Things Not To Do When Treating Chronic Pain

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — From your head to your back to your legs, no matter where it is when you have a pain, you just want it to stop. But did you know there’s a whole list of things you should never do to treat pain?

Lots of people live with pain – the chronic, daily kind. You may think you’re helping yourself, but sometimes what you try to do is actually hurting.

1. Trying To Tough It Out
For example, maybe you’re trying to tough it out, hoping it will go away.

“I think it’s important to determine why you’re having pain and determine if there’s cause; you should not be what you would call toughing it out,” says Dr. David Provenzano, a pain specialist.

2. Afraid To Exercise
At the other end of the spectrum, maybe you’re afraid to exercise.

“We know that muscles get de-conditioned over time, and that if we don’t have you using those muscles, your pain may actually get worse,” said Dr. Provenzano.

3. Surgery As A Quick Fix
Maybe you feel surgery will fix things right away.

“Surgery should not be your first choice if it can be avoided because we can’t always guarantee your result,” he added.

4. Seeing Multiple Doctors
Perhaps you see multiple doctors, in hopes of a final answer. It’s better to have one doctor coordinating treatment and referrals.

5. Depression Gets Overlooked
Sometimes depression gets overlooked as a contributing factor, isolating people from family and friends.

“Any time people have chronic pain, it’s really in many cases very hard for them to handle,” Dr. Provenzano said. “In many cases, people with chronic pain would benefit from some counseling.”

There’s no single cause for chronic pain. Wear and tear changes on the bones and joints, nerve damage and old injuries can all lead to chronic pain.

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  • Elizabeth

    I think the above suggestions are great except for the one regarding counseling. I believe that doctors often overlook the real pain that people are in, wanting to attribute it to a mental health issue, when they cannot find another cause for the pain. The reality is that many people are in pain and do not have a mental health issue; just because doctors cannot find an answer does not mean that one does not exist, it means that they need to look harder or, that doctors are fallibale and do not know everything.

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