel deflated, defeated, and then judge yourself for feeling like you can’t take it. And that’s just the physical part of it. Your emotions are often just as intense and almost overpowering. You feel isolated and despairing.


Will this ever change?


Yes. There are now highly effective solutions to free yourself from pain. And, they work without the need for treating yourself with dangerous, potentially harmful drugs. We will be telling you about various alternatives that have been proven to reduce pain as well as heal and eliminate the causes, so the pain will be gone, once and for all.


If it feels like you’re alone in dealing with pain, you’re not.


Did you know that the most common reason for seeing the doctor is to treat pain? Currently, about 50 million U.S. adults suffer chronic pain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and more than 20 million have the type of pain that’s so intense or persistent, it interferes with work and life on a near-daily basis. In fact, chronic pain causes $80 billion in lost wages every year. And that doesn’t include those with acute pain, resulting in more than 115 million emergency department visits each year.

To add to the discomfort, pain and emotional distress are married to each other, living together in the same part of the brain, always impacting the experience of the other. Anxiety and depression can worsen chronic pain, and pain can exacerbate depression, anxiety, panic disorders, and even the ability to sleep.


To make matters worse, chronic pain causes are notoriously illusive and difficult to diagnose. So, going from one doctor to another in search of help for the complex problem you’re experiencing mentally, emotionally, and physically can in itself be exasperating and draining.


Not everyone reacts to pain in the same way. The X-rays of two people might look the same, but the way they experience their pain can be totally different, says Dr. Sarah Buday of Washington University who specializes in pain psychology. One person might suffer from pain, while another might tune it out, ignore it or even see it as an expression of strength to push through it.


That’s not to say that one response is superior to another. The person toughing it through might be causing more physical harm by not paying attention to this vital signal. The one who stays home to rest it out, has to deal with loss of wages, opportunities for advancement and contact with colleagues. Both have critical repercussions that impact their recovery and quality of life.


A complicated series of reactions explains the connection between emotional and physical pain. For example, the cycle of pain and mental health issues changes your stress hormones and brain chemicals, including cortisol, serotonin, and norepinephrine. As pain moves from being acute (short term) to chronic, the number of areas affected in the brain actually expands, Dr. Buday says.


Chronic pain can change how the brain processes pain signals, like wires that become crossed. Mental health issues and chronic pain are like a double-edged sword. Anxiety can make a person more sensitive to their feelings of pain or “catastrophize” their pain. Pain can be isolating, and isolation can worsen feelings of depression.


In future articles we’ll discuss the link of specific types of pain with various forms of emotional distress. Back pain, for example is linked with depression—and people with chronic low back pain who are also depressed have significantly more severe pain than those without depression.


Here’s the good news. There are interventions to reduce and finally eliminate the physical experience of pain and the emotional ramifications, without having to use addictive drugs. We’ll be telling you about them.


Because there are so many different contributors to pain, it can take time to find what works for you. Sometimes, the pain just needs to be managed enough for you to take part in daily life as you figure out the best solution. It helps to keep doing what makes you feel good about yourself.


One important approach is to find a pain specialist, one who deals with both the physical and psychological aspects, one who can help you find support from others as you work through the causes and resolve the physical and psychological dynamics.It has been proven that drug free approaches like clinical hypnosis and supportive therapy do work.

You don’t have to be alone with this any more.


We’re here for you, advocating for you. We’ve been there and know how hard it is. We also know that you can prevail.


Stay tuned to learn the latest in drug free interventions for pain.


You have a life outside of your pain, and it’s important to keep up with what’s important to you. Don’t withdraw because of the struggle. Instead, stay informed and take action.


More to come


Have any questions? Please feel free to reach out. DrSharonLivingston@gmail.com 201 739-4700

To your well being.

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